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Stat boards' unclaimed monies total $50m

Rightful owners yet to recover owed sums despite multiple efforts to contact them

Published on Feb 23, 2014 7:43 AM
 
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) leads the pack with $36 million of unclaimed monies, mostly tax refunds from amended assessments of foreign taxpayers who have already left Singapore and defunct companies, said Iras. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

More than $50 million lies in the coffers of statutory boards here, waiting for its rightful owners to claim it.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) leads the pack with $36 million.

These are mostly tax refunds from amended assessments of foreign taxpayers who have already left Singapore and defunct companies, said Iras.

Other statutory boards with unclaimed monies upwards of $1 million are the Central Provident Fund Board with $7 million, the Media Development Authority which is holding $4.2 million, and PUB with $1 million. These are mainly from balances in CPF accounts, media licences, and customer deposits for water supplies and services.

 
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Background story

STEPS TAKEN TO REACH CLAIMANTS

The Ministry of Law, which accounts for more than half of the $168.5 million in unclaimed monies being held by the Government, is boosting its efforts to reach those who are owed the money.

Its Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office (IPTO), which has $107 million to return, is publishing a new step-by-step online guide this week.

Through the guide on the IPTO's website, the ministry hopes "to help members of the public identify whether they are entitled to these monies, and how to proactively claim them".

Most of the monies held by the IPTO are owed to pawners, creditors of insolvent estates and beneficiaries of deceased estates.

The names of these claimants, listed as "payees", are already in a register on the IPTO's site. But $107 million remains unclaimed as of end-2013.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore also hosts its own list, as does the Media Development Authority.

Other government agencies which have unclaimed monies have put up their lists of claimants on a central online register - www.unclaimedmonies.gov.sg - which was launched in 2004.

To find out if you are owed money, simply type your name in the search bar at the top of the page.

In most cases, the amount that is owed is undisclosed.

Those with documentary proof of rightful ownership must first approach the contact people listed in the search to find out the exact amount and how they can collect the money.

Hoe Pei Shan