HomeNewsInternational Money Transfer Regulations: 7 Things You Need to Know
International Money Transfer Regulations: 7 Things You Need to Know

International Money Transfer Regulations: 7 Things You Need to Know

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If you have family or business partners abroad, you need to be aware of the laws on international money transfers in order to avoid penalties or any legal repercussions. In this article, we outlined the fundamentals of international money transfer laws, international wire transfer limits, and if you’re a US citizen, the rights you have in these matters. However, if you plan on moving significant amounts of cash, it’s best to talk to a financial advisor or a tax consultant.

Who regulates international money transfers?

All international money transfers over $15 are regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulations are there not only to ensure the lawfulness of transfers but also to protect consumers even when they are conducting transactions internationally. The two other factors you need to take into account are the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and, of course, the IRS.

What laws are enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

In matters regarding international money transfers, federal law requires banks and other financial institutions to provide consumers with correct information about the exchange rate, fees and taxes that may apply, any fees charged by the bank’s international agents, and other institutions that enable the transfer.

They also need to state the amount of money delivered and, in some cases, a statement regarding any foreign taxes or fees. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also protects consumer rights to cancel transfers, usually within 30 minutes, and the right to have errors resolved or, in some cases, receive a refund.

What are FATCA regulations?

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regulations require foreign banks and institutions to report if any US citizens have foreign account holdings. This is why it’s important to report having a foreign account, even if the money was in the account for just a day. The HIRE act, which FATCA is a part of, also requires US citizens to report foreign accounts and assets annually, especially if the cumulative value of the holdings exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.

What are some IRS rules for sending money overseas that I need to know?

First of all, there is no legal limit to the amount of money you can send to another country. However, in compliance with the FATCA, you have to report your account to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, especially if the transaction exceeds $10,000. In this case, you may also need to file Form 8938 with the IRS. Also, bear in mind that anything over $15,000 sent to a foreign bank account that belongs to someone else will be considered a taxable gift by the IRS.

Another rule to consider is that regardless of the amount, international business transactions will likely be taxed, so it’s vital to consult a taxation expert if this is the case. If you fail to comply with international wire transfer laws, you may face heavy penalties that include a high percentage of the money you send to a foreign bank account.

Finally, these are not the only laws that can affect your foreign transactions. Others include the international wire transfer laws, the Patriot Act and the Bank Secrecy Act.

Are there any international wire transfer limits?

There are no legal limits, but banks and other financial institutions usually have their own daily limits regarding the maximum wire transfer. However, banks have to report transactions over $10,000 and any multiple related transactions that exceed this amount within one year. Also, tax and other regulations may apply.

How much money can you transfer without being reported?

According to the IRS, you have to report a transfer exceeding $10,000 within 12 months if you receive the money from the same payer. However, it’s vital to talk to a tax consultant because banks and financial institutions are required to report any transaction exceeding $10,000, as well as multiple related transactions exceeding this amount. They are also expected to report any kind of suspicious activity to protect consumers and prevent tax evasion.

Receiving international wire transfers: Gifts 

If you’re receiving an international wire transfer, you’ll have to report any amount of money to the IRS. Also, if you’re moving funds between your foreign domestic account, be aware that as a resident or citizen of the US, you will need to report a foreign bank, brokerage, or mutual bank account. If you have over $10,000 abroad you will also need to report this to avoid penalties.

In addition, if business partners send you gifts of money or other assets exceeding $15,601, you will need to report the gifts to the IRS along with your annual tax filing. For this, you will need to file Form 3520. The same applies to gifts of money or property exceeding $100,000.

Note: State tax laws may vary, so to avoid any repercussions, consult a tax advisor if you know you will be receiving large wire transfers from abroad. To ensure you’re safe from legal trouble or if your situation is special in any way, don’t worry, there are IRS regulations listed for many different situations.

International money transfer regulations: The takeaway

Good news is, there are no legal limits to international wire transfers. However, banks and financial institutions are required by law to report any transaction or multiple related transactions exceeding $10,000. Furthermore, they will report any activity flagged by their system, regardless of the amount.

Also, if you have a foreign account, you will need to report it in compliance with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. 


Dunja Radonic
Dunja Radonic
Dunja is an English Literature graduate with years of experience as a writer and translator within the financial sector. She loves diving into as many reports and numbers —especially about topics like personal finance that still need some translating to the public. When she's not working, you'll find her running wild with her pack of dogs, playing board games, or bingeing on pop science videos.