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Are you aware of the Unclaimed Moneys Act 1965?

The Registrar of Unclaimed Moneys Act (the "Act") has in recent times conducted random inspections on companies and businesses to review their compliance with the Act. The inspection focuses on creditor balances which have been long unpaid, debtor balances in credit and long outstanding bank reconciliation items and other liabilities which have remained dormant.

So, what exactly is Unclaimed Moneys?

Unclaimed moneys can be classified under the following categories:

  1. Moneys which are legally payable to the owner and which have not been paid for a period of not less than one year after they have become payable. This includes but not limited to salaries & wages, bonuses, commissions, dividends, and claims.

  2. Moneys standing to the credit of an account that has not been operated in whatever manner by the owner for a period of not less than seven years. This includes savings, current and fixed deposit accounts.

  3. Moneys to the credit of a trade account which has remained dormant for a period of not less than two years.

Who must comply?

The Act makes it very clear that the following entities must comply:

  • Companies, including foreign companies incorporated under the Companies Act 1965, and the new Companies Act 2016

  • Any Board established to manage employees provident fund superannuation schemes or any other fund relating to retirement benefits

  • All societies and co-operative societies registered under any written law relating to societies or to co-operative societies

  • All corporations, public authorities and trade unions

  • All unincorporated body of person(s) associated together for the purpose of carrying on business

What needs to be done?

All relevant entities mentioned above is obliged to maintain a record of all unclaimed moneys in a register which must be kept at its principal office or place of business in Malaysia. The information required to be maintained are as follows:

  1. Name of the owner / beneficiary of the unclaimed money

  2. IC number in the case of individuals, or company or business registration number

  3. Amount of the unclaimed money owed

Every year, the entity is required to submit, no later than 31 March, to the Registrar a copy of Form UMA-3 which shall include the relevant information of all unclaimed moneys that were not paid from the previous calendar year.

Entities are required to submit the original copy of the Form UMA-3 to the Registrar of Unclaimed Moneys. A second and third copy will need to be Gazetted (cost to be borne by the Registrar) and the fourth copy to be retained for record keeping.

In addition, the entities must also prepare and submit two copies of Form UMA-4 (the remittance form) to the Registrar of Unclaimed Moneys together with Form UMA-3 above and a cheque (made payable to Jabatan Akauntan Negara Malaysia) for the amount of unpaid moneys. Another copy of the Form UMA-4 is to be retained for record keeping.

What are the implications for non-compliance?

An entity that fails to comply with the provisions and requirements of the Act shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction, the entity and every officer of the entity, will be liable to a fine not exceeding RM20,000. In the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding RM1,000 for each day during the offence will also be imposed.

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