Unclaimed money - how to lodge money unclaimed under the Corporations Act

An unclaimed money return is where an entity provides to ASIC unclaimed money in accordance with the law. Companies, liquidators and financial product providers forward unclaimed money to ASIC under several sections of the Corporations Act 2001 when money paid to them is not claimed (company unclaimed money).

Specific information is available for entities lodging unclaimed money in compliance with the Banking Act 1959 and the Life Insurance Act 1995:

What unclaimed money can ASIC accept under the Corporations Act?

Money can be identified as company unclaimed money and forwarded to ASIC in the following circumstances:

  • there is unclaimed consideration after a compulsory acquisition of securities (s668A and 668B)
  • a company cannot contact a shareholder for more than six years (s1343)
  • a responsible entity of a managed investment scheme cannot contact a member for more than six years (s1343A)
  • money has been paid to a financial product provider for a financial product that cannot be issued and the money cannot be returned (s1017E)
  • there is money which is the property of a deregistered company (s601AD(2))
  • there is money which is the property of a deregistered company, the company having held that property as trustee (s601AD(1A))
  • there is unclaimed money after the winding up of a managed investment scheme (s601NG)
  • there is unclaimed money after the liquidation of a company (s544)
  • there is unclaimed money after a Part 5 scheme of arrangement or contract (s414)

Section 668A and s668B – After compulsory acquisition of shares

Providing company unclaimed money to ASIC under sections 668A and 668B of the Corporations Act is a two stage approach over two years.

Stage 1:

Provide to ASIC the records of unpaid consideration as at 31 December, including who is entitled to the consideration so that these can be published in the Gazette.

Stage 2:

If you still have unpaid consideration 12 months after Stage 1 is completed, provide to ASIC:

  • the records of the still unpaid consideration; and
  • make payment to ASIC of the still unpaid consideration.

If you have a nil balance of unpaid consideration at the time of either Stage 1 or 2 you still need to lodge a nil return to ASIC.

How to lodge a nil return by email

Providing records to ASIC under s668A

If your company was paid consideration in respect of shares that are compulsorily acquired you must keep records of:

  • the consideration paid
  • the people who are entitled to the consideration
  • any transfer of the consideration to the people entitled to it.

By 31 January the year after the compulsory acquisition is made, you must send these records, current to 31 December, to ASIC by a CSV return form to ensure we can include them for publication in an ASIC Gazette by the end of February. We publish this information in an ASIC Gazette and you may search it on our consumer website, MoneySmart.

At this stage you do not send us the money. Records are published in our Gazette and the company must continue to hold the unclaimed money on trust for the former shareholders and may transfer the money to persons entitled to them.

Providing records and unclaimed money to ASIC under s668B

If you still hold unpaid consideration 12 months after the date of publication of the Gazette you will need to complete a CSV return form with your revised records (removing the consideration that has been claimed since your initial lodgement) and make payment to ASIC of the still unpaid consideration.

If the unclaimed consideration is shares, in addition to the CSV return form, a share transfer form will need to be completed and posted to:

Unclaimed Money Unit
Australian Securities & Investments Commission
GPO Box 9827
BRISBANE QLD 4001

How to lodge your return

Section 1343 – Lost shareholders

A company may transfer securities to ASIC where they have reason to believe that the security holder is not residing at the address shown in the company's register for a period of at least 6 years and the company has been unable to communicate with the security holder.

For more information about transferring securities to ASIC under this section of the Corporations Act, email unclaimed.lodging@asic.gov.au.

Please include in your email:

  • name and ACN of the company;
  • number of shareholders likely to be affected by the transfer and approximate number of shares to be transferred;
  • details of attempts by the company to contact the lost shareholders during the last 6 years.

Section 1343A – Lost scheme members

A responsible entity of a registered managed investment scheme may transfer the interests in the scheme to ASIC where they have reason to believe that the member is not residing at the address shown in the member's register for a period of at least 6 years and the responsible entity has been unable to communicate with the member.

