Unclaimed Money Act 2008 (referral)
On referral from the Registrar of Unclaimed Money, VCAT can review:
- assessments or reassessments of the amount of unclaimed money payable by a business or trustee to the Registrar
- the disallowance by the Registrar of applications by a business or trustee for repayment of unclaimed money.
'Unclaimed money' includes principal, interest, dividends, salaries, wages and any other sums of money that are legally payable to another person (called the owner), and have remained unpaid for over 12 months after the due date of payment.
Cases we can hear
Only the Registrar can refer the matter to VCAT.
The Registrar will refer the matter to VCAT if a business or trustee:
- is dissatisfied with the determination of an objection about an assessment, reassessment or disallowance of an application for repayment of unclaimed money
- requested the Registrar to refer the matter to VCAT.
As the business or trustee, you will be a party to the case.
Cases we can't help with
We can’t accept some cases where one party lives in another state or is a Commonwealth government organisation.
Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications
Sections 56 to 65 of the Unclaimed Money Act 2008
Your request to the Registrar to refer the matter to VCAT must be made within 60 days of receiving the Registrar’s determination.
You may also request the Registrar to refer the matter to VCAT if the Registrar hasn't determined your objection within 90 days of receiving your objection.
The Registrar usually must refer the matter to VCAT within 60 days of receiving your request. However, further time is allowed if the Registrar requires you to give further and better particulars of your objection. If you don't provide these particulars within 30 days, the Registrar will not refer the matter.
What can VCAT order?
On referral VCAT may confirm, reduce, increase or vary the assessment or decision.
If the you don't appear before VCAT, we're bound to confirm the assessment, reassessment or decision. If good cause is shown for not appearing and you apply within the prescribed time, we may reopen and review the matter.
Can costs be awarded against me?
No costs can be awarded in the proceeding. However, VCAT can order a party to reimburse the application fee paid by the other party.
Am I bound by the grounds of objection?
Your case will be limited to the grounds of the objection, and the Registrar's case will be limited to the grounds on which the objection was disallowed, unless VCAT orders otherwise.
Who has the onus of proof on review?
You have the onus (responsibility) of proving your case. The evidence that VCAT will consider includes the material gathered by the Registrar during their investigations, which they must submit at the time of the referral. This material is known as the T Documents. Any other evidence that you submit following VCAT's directions will also be considered.
Are compulsory conferences held?
Compulsory conferences are rarely held for unclaimed monies unless the Registrar consents. If you consider that a compulsory conference may help to resolve your matter, you should first ask the Registrar if they agree to it.
We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.
We can't give you legal advice. This means we can't tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.
Seek legal help if you're unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.
Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?
You don't need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you want to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission.
Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.
Find legal services that may be able to assist you.
Access and privacy
VCAT hearings and files are usually public.
VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.