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Taking money out of the USA
Old 08-12-2014, 05:17 PM   #1
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Taking money out of the USA

In today's paper there was a story about a woman that was caught in an airport attempting to get through security with $120k sewed into her clothes, in wallets. She said she sold her house and was going to the Philippines.

So what? Is it illeagal to take a certain amount out of the country? I get the impression it is but there wasn't a mention of arresting her. What's the limit in cash you can take? Why can't you take out whatever you want if you can prove it's legit like from selling a house or expensive car vs a drug dealer with $10M who can't explain it, that I can see.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:22 PM   #2
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IIRC anything over 10k has to be declared.

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Old 08-12-2014, 05:29 PM   #3
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IIRC anything over 10k has to be declared.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:56 PM   #4
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Yea, it is the hiding that is the problem... if you declare there is no legal issue that I know of... but then again, you are on LE radar...

I do remember a long time ago when they confiscated someone's money... this guy would go to different places and buy stuff on the cheap (or at auction... not sure how)... got caught with many 10s of thousands... they took it from him and IIRC charged the MONEY with some kind of crime... (I could be getting this all messed up because it was so long ago)...
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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Declare how, where? You only get the customs form when entering the US not when leaving. When leaving they only ask you if you're bringing anything hazardous.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:04 PM   #6
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If memory serves you can get the declaration form at any bank, but I may be mistaken on that.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:12 PM   #7
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Most transactions over 10k have to be reported to the government. If you put down 10k or more on a car, it is reported, if you take 10k out of the bank in cash, it is reported.

I THINK the main reason is to take a hard look at cash used for the purpose of drugs, eliminate illegal uses of money skimming and laundering etc. I'm really not sure how the governement uses it but I don't want to get on any watch list. Transfer of wealth could be another reason.....trying to avoid the gift tax by giving huge cash gifts.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:17 PM   #8
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Same form for leaving or coming back to the US.


https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...O%20TAKE%20OUT

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Old 08-12-2014, 06:23 PM   #9
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Reporting more than $10K in or out of the US has long been a requirement, intending to deter money laundering. When leaving the US you just need to ask for the airport CBP official to file the form (here) before reaching the TSA checkpoint.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:43 AM   #10
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If I recall, leaving the US permanently, giving up your citizenship, can subject you to taxation of your assets. Not sure but I think $120K is under the limit anyway...

Expatriation tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:32 PM   #11
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I hear that GPR debit cards or your local Hawala are the best way to go!
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:01 PM   #12
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I'm really not sure how the governement uses it but I don't want to get on any watch list. Transfer of wealth could be another reason.....trying to avoid the gift tax by giving huge cash gifts.

FinCen uses the info: http://www.fincen.gov


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Old 08-14-2014, 06:55 PM   #13
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You absolutely do need to report >=$10K upon leaving the country using a FinCen105 form. Link: http://www.fincen.gov/forms/files/fin105_cmir.pdf. With the proper form filled out and a reasonable explanation for carrying cash, I've never had any serious issues dealing with it, though I sadly discovered that my limited experience makes me more knowledgeable than the average CBP agent on the subject.

It can be quite troublesome and is often overlooked (yet still illegal to miss), because there is indeed no customs line that you get into while leaving that makes it obvious when the correct time to file it is. Note, however, that there are usually many signs in the airport wing with international flights telliing you of this requirement. You'll have to seek out CBP agents at the departure port. They will usually have their office outside of the secure area, but will probably come in when requested to verify your cash and sign your form, often right to your gate. Take a snapshot of the signed form, btw, with your cell phone to answer the question that always comes up upon returning (if you still have your cash and are filing again): "Did you file one on your way out as well?". A correct answer to that will usually surprise them and will ease the reentry. If you are making a domestic connection you might (or might not) be able to get it done at your starting airport if they have a CBP office - not all do. As well, some agents have told me that you have to get it done at the last domestic airport (your departure port) instead of the initial airport, though there is some disagreement on that out there. I actually schedule my flights so that I have >1.5 hours in between flights to make sure I can get it done without missing my international connection. I'll also research the departure port airport if it's new to me by web or phone to figure out where their office is.

In the case cited by the OP, the fact that this woman was taking such pains in hiding the money probably makes her look more suspicious to them - like a deliberate smuggling attempt rather than an honest mistake. Lots of government agencies are getting really aggressive about cash seizures and the average LEO (as well as the average juror) immediately (if unfairly) equates large cash amounts with illegal activity. Getting it back is not a foregone conclusion and you'll often be out lawyer fees.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:15 AM   #14
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I live in the Philippines, the country to which the person in the OP was headed with the cash. The Philippines also requires you (tourist or resident or citizen) to report when you bring in over $10,000 in foreign currency.

I have a local dollar account. All banks here accept checks on a USA bank, although they take 3 weeks to a month to clear, depending on the bank. My bank will accept a maximum check size of $5,000 written on a US bank. There is no fee to deposit or later to get the dollars in cash and they always have lots of dollars on hand.

The Philippines peso is not a fully convertible currency -- you are not allowed to bring in or out of the country more than 10,000 pesos (only around $235). Also, dollar accounts have special privacy protections under the law not shared by Filipino peso accounts. So this makes the dollar the de facto second currency of the Philippines. I think many real estate transactions here are done entirely in dollars and probably a lot of it is done in cash.

A lot of cash businesses convert their pesos to dollars and then deposit them, thus possibly avoiding some taxes. This makes the exchange rate from dollars to pesos attractive. With cash dollars, I can normally get the market exchange rate locally and sometimes even a little better.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:25 AM   #15
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She should have bought some gold, had it made into jewelry, would have had no problem.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:35 AM   #16
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Another border currency restriction I recall is coins… I've read it is an offense to take more than $5 face value in nickels and/or pennies.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:48 AM   #17
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So, OP, did the paper mention what happened to the woman, and her money?
Did she get a fine but kept most of her money?
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:27 PM   #18
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I think most frequent oversea's travelers have the mandatory blue blazer with the gold buttons which can be paired with a variety of slacks.
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:01 PM   #19
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The most efficient way to carry a widely convertible currency is probably in 500 Euro notes. Those are each worth around $670. You could probably fit 200 of these in a single front jeans pocket and that would be worth about $134,000. But there would definitely be a lump there.

I have travel pants and there is a secret pocket on my thigh. On recent USA flights with those full body scanning machines, they had me remove a few credit cards and my license from there after the scan. I was surprised.

If I was trying to smuggle that much cash, I would probably put it in my checked luggage. It sounds risky, and it is, but the risk of getting caught with it on your person is much higher.

Countries with a history of corruption tend to have low maximum value notes. The maximum value note in the Philippines is 1000 pesos, or only about $23. The maximum value note in Colombia is only worth about $27. When I traveled in Myanmar in 2008, I sometimes had to use a bag to carry local money because it would not all fit in my pockets, the maximum denomination of 1000 kyat was worth less than $1.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:00 PM   #20
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So, OP, did the paper mention what happened to the woman, and her money?
Did she get a fine but kept most of her money?
According to the following article:

>>>No charges were placed, but officers seized the $40,977 as “currency forfeitable to the United States.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Gjon Juncaj is petitioning to have the cash forfeited to the government.

Money Hidden in Bra and Girdle Seized by Customs Officers - ABC News
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