For more information about transferring interests in a scheme to ASIC under this section of the Corporations Act, email unclaimed.lodging@asic.gov.au.

Please include in your email:

  • name and ASRN of the registered scheme
  • number of members likely to be affected by the transfer and approximate value to be transferred
  • details of attempts by the responsible entity to contact the lost members during the last 6 years.

How to lodge your return

Section 1017E – Money received but no financial product was issued

Where money is paid to a financial product provider to acquire a financial product (or an increased interest in a financial product), but that financial product is not subsequently issued, this money must be returned to the person who paid the money.

If the money cannot be returned to the person who paid the money, the product provider must, within one month from the date of receipt or a longer period if not reasonably practicable to do so by the end of the month, transfer the money to ASIC to be dealt with under Part 9.7 of the Corporations Act (see s1017E(4) and reg 7.9.61A of the Corporations Regulations).

Where available, the product provider must supply such relevant information to ASIC about the person who originally paid the money to the product provider including:

  • name and address
  • amount
  • date paid
  • method of payment (eg cheque deposit, EFT)
  • any other information that may assist in the assessment of the claim.

This section applies only to funds received by a product provider after 11 March 2002.

How to lodge your return

Section 601AD(2) – Money located after the deregistration of a company

Where money is located after the deregistration of a company, under s601AD the money vests with ASIC.

If the company was in liquidation prior to deregistration, are these funds payable to a creditor or member and should they be dealt with under section 544?

How to lodge your return

s601AD(1A) – Money located after the deregistration of a company and the company was acting as trustee

Where money is located after the deregistration of a company, and the company held the property as trustee, under s601AD(1A) the money vests with the Commonwealth. ASIC has been delegated the powers of the Commonwealth to deal with such money.

How to lodge your return

Section 601NG – Money unclaimed after the winding up of a scheme

If the person responsible for the winding up of a registered managed investment scheme has any unclaimed or undistributed property from the scheme, on completion of the winding up they must pay money or transfer property to ASIC as soon as practicable to be dealt with under Part 9.7 of the Corporations Act.

When providing these records you need to include:

  • the amount payable to each party
  • name
  • last known address.

How to lodge your return

Section 544 – Money unclaimed after company liquidation

Where a company winding up commenced after 1 January 1991, funds are payable to ASIC where the liquidator of a company has in his/her hands or under his/her control:

  • any amount being a dividend or other money that has remained unclaimed for more than 6 months after the day when the dividend or money became payable or
  • after making the final distribution, any unclaimed or undistributed amount of money arising from the property of the company.

Please note that section 544 does not apply to companies under Administration or under a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA), unless there is a clause in the DOCA providing for section 544 to apply to any unclaimed money from the Administration.

When providing these records you need to include:

  • the amount payable to each party
  • name
  • last known address.

How to lodge your return

Section 414 – Acquisition of shares of shareholders dissenting from scheme or contract approved by the majority

Section 414(15) of the Corporations Act deals with the unclaimed consideration where the shareholders were dissenting from the scheme or contract.

When cash or other property is received by a company under section 414 and has been held in trust for a period of at least 2 years, the company must, before the end of 10 years, transfer the consideration to ASIC to be dealt with under Part 9.7.

When providing these records you need to include:

  • the amount payable to each party
  • name
  • last known address.

How to lodge your return

How to lodge a return for unclaimed money under the Corporations Act

You can lodge your return of company unclaimed money by:

  1. completing a CSV return form
  2. lodging the CSV return form by email to unclaimed.lodging@asic.gov.au
  3. await confirmation from unclaimed money that your CSV return form meets our requirements and has been accepted for lodgement
  4. after receiving acceptance email from unclaimed money, make payment to ASIC by cheque to:

ASIC Unclaimed Money
GPO Box 9827
Brisbane Qld 4001

Note: Each type of company unclaimed money can have different requirements. Before completing your CSV return form it is suggested that you consider the information provided for the section that applies to your unclaimed money.

