Christmas is just around the corner.
As you gear up to start — or finish — holiday shopping, you might want to see if the state has any of your cash.
The state is, after all, holding on to more than $4 billion in unclaimed property that belongs to Texans.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s office maintains a list year-round that shows which Texans are due money and, if so, how much. You can check to see if you’re on the list at ClaimitTexas.org.
Any time someone forgets to claim money — such as insurance proceeds, utility deposits, dividends, cashier’s checks, refunds, even paychecks — those funds are sent to the Texas comptroller’s office.
That money stays there until it’s claimed.
Generally, businesses turn over money to the state after it has been deemed dormant for one to five years.
But it’s not just cash.
Also turned into the state is property forgotten about and left behind in safe deposit boxes. Here’s a look at a few items:
▪ Autopsy photos of Lee Harvey Oswald.
▪ A receipt for wool written in Italian by Michelangelo’s great nephew, dating to 1586.
▪ A collection of 149 math books dating from the 15th to the 20th century. Among these books, which are in a variety of languages, are first editions from famous mathematicians ranging from Sir Isaac Newton to Archimedes to Descartes.
There is no statute of limitations for unclaimed property in Texas.
In the 2018 fiscal year, which wrapped up Aug. 31, the comptroller’s office returned $242 million in unclaimed property to Texans.
Since this program began more than 50 years ago, the state has returned more than $2 billion in unclaimed property.
Comptroller spokesman Kevin Lyons said the the office does not charge for conducting the unclaimed property searches and Texans don’t have to sign a contract with a private company to make a claim.
If you find your name on the list, follow the directions to claim your money.
When a claim is for an amount more than $100, a 1.5 percent handling fee is deducted from claims, Lyons said.
To look for other money owed to you — from life insurance benefits to IRS refunds — go online to claimittexas.org/app/forms-money.