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Old Aug 4, 11, 8:12 pm   #1
 
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Carrying more than 10,000 USD into US (US Citizen)

Firstly, let me put to rest the suggestions such as don't carry it, use an ATM card, wire it, etc don't come along. I live abroad and paid in foreign currency but the rate of exchange at all banks is poor here so I would prefer to convert at a money changing company locally, as they have better rates than the bank can offer! Even depositing in USD to a USD account has a fee associated with it.... it's a scam but it is how it is.

I was wanting to carry back to US and then deposit in my account in US. I pay taxes so there is no funny business with the money and it is not illegal.

What happens with this FinCEN 105 form? Should I expect to be audited because I have declared this money? I have nothing to hide but being audited is a pain in the ... from what I understand.

Do I need to bring all my paycheck slips/bank statements to show where this money originated and that it was legitimate income? It is less than 50k USD so it's not as if I am transporting hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Any insight from those who have done transported such funds before would be much appreciated.
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Old Aug 4, 11, 8:13 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by aragno View Post
Firstly, let me put to rest the suggestions such as don't carry it, use an ATM card, wire it, etc don't come along. I live abroad and paid in foreign currency but the rate of exchange at all banks is poor here so I would prefer to convert at a money changing company locally, as they have better rates than the bank can offer! Even depositing in USD to a USD account has a fee associated with it.... it's a scam but it is how it is.

I was wanting to carry back to US and then deposit in my account in US. I pay taxes so there is no funny business with the money and it is not illegal.

What happens with this FinCEN 105 form? Should I expect to be audited because I have declared this money? I have nothing to hide but being audited is a pain in the ... from what I understand.

Do I need to bring all my paycheck slips/bank statements to show where this money originated and that it was legitimate income? It is less than 50k USD so it's not as if I am transporting hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Any insight from those who have done transported such funds before would be much appreciated.
Can't you find an AMEX office or similar and make it into travelers checks? Although I believe you still must report them as cash equivalents.
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Old Aug 4, 11, 8:17 pm   #3
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perhaps go by the us embassy & discuss it....good luck...
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Old Aug 4, 11, 8:38 pm   #4
 
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My suggestion to you is to discuss this with a US tax attorney who can offer you specific advice as to what documentation you need and what to expect in regards to an audit.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 6:17 am   #5
 
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i hauled cash or equivalents(t.c.'s) in excess of 10k to europe a number of times for a few years. also took more than 10k out of bank a lot of times, and deposited it back into banks.

was marked and searched upon exit of countries. still(20 years) get those extra patdowns. got tsa type patdowns. asked upon entry to usa "do you have excessive cash?" upon almost every entry. both my wife and i seem to have excessive luggage searches when leaving countries. a real nuisance, since after going through absolutely everything on the carryon, they have to find something.

nothing else has ever come of it. i have owned a number of businesses that deal in a lot of cash sales, and beg for audit, but that has never happened(i was audited in 1977 or so).

the biggest problem always getting the form and getting it to the correct office.
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Old Aug 5, 11, 7:26 am   #6
 
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As a retired CBP Chief inspector you will have no problem if you fill out the form. The Inspector may ask you where you acquired the money if you got it from work you did say so. The Bank when you deposit the money will file the same form. It will automatically matched up.
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Old Aug 8, 11, 8:57 pm   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aragno View Post
Firstly, let me put to rest the suggestions such as don't carry it, use an ATM card, wire it, etc don't come along. I live abroad and paid in foreign currency but the rate of exchange at all banks is poor here so I would prefer to convert at a money changing company locally, as they have better rates than the bank can offer! Even depositing in USD to a USD account has a fee associated with it.... it's a scam but it is how it is.

I was wanting to carry back to US and then deposit in my account in US. I pay taxes so there is no funny business with the money and it is not illegal.

What happens with this FinCEN 105 form? Should I expect to be audited because I have declared this money? I have nothing to hide but being audited is a pain in the ... from what I understand.

Do I need to bring all my paycheck slips/bank statements to show where this money originated and that it was legitimate income? It is less than 50k USD so it's not as if I am transporting hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Any insight from those who have done transported such funds before would be much appreciated.
You need to talk with a US tax attorney. As a starting point, they will need to know whether, as a USN, you have reported your foreign bank account (FBAR). Don't take anecdotal advice on FT about what did or did not happen in the past.
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Old Aug 8, 11, 11:34 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
You need to talk with a US tax attorney. As a starting point, they will need to know whether, as a USN, you have reported your foreign bank account (FBAR). Don't take anecdotal advice on FT about what did or did not happen in the past.
(I have almost no personal experience or knowledge in this area, so do not trust me).

