(Jul. 17/13) CRFA is strongly opposed to including gift cards in Ontario’s new Unclaimed and Intangible Property Program because it would be unfair, costly and unworkable for our members. This new legislation aims to reunite lost or forgotten property (e.g. insurance policies, unpaid wages, interest) with its owners, while opening the door for the province to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars of unclaimed property.
How gift cards are affected
Gift certificates may be considered abandoned if not used within three years. At this point, the issuer would register the card with the government and allow 60 per cent of its face value to be held in a government registry for up to 10 years, after which the funds go to general revenue for public use.
What’s happening in other provinces
Alberta proposed including gift cards in similar legislation in 2007, but CRFA worked with others to prevent this. Thus far, no other Canadian province has included gift cards in its definition of unclaimed property.
In a letter to the Attorney General John Gerretsen, CRFA explained why including gift cards in this new program would pose problems for our members. Click here (PDF) to read our letter.