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Transferring money from UK to USA

Transferring money from UK to USA

Old Mar 21st 2017, 8:55 am
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Default Transferring money from UK to USA

I would like to transfer money I have from my UK bank account into my US bank account. But I am wondering if is there anything I need to report to IRS regarding this transfer as it is a large lump sum from the sale of my old house.

Both accounts are in my name but is there any form I have to file for IRS or anything like that so they know? Is there a threshold amount that can transferred at one time?
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Old Mar 21st 2017, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

A transfer incurs no tax liability. It's simply moving it from one account to another.

Now, the underlying reason for having that money may have a tax liability depending on how you got the income, what your filing status was, etc., but merely moving money incurs no tax.

There is, however, a money laundering 'trigger' that kicks in by the bank at a certain threshold. If you are a person who movies $1,000 USD every six months and then suddenly moves $150,000 USD that will raise an alert and a transfer activity form will be filed by the bank. But this is not really a big deal and doesn't require you to do anything specific or fill out any forms or anything--it's all done by the bank (and they don't even tell you they are doing it).
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Old Mar 21st 2017, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

And I'm sure that you already know to use a foreign exchange company to get the best rates ????

If you are using a bank then check, check and check again what rate they are giving you and ask about all charges. Don't use Wells Fargo.
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Old Mar 22nd 2017, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
.... There is, however, a money laundering 'trigger' that kicks in by the bank at a certain threshold. If you are a person who movies $1,000 USD every six months and then suddenly moves $150,000 USD that will raise an alert and a transfer activity form will be filed by the bank. But this is not really a big deal and doesn't require you to do anything specific or fill out any forms or anything--it's all done by the bank (and they don't even tell you they are doing it).
This is partially true but PenguinSix has mixed two different reporting processes - the trigger for routine reporting is absolute, there is no "change of pattern" trigger for reporting to the IRS. Amounts over US$10,000 are reported to the IRS, there is no tax implication and it is nothing to worry about - the bank takes care of it behind the scenes.

The other half of the story is money laundering reporting, which occurs when your bank decides that something is suspicious. You shouldn't be too concerned about this, and just making sure that you give good information in the wire memo field and notify your bank in the US that your account will be receiving a sum of approximately $x,000 from the sale proceeds of your home in the UK should be more than sufficient to prevent the bank reporting the wire as "suspicious".

Please note two things: (i) that färting around with your transfer, e.g. breaking the sum into multiple sub $10k wires to try to avoid the routine IRS reporting, is one sure way to get your bank to decide that the activity is suspicious! The routine reporting is nothing to be worried about, but I recommend avoiding trigger a suspicious activity report (SAR). And (ii) banks are prohibited from revealing that a SAR has been filed or even considered, AND asking about SARs and SAR reporting is highly likely to trigger the bank to at least review your account activity and consider filing a SAR. .... Again, don't worry about this, but don't go stirring up trouble for yourself!
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Old Mar 22nd 2017, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

Today I wanted to move £50k from my HSBC account to a non-HSBC account owned by a family member and so I called to make the transfer and was told that it would cost £30 if I wanted it to happen all at once today, but would be free if I did it online at £10k/day (£10k is the maximum per single transaction per day). When I asked about that looking suspicious and triggering the activity as suspicious she told me that it would not trigger any alarms and offered to set up the transfers for me, which I agreed to and watched them appear in real time as I was logged onto my account at the time.

I guess that if you inform your bank ahead of time then it may not trigger SAR's. I know this example is in the UK but it probably holds true for US banks also. i.e. let them know what you are about to do.
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Old Mar 22nd 2017, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
..... I know this example is in the UK but it probably holds true for US banks also. i.e. let them know what you are about to do.
It is true for banks in both countries and money sent in both directions, however an employee of the sending bank can give no assurances about how the receiving bank will view the transaction, which is why telling the receiving bank ahead of the wire(s) is important.
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Old Mar 22nd 2017, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
It is true for banks in both countries and money sent in both directions, however an employee of the sending bank can give no assurances about how the receiving bank will view the transaction, which is why telling the receiving bank ahead of the wire(s) is important.
True dat.
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Old Mar 22nd 2017, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

It's worth shopping around for transfer rates. I've used Transferwise which appears to be more transparent in it's charging policy and has worked well for me. I got a better rate (including fee) than if I had used my bank for example.
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Old Mar 23rd 2017, 12:33 am
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

I just opened a US account and had previously already opened a UK USD account.

I had thought x-fer would be no issue dollar to dollar but it seems my bank want to charge me £20 per tx just to send $ to my US account.

