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Tax guidelines and regulations for large money transfers into Australia

Australia generally doesn't tax gifts — but it does tax foreign income.

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If you’re sending a large amount of money to Australia, both you and your recipient may be required to report it on your taxes.

How Australia regulates large remittances

If you’re sending a large sum of money to friends and family in Australia, they could be on the hook for taxes regulated by the Australian Taxation Office, depending what you’re sending it for.

If you’re sending money for business purposes, including for purchasing goods, receiving advice or counsel or investing in a business, your recipient will have to declare it as foreign income on their yearly tax returns.

In general, one-time gifts or inheritances transferred into the country are not subject to a gift tax. But Australia leaves their tax code vague, stating that “gifts may be taxable if they are large amounts or you receive them as part of a business-like activity.” This allows them to charge taxes if someone tries to pass off a business payment as a gift.

If you’re concerned about a large transfer, speak to a tax professional to make sure that you comply with Australia’s taxation regulations.

Do I have to report large transfers out of the US?

Possibly. If you’ve sent more than $15,000 as a gift in the last year or more than $10,000 for business purposes, or if you’re sending money to a foreign account in your name that’s held more than $10,000 in the past year, you’ll need to report it.

By law, banks are required to report cash transactions that exceed $10,000 — and transactions of any amount that raises suspicions. For independent money transfer businesses, the reporting threshold can be as low as $1,000. Talk to a tax professional about whether your money transfer complies with federal taxation guidelines.

What are the penalties in Australia if my recipient fails to file?

If your recipient owed money on the transfer but left it unreported on their income taxes, they can owe up to a 75% penalty on the taxes owed. If they’re convicted of tax evasion or fraud, the penalties can be higher and include jail time.

Sending a lot of money out of the country? Know what the IRS expects of you.

Compare providers for your next large transfer to Australia

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
1 - 16 of 16
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
$0
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.41%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
OFX International Money Transfers (Business)
24 hours
$0
Business customers: Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Increase business efficiency with zero transaction fees and same-day transfers.
Revolut
Revolut
Within minutes
From $0
Revolut offers international exchange rate for over 150+ currencies and transfers within 30 minutes.
Currencies Direct
24 hours
$0
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
Xe
Within minutes
$3
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Revolut
Revolut
Within minutes
From $0
Revolut offers international exchange rate for over 150+ currencies and transfers within 30 minutes.
Currencies Direct (business)
24 hours
$0
Minimizes costs of international transactions and offers custom solutions for business clients. Currencies Direct may call you to confirm your transfer, so be prepared for a phone call shortly after initiating a transfer.
Xe Money Transfer for Business
24 hours
$0
Save your time and money with Xe Money Transfer for business.
Revolut
Revolut
Within minutes
From $0
Revolut offers international exchange rate for over 150+ currencies and transfers within 30 minutes.
Cash App
Within minutes
From $0
Make payments to your friends and families easily from your phone with no transfer fees. Payments available to US bank accounts only.
Instarem
24 hours
From 0%
New Instarem customers will get a special FX rate and zero-fees on their first transfer.
Instarem offers offers rewards on every transaction.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $0
First online transfer is free.
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
Airwallex
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0
After spending $15k in your first 90 days, receive a one-time $500 bonus that will automatically be credited to your account on any FX conversion.
Airwallex can help you make business payments to 150+ countries in 60+ currencies.
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How much money can I send to Australia?

To put it simply, as much as you want. Neither the US nor the Australian government puts a cap on remittances. But some money transfer providers do set their own limits, so if you’re planning a large transfer, use a limit-free provider like Xe.

How will my recipient in Australia get the money?

Depending on which transfer provider you use, your recipient can pick up the cash in person or have the money deposited directly into their bank account or mobile wallet.

If they’re picking up the money in person, have them bring a photo ID and transaction or confirmation number with them.

How to send money to Australia

Bottom line

Sending money to Australia is fast and simple if you use a reputable money transfer provider, but if you’re sending money for business purposes, both you and your recipient may be responsible for reporting it on your taxes.

As with all international money transfers, protect yourself from fraud by only sending money to people you know. Using a reputable provider can help to safeguard you from potential scams.

Frequently asked questions

Is it legal to bring a large amount of cash to Australia?

Yes. If you’re flying to Australia and would rather just bring the money yourself, the government doesn’t set a limit on how much cash you can bring into the country. But if it’s more than AUD$10,000 — or the equivalent amount in any foreign currency — you’ll need to declare it.

How do I avoid IRS penalties if I fail to file?

If you show reasonable cause for failure to file, such as a natural disaster or serious illness, the IRS can waive the penalties.