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Tax guidelines and regulations for large money transfers into Mexico

Your recipient may not have to pay taxes on the money — but you need to tell the IRS.

The IRS requires you to report any transfer over $10,000, and failing to file can mean hefty penalties – and in some cases even jail time.

How Mexico regulates large remittances

Mexico doesn’t levy specific inheritance, estate or gift taxes on large amounts of money transferred into the country, but your recipient may have to report the transfer as income when they file their yearly tax return.

Gifts to spouses, children and parents are exempt, but gifts to siblings are not — and if the government finds out that the stated recipient gave the money to someone else, it won’t be exempt.

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

If your recipient doesn’t list the transfer on their income taxes, they could be charged with tax evasion in Mexico. If they can prove that the failure to list the transfer was accidental, they’ll have to pay any taxes due, along with a penalty. If the failure to file was intentional, they can be criminally charged.

When do I have to report large transfers out of the US?

If you’re sending more than $15,000 as a gift, sending to a foreign account in your name that holds over $10,000 or sending over $10,000 as a business, you’ll need to let the IRS know.

By law, banks report cash transactions into and out of the country. Money transfer companies are sometimes held to reporting thresholds as low as $1,000. With so much attention paid to money entering and leaving the country, the government will likely discover if you fail to report large sums out of the US.

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

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

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

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Source: Finder sample of 2,251 visitors using demographics data from Google Analytics

How much money can I send to Mexico?https

There is no legal limit on the amount of money you can send to Mexico. Different money transfer providers will impose their own limits when sending to Mexico from the US, for example:

  • Western Union’s sending limit to Mexico is $7,499
  • Xoom’s sending limit to Mexico is $10,000.
  • MoneyGram’s sending limit to Mexico is $10,000.
  • Wise’s sending limit to Mexico is $1,000,000

When sending large amounts of money you’ll want to go with providers that have extremely high limits or no limit at all. Wise’s $1,000,000 limit is useful, but compare Xe against Wise as it offers competitive fees and no sending limit.

How can my recipient in Mexico get the money?

How your friends and family receive your money transfer depends on the provider and method you’ve used to deliver it. Available options include direct bank transfers, cash pickup and mobile wallet deposits. If you’re sending cash, your recipient may need to show ID or a transaction number to pick up the funds.

As with all international money transfers, be wary of potential fraud and only send money to people you know. Using a reputable provider can safeguard you from potential scams.

How to send money to Mexico

Bottom line

When it comes to tax regulations, Mexico is an easy country to send money to. Your recipient won’t have to fill out any extra forms, and depending on how much you’re sending and who you’re sending it to, you might not have to, either.

Before you start your transfer, compare international money transfer providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal on fees and exchange rates.

Frequently asked questions

Is dealing with the IRS a hassle when transferring large amounts?

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 can show the IRS reasonable cause for a failure to file, such as a house fire, major illness or natural disaster.

Kelly Suzan Waggoner's headshot

Kelly Suzan Waggoner is a Personal Finance Editor at AOL and the former US editor-in-chief at Finder, where she worked with a talented team of expert writers and editors focused on helping readers to save money, earn money and grow their wealth. She joined Finder in 2016 as an editor, germinating the site from money transfers to include the wide scope of personal finance. Kelly has worked with publishers, magazines and nonprofits throughout New York City to develop best practices around editorial, SEO, plain language and accessibility, including Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, HauteLife Press and Queerty. She is quoted on such sites as Lifehacker and CertifiKid, and ghostwrote Copyediting and Proofreading for Dummies, published by Wiley. Kelly earned a BA in English from Russell Sage College and a Poynter ACES Certificate in Editing from Poynter News University. She is trained in digital and website accessibility and plain language, and is a member of ACES: The Society for Editing and the Center for Plain Language. Between projects, she toys with words, flips through style guides and fantasizes about the serial comma’s world domination. See full bio

Kelly Suzan's expertise
Kelly Suzan has written 47 Finder guides across topics including:
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6 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MichaelFebruary 7, 2019

    Is it better to make a transfer of greater than $10,000 or separate transfers of less than $10,000?

      MaiFebruary 13, 2019Finder

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are sending the money to one person only it will not matter if you’ll send it in one go or if you will separate the transfer to below $10,000. Your recipient may still have to report the transfer as income when they file their yearly taxes anyways. On the other hand, IRS requires you to report any transfer that you will do if it will go $10,000.

      You can compare providers for your large money transfer to Mexico from this page. Feel free to use the calculator so you can identify which money transfer agency will best suit you. Just click the ‘Go To Site’ button so you can be routed to their page where you can sign up and bein the transfer process.

      Hope this helps. ​Please feel free to contact us back should you require further assistance.

      Kind Regard,

    Default Gravatar
    JamesDecember 26, 2018

    Has President Obrador imposed a new border adjustment tax fr money being transferred from Mexico to the U.S. or money from the U.S. to Mexico.

      ValDecember 29, 2018Finder

      Hi James,

      Thank you for leaving a question. There is still no update on the new border tax for money transfers. Our page indicates that in 2017, Congress submitted a bill proposing a 2% tax on remittances to Latin American countries that include Mexico, Brazil, Honduras and El Salvador — a tax that’s a significant key to funding the wall. We’ll update this page as details are finalized.

      Hope this helps! Would you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to visit us again.


    Default Gravatar
    PedroSeptember 28, 2018

    Hi. I need INF.

      JhezelynSeptember 28, 2018Finder

      Hello Pedro,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you’re referring to internet fund transfer, you may refer to our guide wherein you can also compare different international money transfer companies with their corresponding costs and fees. I hope this helps.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


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