Overview

The Alberta government maintains a central registry of property that has been presumed abandoned by its owner. In these cases, the person or entity that keeps or maintains property is required to report and transfer the abandoned property or its cash equivalent to Alberta Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA).

As of March 31, 2018, there are approximately 225,000 unclaimed items in the Alberta property registry, with an estimated value of $82 million.

Find your property

Definition of a claimant

A claimant is a person or entity, or their legal representative, who asserts a claim over unclaimed property held by TRA.

A claimant can also be a creditor with a legal or financial interest in unclaimed property held by TRA.

Search for missing property

System downtime notice

For maintenance reasons, the Search for Lost Property and Money web page will not be available on the first working day of each month from 5:30 pm to midnight MST.

Anyone can search for missing property.

Search for missing property on the official websites at no charge:

Tip: Try searching using your first initial, nickname, or any other name you have previously used (e.g., maiden name).

Locator assistance

If you use the assistance of a person or agency to locate your property, make sure you have the arrangement in writing. The locator fee in Alberta cannot be greater than 10% of the value of the property.

Submit a claim

There is no charge to file a claim. However, you may be required to pay a fee for the administration costs of the property (e.g., storage costs, holder fees).

Step 1: Search for and select the property

  • After you have done a search on the Alberta Search for Lost Property and Money website, you will be directed to MissingMoney.com for the results of your search.
  • Select a property by clicking on the name.
  • To ensure you are eligible to claim a property, answer the questions on the screen.
  • Select ‘Yes, I can Claim’ to continue.

Step 2: Complete the online claim form

  • Select ‘Continue’ to be taken to the Alberta online claim form.
  • Enter the information requested and follow the prompts to complete the form.

Step 3: Submit your claim

  • Submit your claim and print the confirmation page to keep for your records.
  • Claims must be submitted within 10 years from the date the property was received by TRA.

Step 4: Submit documents to your existing claim

After you have submitted a claim, you must submit supporting documents that provide proof of ownership. You can submit supporting documents:

  • Online: upload your supporting documents to TRA through this link: Submit documents to your existing claim. You will need the confirmation number that was provided when you submitted your claim.
  • Paper: bring, mail or fax your supporting documents to TRA.

Step 5: After you submit your claim

  • All claims are reviewed within 120 days of receipt of the claim. If additional supporting documentation is required, additional time may be needed to review the claim.
  • If your claim is approved, the property will be returned within 30 days, provided there are no outstanding property administration fees.
  • The owner is responsible for any delivery charges incurred for returning the property.
  • If your claim is not approved, you may complete and submit a Form AT4954 – Notice of Objection (PDF, 259 KB).

Property holders

Definition of a property holder

A holder is a person or entity that keeps or maintains property (both tangible and intangible) for an owner.

  • Tangible property is any physical property such as paintings or jewellery that is not land, and has an aggregate net value of $1,000 or more per person.
  • Intangible property is an interest held, issued or owing by a business organization or government and has an aggregate net value of $250 or more per person. See Information Circular UP-1 - General Information for a listing of intangible properties.

Responsibilities of a property holder

  • Determine when property is considered unclaimed. See section 6 of the General Regulation (the Regulation).
  • Notify property owners between 3 and 8 months prior to transferring property to TRA.
  • Within 120 days of the end of the reporting year:
    • submit to TRA a list of all unclaimed property you were holding as of December 31 that was presumed to be abandoned during the year
    • pay, transfer or deliver the property (or a cash equivalent) to TRA
  • Retain records for 10 years from the date of submission

Abandonment periods

Each property has a defined abandonment period, which determines when property is required to be remitted to TRA. Depending on the type, property must be dormant for 1 to 15 years before it can be declared unclaimed. Refer to section 6 of the Regulation for more details including how to determine when the abandonment period begins for each property type.

Table 1. Abandonment periods

Property type Abandonment period (years)
Traveler’s cheque 15
Money order 7
Security or equity interest in a business 7
Street certificate 5
Demand deposit, certificate of deposit, GIC, guaranteed investment certificate or other deposit made for a fixed period 5
Savings or deposit without a fixed period 5
All other personal property not listed 5
Debt of a business or organization accruing interest 5
Amount owed by insurer for life, endowment or annuity 3
Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) or other account eligible for tax deferral 3
Disbursements from a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) 3
Personal property of a corporation, society, or cooperative after dissolution 1
Wages or compensation for personal services 1
Personal property held by a court 1
Deposit owed to a utility subscriber 1
Personal property held by a court, government, or governmental organization 1

Submit property

System downtime notice

For maintenance reasons, the Submit property web page will not be available on the first working day of each month from 5:30 pm to midnight MST.

Step 1: Identify any unclaimed property

  • Identify properties that will be declared unclaimed as of December 31 of the current year.

Step 2: Issue owner notification letters

  • Between 3 and 8 months before the property becomes transferable to TRA, you must send a letter to the owner at their last known address advising them that the property may be declared unclaimed.
  • See Appendix C in Information Circular UP-2 – Property Holders for a letter sample.
  • If the letter is returned:
    • verify account information with your internal database
    • contact known agents for updated information (if applicable)
    • use Canada 411, Canada Post and other public search tools

Step 3: Update your unclaimed property listing

  • Remove properties from the unclaimed property listing when:
    • the owner responds to your notification letter
    • the property was returned to its rightful owner

Step 4: Prepare your unclaimed property report

Step 5: Submit your unclaimed property listing

There are 2 options for submitting your property:

  • Enter information manually into the Submit property application (normally used to report a small number of properties).

OR

  • Upload an XML file through the Submit property application (normally used to report a large number of properties).

Step 6: Transfer unclaimed property to TRA

  • Unclaimed property is to be transferred to TRA by April 30.
  • For cash value transfers, choose one of the following options.
    • Use an online payment service available through most major financial institutions. The payee is "Alberta Finance – Unclaimed Property Program – ABUPP".
    • Mail a cheque made payable to Government of Alberta to TRA at the address below, and include the property submission number.

Publications and forms

Information Circulars

Special Notices

Forms for claimants

Forms and other resources for property holders

Legislation

Contact

Please note: forms cannot be submitted through email. Mail or fax completed forms, and submit property, to:

Tax and Revenue Administration
Alberta Treasury Board and Finance
9811 109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2L5
Fax: 780-422-5284

To connect with Tax and Revenue Administration:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-3044
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: unclaimed.property@gov.ab.ca