Unclaimed Money in Trust Accounts

Is your agency holding unidentified money in your trust account? Do you know your responsibilities and obligations?

Any person carrying on a business in Victoria is required to lodge unclaimed money with the State Revenue Office (SRO).

What is unclaimed money? Any money deposited into your trust account without a reference or is unidentified as to where it is to be allocated. Eg. It could be rent deposited electronically without a reference or code to the property or it could be a deposit on a sales property which has remained in the trust account after settlement and no instructions from either the Vendor or their legal representative as to where it is to be forwarded to has been given and the Vendor is now residing overseas. Sometimes Landlords send money for repairs/renovations to be carried out and do not give a reference or advice with the transaction.

Responsibilities of the business/agency in relation to unclaimed monies:

  • By 31 March each year, establish a register of all unclaimed money and;
  • enter the details of all unclaimed money amounts of $20 or more that are at least 12 months old as of 1 March that year into the register and;

By 31 May each year

  • Lodge a return with the SRO which includes
  • The Statement of Compliance (Smartform);
  • An electronic Excel data file detailing the unclaimed money information held as of 1 March that year; and payment of all unclaimed money held as at 1 March of that year to the SRO.

More information is available at www.sro.vic.gov.au