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International Money Transfer Limits

When sending or receiving an international money transfer, it’s useful to familiarize yourself with the regulations that will apply to you and the other party. This includes transfer limits, tax regulations, and whether you need to declare the transaction to any regulatory bodies. 

Updated: 03/06/2021
Read time: 5 minutes
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In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The documents and checks you need to be aware of when making an international money transfer
  • How the IRS are involved with international money transfers and the surrounding legislation
  • Any sending/receiving limits that could affect your transfer

What documents will I usually need to provide when sending an international money transfer?

When sending money internationally, especially for the first time with the bank or transfer provider you are using, you will need to provide a number of documents to verify your identity. These include:

  • A valid ID such as your passport or driving license
  • Proof of address such as a bank statement or utility bill

In some cases, you may also need to provide:

  • Proof of where you got the money you are sending from (this is mainly when sending large amounts)
  • The reason for the transfer

What are the limits for international money transfers?

There’s no international limit or law regarding the amount of money you can send or receive from abroad. 

However, that’s not to say that your money transfer provider or financial institution won’t have their own limits. To give you an idea of the types of limits providers may have in place, here are the limits for a few of our top providers:

WorldRemit

For transfers from the US, WorldRemit has a maximum limit of $9,000 per 24 hours.

Elsewhere, the maximum amount you can send depends on what payment option you choose, the country you’re sending to, and the country you’re sending from, as well as any transaction limits in place by the company’s partners. If you are sending to a particular country or would like to use a specific payment method.

XE Money Transfer

XE Money Transfer is known for being a good option if you are looking to send a large sum abroad in particular, as the company tends to cater to these types of international transfers specifically.

You can transfer up to $500,000 with XE online, but you can talk to a specialist within the company if you are looking to send more.

PaySend

PaySend will allow you to send up to $1,000 per month with no additional documentation after creating your account every six months.

To increase those limits, you’ll need to provide proof of ID such as a passport or driving license, and proof of address. For large sums over $10,000 you may also need to provide a utility bill, a bank statement, employer payslips, or anything else that will prove source of funds.

 

Wise

You can send up to $1million with Wise when sending to the US.  However, the company is less clear on their sending limits when transferring money out of the US, so you may want to check this carefully if you are looking to send a large sum abroad as a US resident.

What is the best way to send money internationally?

The best way to send your money abroad really depends on a number of mitigating factors surrounding your transfer. You have a number of choices to get your money to your recipient, with the two main options being either your bank or a specialist transfer provider.

Banks are a popular option because they’re convenient, well-known, and familiar (and therefore trustworthy) for many people. You can arrange your transfer in-person, via the phone, or using your online banking app. However, transfers using your bank will typically have expensive fees for sending money abroad.

Specialist transfer providers such as WorldRemit and XE are able to offer international transfers for lower fees than traditional banks, which is why they’re increasingly the number one choice for people regularly sending money abroad.

When finding the best option for you with our comparison engine, a few things you’ll want to look out for include the cost of the transfer, the markup on the exchange rate, speed, payment options, security, and the overall amount your recipient will receive after completing their transfer.

Does the IRS have any specific international wire transfer regulations or rules?

You only really need to concern yourself with IRS regulations when sending a wire transfer valued at $10,000 or more. Generally speaking, your bank or money transfer service will report transfers at or over $10,000 to the IRS directly to ensure transfers are not connected to illegal activity. 

Make sure you are aware of the process

If you are sending sums this large, it may be a good idea to discuss the transaction with a professional accountant so you are aware of what documents, taxes, fees, and regulations may be associated with such a transfer.

For example, you might be asked to provide documents such as:

  • Source of funds – how you received the sum you are sending (e.g. income, shares, property sale etc)
  • Source of wealth – how you generate an income (e.g. bank statements, payslips)
  • The reason for your transfer
  • Information about your recipient – you may need proof of ID for them also

Being asked for these documents may feel excessive, but remember the transfer provider you are using is legally obliged to request these documents to ensure the money being moved comes from legitimate sources.

Do I need to report international money transfers sent to the US?

Transfers over $10,000 both to and from the US need to be in law with US regulations. This means that any transfer leaving or entering the US over this amount will be reported accordingly by your transfer provider or bank. 

What details will be sent to the IRS?

If you are sending a sum that needs to be reported to the IRS, your transfer provider/bank will send the following information:

  • Your name and contact details
  • The name and contact details of your recipient
  • Your banking information, such as your bank account number, sort code, SWIFT code etc
  • The amount sent and any documentation pertaining to the transfer

Bottom line

The bottom line is that whether you’re sending money from the US, or receiving a transfer from abroad, you should make sure you’re informed about your responsibilities and the regulations surrounding transfers – especially if you are dealing with large sums.

If you are making a large transfer for something such as a property purchase, it may be a good idea to seek professional advice from an accountant who can advise you on what steps to take and documentation to provide to ensure the relevant parties are assured your transaction is above board.

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Yasmin Purnell

Yasmin is the content writer for MoneyTransfers.com. With an English degree from the University of Nottingham and over 5 years’ experience freelancing in the personal finance niche, Yasmin joined the team with a mission to make international money transfers accessible and easy to understand for all. When she’s not writing, you’ll find Yasmin on her yoga mat or planning her next escape to the mountains.

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