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Tax guidelines and regulations for large money transfers into Colombia

Extra forms, taxes and currency regulations complicate transfers to Colombia.

Colombia has strict regulations around transferring large sums of money into and out of the country. Part of obeying those laws is making sure everything is properly reported and the appropriate taxes are filed on your recipient’s end.

How Colombia regulates large remittances

Any large monetary gifts sent into Colombia may be subject to local taxes, and likely needs to go through a verification process. The exact process and taxes that apply will vary based on the amount transferred, how often you’ve transferred, the cumulative amount transferred over a month and the recipient’s location.

Due to the complexity of tax regulations, your recipient should contact a local tax professional with any questions of what needs to be reported and paid. It’s likely that any payments need to be made quickly, so checking ahead of time may end up saving hassle down the road.

Required forms

The forms you and your recipient need to fill out will differ based on the same factors that affect what taxes may apply to your transfer — how much, how often and the location of the recipient. The transfer service or bank you use to send the funds should provide a clear outline of what needs to be filled out before completing the transaction.

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

Penalties can range based on the severity of the infraction. According to our research, late filing may result in an increasing fee equal to the percentage of the amount due.

Rates can change, and the specific amount may vary. A tax professional can help your recipient sort out what kind of penalties could apply to their specific situation.

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

Yes, you’ll likely need to report large transfers to Colombia — or anywhere else outside the US. Banks are required by law to report any foreign transactions greater than $10,000. Transfer specialists can be a little more cautious, and may report amounts as small as $1,000.

When sending money abroad, it’s important to keep track of the cumulative amount you transfer. Having a foreign account valued at over $10,000 or sending the same amount abroad through your business requires reporting. Gifts over $15,000 in one year also need to be reported.

For the proper forms and more information on when and if you need to file, visit the IRS website or contact a tax professional.

How much money can I send to Colombia?

Heavy legislation around money brought into and sent out of Colombia means that you may face government-imposed limits when transferring money. Even gifts can be subject to these limits, so it’s important to mind one-time transactions and how much you’ve sent in total over a month.

You’ll also find that some banks and transfer specialists have maximum limits of their own. If you’re looking to send as much as legally possible, a provider like Xe could be helpful.

How can my recipient in Colombia get the money?

Recipients can get the funds you’re sending in a couple of ways. Aside from being directly deposited into their bank account, your recipient can pick it up in cash when you use certain transfer services.

For a full rundown on which areas have cash-pickup locations and how to successfully complete a transfer, take a look at our guide to sending money to Colombia.

Our Colombia guides

    • US Dollar to Colombian Peso Exchange Rate: Live exchange rates, historic exchange rates and money transfer calculator
    • Sending money to Colombia: How to send money to Colombia from the USA, safely and affordably.

Bottom line

Taxes and controls on transfers into Colombia make moving large sums particularly sticky. Picking a means of transfer is also a process that can take a bit of research. Get more information about sending money abroad and compare international transfer specialists with our complete guide to cut out some of the legwork.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the penalty rate for filing late in Colombia?
As of March 2019, the penalty rate starts at 5% of the amount owed per month. The rate can change, so it’s best to consult with a tax professional.

What forms do I need to report my transfer to the IRS?
Depending on your situation, you may need:

  • Form 8300. Also known as currency transaction reports, this is required when your business sends $10,000 or more in foreign payments.
  • Form 709. The Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return applies if you give away more than $15,000 in a year.
  • Form 114. If you have a foreign account with a value of $10,000 or more, you’ll likely need to file the Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) form.

Taxes are complex, and regulations can change. Be sure to consult with a tax professional before deciding what you do or don’t need to file to avoid being stuck with unnecessary penalties.