Welcome to the Delaware Secretary of State’s Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (“VDA Program”) website. The VDA Program was created in 2012 as an efficient and collaborative process to bring Holders into full compliance with the Delaware Abandoned Property Law for all past calendar years.
Delaware had previously permitted VDA’s under the purview of the Delaware Department of Finance for many years. However, in 2012 Governor Jack Markell and the Delaware General Assembly created the Secretary of State’s VDA Program as a new, more business-friendly program administered by the Delaware Department of State where companies could “catch-up” on their past due unclaimed property obligations, avoid an audit, avoid interest and penalties, and significantly reduce their liability. Since then more than 700 companies of all types (large, small, multi-national, regional, simple, and complex) have enrolled in the VDA Program. Due to its success, in July 2015, the VDA Program was permanently placed under the purview of the Secretary of State and additional changes were made to Delaware’s unclaimed property compliance structure as follows:
- Effective July 1, 2015, no new audits may be commenced unless:
- The look-back period for current and new VDA Program enrollees is 1996.
- For Holders that enroll in the VDA Program on or after January 1, 2017, the State has implemented a rolling 19-year look back period from the year of enrollment.
- Under the VDA Program, interest will not be assessed on late filed property unless a VDA participant does not work in good faith to complete the VDA Program. However, non-participants in the VDA Program (e.g. Holders under audit) may be assessed interest of 0.5% per month on outstanding unpaid amounts from the date the amounts or property were due until paid – capped at 25% of the value of the unclaimed property due.
The VDA Program is designed to reach a final agreement on past due liabilities within two years from the day a holder enters the Program versus an audit which may take several years. After completing the Program, Holders are required to fulfill their future annual reporting requirements.
As of July 1, 2015 close to 300 companies had already completed the VDA Program and have found the process to be fair, efficient, and predictable. I hope you will consider the benefits of the VDA Program and enroll.
Delaware Secretary of State