The primary point of my post is: What is the going rate for "talking to" a US tax attorney familiar with these matters (I add that last part because I am friends with a US-based tax attorney who works for a state GV'T who is about as clueless about this as I am.) If the cost of talking to a competent lawyer is more than the maximum taxes/fees/etc., then why bother? Unfortunately, discovering the size of the maximum loss due to a properly declared transfer of monetary instruments may be quite difficult (and costly).

Need is a strong word. If the OP acquired that money at a $25,000 per year (salary per annum), then, AFAIK things are probably fine (as long as the declarations are filled out). If the money was earned trading financial instruments/gambling over a 1 day period, maybe not. (I repeat: do not trust me).

How much does it cost to consult a US tax attorney? At some point the cost of a simple, if foolish (e.g not using an easy work-around) mistake is cheaper than the cost of the advice necessary to avoid the mistake.

As a tax-paying American (johndoe123: have you paid income, etc. taxes to the US?) what is the maximum loss to that the OP could be subject to if he/she properly declared everything? How does that compare to the cost of legal advice?

Whatever you do, BE HONEST (but not blabber with unnecessary details).

Let me repeat: I have little real experience or knowledge in this area, so do not trust me (except the part about not providing false information to the Feds).
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Old Aug 9, 11, 12:14 am   #9
 
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What about a non-US citizen in transit with >10,000$, would they have more of a problem with this?
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Old Aug 9, 11, 12:26 am   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerlifter View Post
As a retired CBP Chief inspector you will have no problem if you fill out the form. The Inspector may ask you where you acquired the money if you got it from work you did say so. The Bank when you deposit the money will file the same form. It will automatically matched up.
Thanks for the first hand insight..

Sounds like not too much trouble, so long as its declared with the form properly filled out..
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Old Aug 9, 11, 6:32 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Ancien Maestro View Post
Thanks for the first hand insight..

Sounds like not too much trouble, so long as its declared with the form properly filled out..
call in advancd(i don't know where) to find out where to deposit the form, and get a receipt. i always had difficulty finding someone to whom to present the form. when leaving iad, the office collecting the form was not in the main terminal, so leave time to deposit the thing.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 6:51 am   #12
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
call in advancd(i don't know where) to find out where to deposit the form, and get a receipt. i always had difficulty finding someone to whom to present the form. when leaving iad, the office collecting the form was not in the main terminal, so leave time to deposit the thing.
The OP indicates they are carrying funds back to the US, so they will hand the form to CBP directly. There would just be questions I'd assume, but it's not illegal and you should not be stopped for doing (and declaring) the funds.

As far as the tax implications, why is everyone harping on that aspect as the OP said they pay taxes, and there is nothing wonky about the funds.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 7:20 am   #13
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One more point - OP, have you spoken with your US bank to determine if it will accept $10K+ in foreign currency and, if so, what fees it will charge? All of this may be for naught. Some banks (branches) will not accept physical foreign cash or may accept it as your agent, pending on it processing (which can take a long time). This is both because the bank has no facility for doing anything with the currency other than shipping it and it has no capacity to determine whether the currency is forged.

To respond broadly:
1. Thanks to retired CBP inspector, but please recall that DHS & CBP have a very minor anti-money laundering role (AML). The issue here isn't whether the funds will be allowed into the country, it is what the fact of filing the form will do for OP going forward.
2. The question isn't whether OP pays some US taxes, it is the tax implications of repatriating (or perhaps patriating) funds earned overseas.

One poster above says three times he's not an expert, and that's the key. This is way too significant with risks attached to rely on anecodotal experiences fom the past.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 7:21 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by GoingAway View Post

As far as the tax implications, why is everyone harping on that aspect as the OP said they pay taxes, and there is nothing wonky about the funds.
Agree - Although part of the purpose of the rule is to avoid tax cheating. Of course, with a form saying you brought $10000 in cash into the US there's some chance if that income doesn't show up in your tax return you could be in trouble.

But the primary purpose of this rule is to prevent money laundering. If you repeatedly bring in loads of cash, CBP may want to start asking some more questions. Since the OP seems to have good answers, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 2:02 pm   #15
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I know you don't want to hear it, but there is a draconian law in the US, established during the Regan years in the "war on drugs" about seizure and asset forfeiture of items, including cash...WITHOUT ANY CHARGE OR WITHOUT CONVICTION AND OR DISMISSAL.... That means you could be found not guilty, and have no other evidence of wrong doing, and still never get the money or property back.

The threshold is about 5 thousand dollars on your person. There is a famous case of a business owner who simply did not trust banks and had 6 thousand on him at the airport which was seized. No charges were laid, the money was not returned. It went to federal court, and was thrown out. He never got it back..and he was a citizen.

You may have the proper import and customs paperwork, but I would be very very careful.

You may do better to transfer the account into a swiss bank or ING account and draw from that.
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