In June I read an article in the paper about lost or unclaimed money which quoted the fact that about $7 billion was sitting unclaimed in superannuation funds throughout Australia.

The article also mentioned $150 million in bank accounts, unclaimed and $25 million in insurance policies, unclaimed.

It is interesting that there was no mention of the amount unclaimed that is sitting in the Tax Office.

In one of my files dating back to the 70s I am holding group certificates that if sent to the Tax Office by their owner (who went back to South Africa for good) would produce a refund of about $400. This “unclaimed money” can only be claimed by the lodgment of a tax return and I have often wondered how many billions of dollars are sitting as unclaimed credits within the Tax office.

I once lodged 10 years of past returns for a refund of over $7000 for a client who failed to lodge tax returns because he thought his wife might catch up with him. He had in fact changed his name but his group certificates were all using his correct name and she was trying to find him under the name in the Tax office records.

If you own any of this buried treasure, either at the Tax Office or within a super fund or bank it is still yours.

We regularly lodge multiple tax returns and in 90% of these cases the taxpayer gets a refund. Those 10 years that I did in the 70s was not the record for my office. That stands at 14 back returns, and there was a very handsome refund due.