Receiving a large transfer from outside the US? Follow these laws
A man makes a large money transfer from his tablet

Laws and legal documents when transferring large sums of money into the US

We know that everyone's situation is unique and we aim to help you find the right product for you. We may receive compensation when you visit our partners' sites or are approved for their products. You can read more about how we maintain editorial independence and how we make money here.

What you ought to know when sending large sums into the US.

Transferring your life savings ahead of immigrating, funding a business opportunity or inheriting money from family abroad? Whatever your reasons for sending money to the US, there’s a lot to consider.

However, one thing you can’t avoid are the laws and legal paperwork that go along with transferring large amounts of money. Before you move your money to the US, familiarize yourself with these laws and regulations.

World First Foreign Exchange

World First International Money Transfers

Special offer for finder.com readers:
Because World First is a trusted partner of finder.com, you can send your money transfer overseas for free.

No fees: There is a $0 online transfer fee for all finder.com customers.

  • Competitive exchange rates
  • Spot contracts, forward contracts and limit orders are available
  • Weekly updates on market exchange rates

    Do I have to report large transfers into the US?

    No matter where you’re from, if you’re receiving more than $10,000, you’ll need to abide by US laws put in place to both protect your money and protect the interests of the government.

    By law, banks report all cash transactions that exceed $10,000 — and any transaction of any amount that alerts their suspicions. Money transfer businesses, which often solely send money between countries, sometimes have reporting thresholds as low as $1,000.

    US law requires banks and money transfer companies to report:

    • Your name and contact information.
    • The name and contact information of the person who sent you the money.
    • If it’s a bank transfer, the financial details of the recipient, including SWIFT code.
    • Your banking details, including your bank account number.
    • The amount you received.

    Money transfer services with no maximum sending limit

    I want to send

    to

    Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
    USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.82 EUR 4,099 Exclusive exchange rate discounts
    No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
    Go to site Show details
    USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.824 EUR 4,118 Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
    No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.
    Go to site Show details
    USD 1 3 - 5 days USD 50.00 0.826 EUR
    4,091
    Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Documents specific to sending large amounts into the US

    If you are living in the US and received foreign gifts of money or other property, you’ll need to report it on Form 3520 — Annual Return to Report Transactions with Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts.

    US citizens and residents are required to use Form 3520 for:

    • Gifts or bequests valued at more than $100,000 from a nonresident alien individual or foreign estate.
    • Gifts of $15,601 or more from foreign corporations or foreign partnerships (including from people related to these corporations or partnerships).

    Form 3520 is considered an “information return,” rather than a tax return, because foreign gifts generally are not subject to income tax. However, you are subject to stiff penalties for failing to submit Form 3520 when it is required.

    Who is responsible for filing Form 3520 — me or the person who sent the money?

    As the recipient of the transfer, you are solely responsible for reporting the amount you received during the current tax year with your annual tax filing.

    The penalties for failing to file Form 3520 on time are equal to the greater of $10,000 or the following:

    • 35% of the gross value of the distributions received from a foreign trust.
    • 5% of the gross value of the portion of the amount treated as owned by you.
    • A separate 5% penalty if you fail to furnish correct required information.

    Why is the US government interested in how much I receive?

    Laws are in place to protect you and the government from fraudulent activity. By monitoring transactions in and out of the US, authorities are able to:

    • Protect your sensitive information is key.
    • Lower the risk of illegal and fraudulent transfers.
    • More clearly identify money laundering schemes.
    • Inhibit the ease of sheltering taxes in untraceable offshore accounts.

    Since 9/11, the US government has put even more stringent laws in place. For example, the Patriot Act allows the government to track money more carefully due to terrorism.
    International money transfers that won’t break your business

    What should I expect when receiving money from overseas?

    To prevent the US government from delaying or canceling your money transfers into the country, you’ll need to provide proof of a government-issued photo ID — a driver’s license or passport, for example — and proof of your address.

    If you already own an account with the bank or money transfer company, you may not need to provide ID each time you receive money. However, online money transfers may have stricter rules when it comes to proof of ID and could ask for additional documentation or to verify your identity by phone.

    What other steps should I take to avoid legal or tax problems?

    To avoid the severe penalties that come with a failure to report large sums of money into the country, speak with a professional to guarantee that everything is above board and complies with the laws of all countries involved.
    Sending a lot out of the country? Know what the IRS expects of you

    Get help from an agent with your large transfer

    Enter your details to speak to a foreign exchange expert

    By submitting this form, you agree to finder.com privacy policy
    Ofx Logo

    Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

    With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

    • Buying property abroad
    • Emigrating
    • Regular overseas payments
    • Risk management
    • Forecasting

    Questions you’ve had about large transfers

    Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    6 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      MadieApril 2, 2018

      What is the max or threshold of transfer to avoid tax implications?

      • Staff
        JoshuaApril 2, 2018Staff

        Hi madie,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

        There’s no straightforward answer to your question.

        For one, foreign gifts generally are not subject to income tax. However, you still need to report it on Form 3520.

        Next, you need to get familiar with the tax laws of the country where your money came from to know more about the tax implications.

        Finally, you must know the source of funds as it will also affect the tax you need to pay.

        Please be advised that while every effort is made to provide an accurate answer, we are not tax experts and we don’t provide tax advice, and you should always consult a tax professional about your unique circumstances.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    2. Default Gravatar
      SkyApril 2, 2018

      Hi. When my foreign customer buys my product. And then wants to send me money in USA. What are the steps in accepting foreign cash.

      • Staff
        JoshuaApril 2, 2018Staff

        Hi Sky,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

        The answer to your question depends on the amount of money you are sending and the mode of transfer you are going to use. Thus, I can’t really provide specific answers. However, the following are still applicable.

        First of all, like what our article on this page mentioned, if you’re receiving more than $10,000, you’ll need to abide by US laws put in place to both protect your money and protect the interests of the government.

        Next, choose the mode of money transfer. You can do that through bank to bank transfer or by using any of the money transfer service provider mentioned on this page.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    3. Default Gravatar
      robertMarch 14, 2018

      Do you have to pay tariff when you’re getting getting money from overseas Kenya

      • Staff
        JoshuaMarch 21, 2018Staff

        Hi Robert,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

        Tariffs are generally charged when you importing or exporting goods and products. In this case, money isn’t a form of goods and thus, not subject to tariffs.

        However, you still need to pay other transaction fees pertaining to your money transfer. These fees depend on the money transfer agency you use.

        Of course, please note that I am no tax expert and you still need to directly get in touch with the local authority to confirm.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

    US International Money Transfers Offers

    Important Information*
    HiFX International Money Transfers

    Transfer money into 20 currencies and schedule regular payments. $5 fee waived for transfers over $5,000.

    WorldRemit International Money Transfers

    Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer at no fee to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

    World First Foreign Exchange

    Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
    No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.

    TransferWise International Money Transfers

    Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

    Go to site