Reclaiming Your Unclaimed Shares and Dividends from the IEPF Authority: A Comprehensive Guide

Mr. Satinder’s success story of reclaiming unclaimed shares worth over 5 crores, which were left behind by his late grandfather, serves as inspiration for many individuals seeking to recover their own unclaimed assets. Here, we present a detailed step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process of recovering shares or dividends from the Investors Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) authority in India.

Understanding Unclaimed Shares As of March 2023, a staggering total of 117 crores worth of unclaimed shares, valued at over 50,000 crores, are housed within the Investors Education and Protection Fund (IEPF), managed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. These unclaimed shares accrue over time when dividends or shares remain untouched for seven consecutive years, as mandated by the Companies Act of 2013.

Eligibility Criteria for Recovery

Shares left unclaimed or unpaid for seven consecutive years fall under the purview of the Investors Education and Protection Fund established by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in September 2016, under Section 125 of the Companies Act of 2013. After this duration, unclaimed shares are transferred to the IEPF authority, which is responsible for reimbursing the rightful claimants who file a claim for their unclaimed shares.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Recovery

  1. Gather Necessary Information: Begin by collecting all relevant documentation from your records, including physical share certificates, dividend receipts, allotment letters, and tax returns, obtained from either your family or accountant.
  2. Access the IEPF Website: Visit the official IEPF website and utilize the search feature to identify any unclaimed or unpaid amounts linked to your shares after you identify your unclaimed shares move on to the next step of filing the form.
  3. Complete Form IEPF-5: Fill out Form IEPF-5 available on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website with accurate details regarding your claim for unclaimed shares.
  4. Prepare Required Documents: Ensure you have all necessary documents ready, including Aadhaar cards, client master lists of demat accounts, proof of entitlement, and in the case of a deceased shareholder, relevant documents such as death certificates and succession certificates.
  5. Submission Process: Submit the filled E-form along with supporting documents ( KYC document and bank statement) to the nodal officer of the respective company. Clearly mark the envelope with “Claim for refund from IEPF Authority” for easy identification.
  6. Verification and Decision: The company will verify the submitted documents and forward the verification report to the IEPF authority within 15 days. Upon receipt, the authority will assess the reimbursement application within 60 days and make a decision accordingly.

Required Documents and Procedures for Special Cases In instances of lost physical share documents, specific documentation, including a notarized FIR/police complaint and an indemnity bond, is required. Similarly, if unclaimed shares are spread across different companies, documents must be sent to the respective nodal officers in physical form.

Conclusion Reclaiming your shares and dividends from the IEPF authority is a crucial process that requires attention to detail and adherence to prescribed procedures. By following the outlined steps diligently and ensuring you have all necessary documentation, you can embark on your journey towards reclaiming what is rightfully yours from the IEPF authority.