On the US side it is free because it is a premier account. However so is the UK side yet it costs to send like this.

I mean it's not a big deal but am I missing something or maybe I should ask them to send me the money as cash in the UK which I bring over and pay in next time I'm back.
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Old Mar 23rd 2017, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

Originally Posted by LouisB View Post
I just opened a US account and had previously already opened a UK USD account.

I had thought x-fer would be no issue dollar to dollar but it seems my bank want to charge me £20 per tx just to send $ to my US account.

On the US side it is free because it is a premier account. However so is the UK side yet it costs to send like this.

I mean it's not a big deal but am I missing something or maybe I should ask them to send me the money as cash in the UK which I bring over and pay in next time I'm back.
You have a problem paying a modest fee for a service provided, of money transferred quickly and at no risk to you?

If you're considering carrying cash, $20 is a modest charge to eliminate the risk of it being lost or stolen.
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Old Mar 23rd 2017, 1:16 am
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
You have a problem paying a modest fee for a service provided, of money transferred quickly and at no risk to you?

If you're considering carrying cash, $20 is a modest charge to eliminate the risk of it being lost or stolen.
Yeah I guess. I just object to paying for some bits to be sent down a wire...

But sure. Just checking this is a good way.

I asked about paying in a cheque from my UK $ account and was told it could take 6 weeks, WTF.

I honestly thought that was going to be a free and straightforward way.
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Old Mar 23rd 2017, 1:36 am
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

Originally Posted by LouisB View Post
Yeah I guess. I just object to paying for some bits to be sent down a wire...
But it isn't, it's a multi-step process requiring multiple banks to maintain complex wire systems supported by experienced staff.
.... But sure. Just checking this is a good way.

I asked about paying in a cheque from my UK $ account and was told it could take 6 weeks, WTF. ....
The way of dealing with cheques paid internationally hasn't changed much in the past 200+ years, and requires the mailing of pieces of paper (not just the cheque) from bank to bank, with a minimum of one intermediary bank between the sending and receiving banks, often two, and sometimes more. The process is still remarkably manual and given the steps, $20 is a remarkably good deal. If you prefer to carry a pocket full of bank notes and risk the possibility of theft, loss, or destruction, then go for it!
.... I honestly thought that was going to be a free and straightforward way.
Why would you expect it to be free?
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Old Mar 23rd 2017, 1:39 am
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
But it isn't, it's a multi-step process requiring multiple banks to maintain complex wire systems supported by experienced staff.The way of dealing with cheques paid internationally hasn't changed much in the past 200+ years, and requires the mailing of pieces of paper (not just the cheque) from bank to bank, with a minimum of one intermediary bank between the sending and receiving banks, often two, and sometimes more. The process is still remarkably manual and given the steps, $20 is a remarkably good deal. If you prefer to carry a pocket full of bank notes and risk the possibility of theft, loss, or destruction, then go for it!
Why would you expect it to be free?
Premier banking at both ends, free to receive too in US due to that.
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Old Mar 23rd 2017, 8:55 am
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

Originally Posted by LouisB View Post
Premier banking at both ends, free to receive too in US due to that.
Transferring money between the UK and US is going to cost. I also have "Premier" accounts in both the UK and US and find that Transferwise is much cheaper than my bank, HSBC. I'd rather wait 2 or 3 days for the money to move over than pay the bank a lot of extra money for the same day transaction that HSBC provide.

Like you I don't see why they can't provide the service at a more competitive price (XE.com are also cheaper than an HSBC to HSBC transfer) since it is surely less complicated than the extra intervention of a forex broker.
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Old Mar 23rd 2017, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: Transferring money from UK to USA

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Transferring money between the UK and US is going to cost. I also have "Premier" accounts in both the UK and US and find that Transferwise is much cheaper than my bank, HSBC. I'd rather wait 2 or 3 days for the money to move over than pay the bank a lot of extra money for the same day transaction that HSBC provide.

Like you I don't see why they can't provide the service at a more competitive price (XE.com are also cheaper than an HSBC to HSBC transfer) since it is surely less complicated than the extra intervention of a forex broker.
Yeah as complex as it may be, moving money electronically is a software process and some data transfer, assuming two participating banks. There is no real reason to charge $25+ in 2017, IMHO.

Anyway, I have a bunch of $ in the Uk converted previously to help hedge fx risk while £ was on the slide.

Although the currency is the same, maybe I can still use transferwise to do it and it will be cheaper than the international transfer.

Looks like they charge 1% for amounts up to $5k

I should probably register since I need to find a good way of moving money between countries and locations, from time to time.
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