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Tax guidelines and regulations for large money transfers to Hong Kong

Your recipient in Hong Kong may not have to pay additional taxes on the transfer — but you may need to tell the IRS.

Money transfers out of the US are often automatically reported to the IRS, but additional rules exist when sending money to Hong Kong. Avoid penalties by following the regulations of both the country you’re sending from and to.

How Hong Kong regulates large remittances

On recommendations from the Hong Kong International Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, Hong Kong requires additional ID verification for all transfers and exchanges over HKD$8,000 (about USD$1,000). Sending or receiving more than HK$8,000 in Hong Kong will prompt the bank, remittance agent or money changer to ask you for proof of identification, including:

  • Hong Kong Identity Card – Alternatives include Certificate of Identity, Document of Identity or similar travel documents
  • Proof of address
  • Phone number

Remittances over HK$8,000 cannot be sent or received without this information.

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24 hours

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OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
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24 hours

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Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
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XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
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From $1.99

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WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From $2.26

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
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Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
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From $0
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Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Western Union
Within an hour
From $0

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Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Within an hour
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MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.

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

Failing to provide the appropriate information may prevent your recipient from accepting your money transfer to Hong Kong. Hong Kong also has steep penalties for money laundering, which could be levied against you if you try to avoid regulations on identification. Money laundering has a maximum penalty of HK$5,000,000 and 14-year imprisonment.

Will my recipient pay a gift tax in Hong Kong?

For business transfers, yes. Gift taxes in Hong Kong are levied at a scaling rate:

  • The recipient is a charitable organization: no tax
  • Less than $128,000 USD: no tax
  • Between $128,000 and $513,000 USD: sliding tax between 0.1% and 2.74%
  • More than $513,000 USD: tax up to 2.75%

Individuals receiving money transfers in Hong Kong will not be subject to a gift tax, as Hong Kong has no gift tax or estate tax for citizens, only businesses.

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

You should, to be safe. 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, it is best to let the IRS know. By law, banks already report cash transactions in and out of the US. Money transfer companies are sometimes held to reporting thresholds as low as $1,000. Because of these systems, the government will likely discover if you fail to report large sums out of the US — avoid large fines and possible jail time by reporting transactions.

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

How can my recipient in Hong Kong get the money?

Cash pickup and bank account delivery are the most common ways to send money to Hong Kong. No matter how you send, keep in mind that sending over HK$8,000 will require your recipient to provide additional proof of identification, even if you’re sending to a bank account.

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 Hong Kong

Bottom line

When it comes to tax regulations, Hong Kong is an easy country to send money to. Your recipient most likely won’t have to fill out any extra forms aside from providing additional ID. It is best to err on the side of caution when it comes to dealing with the IRS, so consult a tax specialist if you are unsure whether or not you should report your transfer to the IRS.

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