Wisconsin Escheat & Unclaimed Property Laws

This page addresses key areas of interest regarding Wisconsin unclaimed property and escheatment laws and regulations.

Key Wisconsin Unclaimed Property Reporting Deadlines

Wisconsin has a fall deadline for annual reporting and remittance. Holders of unclaimed property must report and remit by October 31.

Early reporting is permitted with prior approval from the Administrator.

Negative reports are required for financial institutions, utility companies, and life insurance companies with a physical presence in Wisconsin, even if there is no unclaimed property to report. The negative report can be filed on the state’s unclaimed property website.

All holders have an obligation to report abandoned or unclaimed property to the state in order to maintain compliance with Wisconsin’s unclaimed property laws and regulations.

Holders reporting to Wisconsin are required to submit their reports electronically via the state’s unclaimed property website. It should be noted that NAUPA encryption (HDE) is not accepted.

Wisconsin Due Diligence Requirements

Wisconsin requires holders to send due diligence notifications via first class mail for any property with a value of $50 or more.

Due diligence letters must be sent each reporting cycle to the apparent owner at the last known address 60-120 days from the reporting deadline. If an apparent owner has consented to receive email delivery from the holder, the owner shall send the notice both by first class mail to the apparent owner’s last known mailing address and by email, unless the holder believes that the apparent owner’s email address is invalid.

This notice should inform the owner that the holder is in possession of unclaimed property that will be turned over to the state unless the owner claims it from the holder before the report is filed.

Wisconsin Dormancy Periods

Dormancy periods in Wisconsin vary by property type. Generally, most property types have a five-year dormancy period.

Accounts are considered dormant if the owner of a property has not indicated an interest in the property or if no contact has been made for the allotted dormancy period for that property.

Dormancy periods in Wisconsin for common property types include:

  • Wages, Payroll or Salary: One year
  • Dividends: Three years
  • Traveler’s Checks: 15 years

Confused or Overwhelmed? Need Answers?

Reporting unclaimed property in Wisconsin can be a stressful process that consumes valuable internal resources, especially if you must report in other jurisdictions as well. However, when properly managed, the annual reporting and escheatment process does not need to be a burdensome experience.

Key Resources​​

Wisconsin Unclaimed Property
Department of Revenue
PO Box 8982 | Madison, WI 53708-8982
Email: DORWIHolderReports@wisconsin.gov
Phone: 608.264.4594
Fax: 608.261.1799