October 17, 2023
Updated February 20, 2024

SUMMARY: CPAs and CPA firms performing recovery services cannot submit claims to recover property from the Unclaimed Property Division of the Illinois State Treasurer’s office unless they are licensed private detectives as required by Section 1026/15-1302(e) of the Act.1 CPAs and CPA firms can provide limited recovery services to business clients with the caveat that the business client submits the claim to recover property to the Illinois State Treasurer for processing.

The Illinois CPA Society Government Relations office, working with leadership of the Illinois State Treasurer’s office, has identified an unintended consequence of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act2 that impacts CPAs and CPA firms who provide recovery services.
Specifically, Section 1026/15-1302(e) provides inter alia that “finders3” who perform recovery services for a contingent fee must be licensed private detectives to submit claims to recover property for apparent business owners. With this unintended consequence, a legislative remedy is being drafted in the form of proposed amendments to the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act during the 2024 spring legislative session. It is anticipated that the proposed amendments would eliminate the private detective requirement for CPAs and CPA firms who meet specified requirements.

Interim Procedural Remedy:  A close review of the Revised Unclaimed Property Act would allow a CPA and CPA firm to perform limited recovery services. Those limited services would include:
• Continuation of identifying unclaimed property for business clients4.
• Preparation of a claim to recover property for business clients.
• The submission of the completed claim to recover property must be submitted by the business client to the       Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division (emphasis added).
o The CPA and CPA firm can list their contact information on the claim form for the Treasurer’s staff to contact should questions or issue arise with regards to the submitted claim; and:
o The business submits documentation authorizing the Treasurer’s staff to speak to the CPA or CPA firm on behalf of the apparent owner business.
• Payment of the claim by the Treasurer will be made directly to the business owner and not to the CPA or CPA firm. The CPA or CPA firm will need to make arrangements with the business owner for payment of recovery services in accordance with provisions outlined in Sections 1026/15-1301 & 1302.

Submission of the Unclaimed Property Claim to the Treasurer’s Office: The following is guidance for apparent owner business clients to submit claims to the Treasurer’s office to recover property:
• For a claim to recover property to be processed by the Illinois Treasurer, the business must submit that claim to the Treasurer’s office.
• If the CPA or CPA firm is listed as the point of contact for questions on the submitted claim to recover property, the business must include documentation authorizing the Treasurer’s staff to talk to the CPA or CPA firm on behalf of the business. (Note: Unclaimed Property Agent Authorization Sample)
• Since the business is submitting the claim directly to the Treasurer’s office, there is no expectation that the agreement with the CPA or CPA firm would accompany the claim.

CONCLUSION: ICPAS Government Relations continues to monitor this situation and has worked with the Treasurer’s staff on a legislative remedy to cure the unintended consequences. Two bills have been introduced to amend RUUPA that include remedial language for CPAs and recovery services. See  HB 5143 RUUPA Fact Sheet 2.16.24 and  SB 3343 RUUPA Senate Fact Sheet 2.16.24. ICPAS supports this legislation.


1 765 ILCS 1026/15-302(e) (Agreements to locate property-void)
2 765 ILCS 1026/15- (et seq)
3 74 IAC 760.650--ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/074/074007600E06500R.html
4 Author’s note : Business client is a non-human entity. The Act treats individual human persons differently than businesses. See 74 IAC 760.100--ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/074/074007600A01000R.html

Prepared by:  Martin Green, Senior Vice President & Legislative Counsel, Illinois CPA Society

INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY--The contents of this regulatory bulletin are for informational purposes only and not intended to serve as legal advice.