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Welcome surprise for owners of forgotten money


30 January 2008

Welcome surprise for owners of forgotten money

Twelve thousand people may get a welcome surprise following publication on Inland Revenue's website of a list of owners of $11 million of unclaimed money.

Most of the unclaimed money comes from deposits left in banks and other financial institutions, and includes insurance proceeds, cheques or wages. Under the Unclaimed Monies Act 1971, funds left untouched for more than six years are required to be paid to Inland Revenue.

"It's the responsibility of the institution holding the funds to make every effort to locate the proper owner of the money," said Acting Deputy Commissioner, Business Development and Systems, Heather Daly.

''But sometimes, with people moving around and changing jobs, this proves difficult, and the money is transferred to Inland Revenue if it remains untouched for six years."

Inland Revenue has records detailing more than 100,000 cases of unclaimed money totalling more than $40 million dating back to 1973. The online records are for the period 2005-2007.

Unclaimed money does not include tax refunds.

The online list of 12,000 names can be found at:

Anyone who believes they may be entitled to unclaimed money, should email unclaimed.monies@ird.govt.nz or write to

Unclaimed Monies
Inland Revenue
P O Box 38222
Wellington Mail Centre

People who wish to claim the money must forward their name, address, IRD number, and proof of identity (such as a copy of a birth certificate, driver's licence or passport) to the Inland Revenue postal address above.


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