Bringing money from India to USA

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passive_investor
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:33 pm

Bringing money from India to USA

Post by passive_investor » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:20 pm

Hi SatuMedia,

I am wondering if anyone can provide any guidance in this matter. My cousin will be coming to US after about a year from now for further studies. To help him with his expenses while studying, my uncle wants to start sending funds from India to US. He wants me to bring the funds in the form of Travelers' Checks from India and deposit in my and my wife's accounts till the time my cousin moves to US and starts his studies.

I wanted to check if this is legal and if there are any tax liabilities I will have if I do this. I am also wondering what kind of declarations I may have to make in US when I bring these funds to US e.g. FinCen, etc.

My uncle says there is no issue but I am for some reason, a little uncomfortable doing this without knowing the consequences/implications of this.

Any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks!

SlowMovingInvestor
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:27 am

Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:32 pm

passive_investor wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:20 pm
Hi SatuMedia,

I am wondering if anyone can provide any guidance in this matter. My cousin will be coming to US after about a year from now for further studies. To help him with his expenses while studying, my uncle wants to start sending funds from India to US. He wants me to bring the funds in the form of Travelers' Checks from India and deposit in my and my wife's accounts till the time my cousin moves to US and starts his studies.

I wanted to check if this is legal and if there are any tax liabilities I will have if I do this. I am also wondering what kind of declarations I may have to make in US when I bring these funds to US e.g. FinCen, etc.

My uncle says there is no issue but I am for some reason, a little uncomfortable doing this without knowing the consequences/implications of this.

Any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks!
Speaking only about US requirements:

You have to report over $10K in cash and cash equivalents at the border. I think TCs might count as cash equivalents.

Other than that, there should really be no reporting, since you are just holding the money for your nephew. It's not like your uncle is gifting the money to you, and you're gifting it to your nephew, in which case there might be some reporting requirements (especially for the 2nd part since it has a lower threshold).

But really -- your uncle can just give the TCs to his son, or wire money to his son after the son comes here and sets up an account. There's no reason why he should ask you to do this unless he wants to break the money up into multiple chunks for some reason (well, maybe he wants to avoid exchange rate risk too, but that doesn't strike me as high enough to warrant this).

passive_investor
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by passive_investor » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:37 pm

Thanks for your response. Even though I will be holding the funds for my cousin, I will still have to deposit the funds in my account till my cousin moves to US. Is there a way to show that I am just holding those funds on someone else's behalf? Besides the FinCen declaration, will there be anything else I may have to do?

I am not sure why he wants to do that specifically. I think he just wants to slowly transfer funds to US over a year instead of having to transfer a large amount at once.

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whodidntante
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Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by whodidntante » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:42 pm

This is between your cousin and your uncle. My advice is to not get involved.

There is nothing illegal about transferring large amounts of money via travellers checks. But it may trigger an anti money laundering review and the funds could be unavailable for a while. And your bank might decide they no longer want you as a customer due to their need to review your unusual activity, extra work for little/no gain.

Probably the easiest thing to do would be for your uncle to give your cousin the money in India. Then your cousin can bring enough cash/travellers checks to meet immediate needs. And wire the rest to a newly established bank account in the USA as needed.

I do not know the tax consequences involved.

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Pajamas
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Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by Pajamas » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:45 pm

Travelers checks are considered "negotiable monetary instruments" for reporting requirements.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/332/kw/332

passive_investor
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by passive_investor » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:11 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses. I will talk to my uncle and try to get out of this situation.

toomuchRE
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Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by toomuchRE » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:33 pm

Just do wire transfer once he is here..

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bligh
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Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by bligh » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:37 pm

I see absolutely no advantage to this complicated approach. What am I missing?

When your cousin arrives, help him open a bank account and let your uncle transfer whatever he wants to. Your cousin can bring cash to cover the first few days of expenses. Or you could help your cousin out and cover his expenses for the first few days until the bank account is setup and the funds are wired in.

Why jump through all the hoops of using traveller's checks and depositing in your account and then transferring into his account. Sounds too much like money laundering, even if it isn't.

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giacomo_bogle
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Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by giacomo_bogle » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:21 pm

Not sure how much money you are looking at transferring in one go - there are lots of travel cards that can handle monthly expenses
I found this link online - looks like you can reload it as needed

https://multicurrencycashpassport.com/sbi/

gloomydog
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Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by gloomydog » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:51 pm

Open a bank account with a big international bank like HSBC or citibank, whatever has branches in your cousin's city, and uncle can transfer money that way easily.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by LiveSimple » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:31 am

No need to deposit money to your account, that is s not yours.
They can use debit card as well for a few days in US.

If IRS raises a query about the money that was deposited, how are you gong to answer and what are the documents, that support your claim, think this way, for yourself.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by LiveSimple » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:33 am

No need to deposit money to your account, that is s not yours.
They can use debit card as well for a few days in US.

If IRS raises a query about the money that was deposited, how are you gong to answer and what are the documents, that support your claim, think this way, for yourself.

Give some money, for initial days, even get him an additional credit card and stay away, with huge chuck of. Money transactions, not yours.

passive_investor
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Re: Bringing money from India to USA

Post by passive_investor » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:06 pm

Thanks everyone for the insight. I will do as advised and will ask him to wire the funds when my cousin moves here.

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