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Tax guidelines and regulations for large money transfers into China

Complex laws can make it difficult to move large amounts of USD into or out of China.

If you’re sending over $10,000 to China, your recipient won’t have to worry about filling out any extra paperwork. But depending on how much you send and for what purpose, you might be required to let the IRS know.

How China regulates large remittances

China doesn’t levy an inheritance or gift tax on cash sent into the country, which means your recipient won’t have to worry about filling out any extra forms come tax time if you’re sending a gift. If you’re transferring money for a purchase, they’ll report it just like they would any other business income.

But Chinese banks and money transfer companies do have to report any overseas or domestic transfers over 50,000 RMB/CNY, or about $7,100. Transfers over $10,000 from individuals also need to be reported under the latest guidelines.

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

Possibly. All transfers over $10,000 have to be reported to the IRS, but if you’re sending money as an individual, your bank or money transfer provider will take care of that for you. However, if you’re sending over $10,000 overseas on behalf of a business, you’ll need to fill out a currency transaction report.

You’ll also need to tell the IRS if you’re sending money to a foreign account in your name with a balance of $10,000 or more or if you’re gifting $15,000 or more in a year.

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

How much money can I send to China?

There’s no legal limit on the amount of Chinese currency you can send to China. But Chinese citizens do have a limit on how much foreign currency they can convert or purchase per year — $50,000 as of August 2019. If you’re sending USD to China, the money can be counted towards that limit. The $50,000 a year limit also applies to money being sent out of China.

Chinese nationals and residents also face restrictions on withdrawing USD abroad, which can make it difficult to send money back to China while working overseas.

Specific banks in China may impose additional restrictions on transfers. Because of this, as well as other complex laws regarding foreign investments in China, it’s recommended that you check with not only the transfer provider but also with your recipient’s bank before initiating a transfer.

Who is most likely to be researching taxes on large money transfers to China?

Finder data suggests that men aged 25-34 are most likely to be researching this topic.

ResponseMale (%)Female (%)
65+6.15%1.65%
55-648.24%3.30%
45-5410.55%6.48%
35-4415.05%7.14%
25-3416.04%7.80%
18-2411.65%5.93%
Source: Finder sample of 910 visitors using demographics data from Google Analytics

How can my recipient in China get the money?

Depending on which provider you choose, your recipient can pick up the money in cash or have it deposited directly into their bank account or mobile wallet. Your recipient may need to provide a government-issued photo ID or a transaction confirmation number to receive your funds — this is particularly likely if you’re sending cash.

How to send money to China

Bottom line

China’s lack of a gift tax makes it an easy country to send money into. As with all international money transfers, be wary of potential fraud and only send money to people you know. Use a reputable provider to safeguard yourself from potential scams.

Frequently asked questions

I’m interested in starting an import/export business with China. How do I get started?

If you’re interested in becoming a part of the estimated $659.4 billion in goods and services traded between the US and China, start with our guide to starting an import/export business with China for information on startup costs, registering your business and more.

What’s the best way to deal with the IRS when transferring large dollar amounts?

That depends on you. If you follow the law and submit your legal documentation timely and accurately, you shouldn’t experience hassles with the IRS. If you choose not to follow the law, you may be on the hook for stiff penalties, including jail time.

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

Avoid penalties if you’re able to show the IRS reasonable cause for a failure to file, such as a severe illness, house fire or natural disaster.

Picture: Shutterstock

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