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The new ‘Money Match’ program has been designed to return $12 million to Illinois taxpayers without the need to fill out paperwork or file a claim. Illinois State Treasurer, Michael Frerichs, reports how the program works:
“This is part of our unclaimed property or ICASH program. It’s a new way of returning money. I couldn’t tell you how many times people say to me ‘Treasurer you’ve got my money!’ Great we’d love to give it to you. And they would tell me it’s too much of a hassle, go ahead and keep it. Well I don’t get to keep it, it’s not my job. My job is to return it to people. I found that it was too much of a hassle for people to claim smaller dollar amounts. We started talking to other treasurers’, other unclaimed properties around the country and found this great idea. Why don’t we just mail them their checks? In order to pay someone, we have to know their name, match their social security number with their property, and know where they live. How often do you send that information to the state of Illinois? Well every year when you pay taxes. We passed legislation last year, which went into effect in January which allows us to communicate with the Department of Revenue. We couldn’t do that before. Now we can look at the database of all the taxpayers in the state and match it with our database of unclaimed property. If we find a match we just send a check,” states Frerichs.
The state treasurer is legally required to get the unclaimed money to its rightful owner no matter how long it takes.
Frerichs, wants to remind listeners that sometimes investing your money is the way to go, especially into one of the two college savings program for your children to use later. Frerichs discusses more on the matter:
“Whether they go to college or not, these accounts can be used for a trade school, community college, or university. We want to have them working hard in high school, have goals, and keep them engaged in school. Too often they hear opposite, we can’t afford that, were not college ready. If they think there is not something there worth striving for, they don’t work as hard in high school. It’s important not just for that kid but their families,” Frerichs reports.
The money can be released at any time with approved higher education expenses.
To see if you have unclaimed money, log onto illinoistreasurer.gov/ICASH and search your name.
To find more information, log onto illinoistreasurer.gov.
written by Kelsey Crain