How to prepare the CSV return form

The CSV return form has a specific format that must be complied with for ASIC’s system to receive and process the return.

Templates are available below for the following sections:

Our downloadable guide to the CSV return form includes the information to be included and the required format.

Download the Guide to the Corporations Act CSV returns form (PDF)

How to lodge the CSV return form

Once you have completed your CSV return form you can lodge it by email:

Your email should use this wording:

To: unclaimed.lodging@asic.gov.au

Subject: Unclaimed money lodged pursuant to section 668A(1) of the Corporations Act 2001

<Your company/entity name>

The attached CSV return form is lodged with ASIC to provide unclaimed records to ASIC pursuant to section 668A(1) of the Corporations Act 2001.

I confirm that the unclaimed money records provided regarding the compulsory acquisition of:

<Target company name and target company ACN> by

<Bidder company name and bidder company ACN>

comply with the requirements of the above section and can be lodged with ASIC.

For any enquiries from shareholders, please publish the information below in the ASIC Gazette and ASIC’s consumer website along with the records in the CSV return form so that they can contact us:

Contact name: <insert contact person at your company/entity>

Reference: <insert your reference>

Postal address: <insert the postal address of your company/entity>

Phone: <insert the telephone contact for your company/entity>

Email: <insert the email contact for your company/entity>

Fax number: <insert the fax number for your company/entity>

<Name of person submitting the email>

<Position of person>

<Contact phone number>

Your email should use this wording:

To: unclaimed.lodging@asic.gov.au

Subject: Unclaimed money lodged pursuant to section <insert section> of the Corporations Act 2001

<Your company/entity name>

The attached CSV return form is lodged with ASIC to provide unclaimed money/records to ASIC pursuant to section <insert section – 668B(1); 1017E; 601AD(2); 601AD(1A); 601NG; 544; or 414> of the Corporations Act 2001.

I confirm that the unclaimed money records provided comply with the requirements of the above section and can be lodged with ASIC.

<Name of person submitting the email>

<Position of person>

<Contact phone number>

Lodging your CSV return form by email assists ASIC in processing the return as quickly as possible.

Making payment to ASIC of unclaimed money

You will receive email confirmation that your CSV return form has been accepted and details of how you can make payment will be provided.

If the payment of the unclaimed money is not received by ASIC within 5 business days of ASIC’s email your return may be rejected.

Note: If you are lodging a CSV return form to provide ASIC with records under section 668A of the Corporations Act you do not need to make any payment at this time. See further s668A and s668B.

Lodging a nil return when you have no unpaid consideration following a compulsory acquisition

If you have no unpaid consideration following a compulsory acquisition you must lodge a nil return.

Email to lodge a nil return

Your email should use this wording:

To: unclaimed.lodging@asic.gov.au

Subject: Unclaimed money lodged pursuant to section <668A or 668B> of the Corporations Act 2001

<Your company/entity name>

I advise that there is nil consideration remaining from the compulsory acquisition of:

<Target company name and target company ACN> by

<Bidder company name and bidder company ACN>.

<Name of person submitting the email>

<Position of person>

<Contact phone number>

Where to go if you have unclaimed money that ASIC cannot accept

A number of state bodies also collect unclaimed money under state legislation. See our conumer website, MoneySmart for more information about money held by state bodies.

If you have not been able to identify that the unclaimed money is payable to ASIC you may wish to consider whether a state body can receive the money.

Contact us

Contact the Unclaimed Money Unit:

by phone: 1300 301 198

by email: unclaimed.lodging@asic.gov.au

Postal address:

Unclaimed Money Unit
Australian Securities & Investments Commission
GPO Box 9827
Brisbane Qld 4001

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Last updated: 04/05/2018 12:39