If you have a government check from West Africa and want to transfer the money to a United States bank, do you have to pay the Internal Revenue Service in West Africa before you can transfer you money to the United States?

  • 13
    Is a "govt check" coming from a prince or recently deceased millionaire and you need to pay taxes to clear the funds? What is the situation exactly? – littleadv Apr 16 '13 at 16:55
  • 8
    Nicky, unless this is your money you are trying to transfer out, you are being scammed. See for example, scamnet.wa.gov.au/scamnet/… and news.softpedia.com/news/… and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigerian_scam – ChrisInEdmonton Apr 16 '13 at 17:01
  • 6
    West Africa is a region, not a country, so there is no "West African Internal Revenue Service" and no "West African government checks." If someone asks you to pay them money to get funds out of West Africa, they're almost certainly trying to scam you and you should completely ignore them. See @ChrisInEdmonton's links. – John Bensin Apr 16 '13 at 17:31
  • 3
    Let me reiterate just in case it hasn't sunk in; you are being scammed. If you have a paper check in your hands from a country in Africa and you have not personally met the person who sent it to you, do not deposit it. If you have not sent this person any money, don't. If you have sent this person money by any reversible means (unfortunately they may have insisted on Western Union), get it back. Above all, terminate all contact with the person with whom you are corresponding. This person will tell you anything to get you to send money; none of it is true. – KeithS Apr 16 '13 at 18:05
  • 9
    @Lagerbaer - I read once that scammers make it preposterous on purpose; if a person does respond they are really dense and are less likely to figure out the game half way through. Self selecting group of dummies – MrChrister Apr 17 '13 at 5:13

No. You don't need to pay the IRS before such a transfer – though you'll need to fill out certain paperwork to report the money transfer to authorities if it exceeds a threshold amount. If the money is income, you'll need to declare it on your income tax return and then pay the taxes due. If it is a gift, other rules apply and tax may be due. Do proper due diligence and consult with a trusted tax professional.

However:  Please see the comments above – this sounds like a potential scam.

  • In addition, as pointed out above, West Africa is a region comprising a dozen countries. Probably not one of them has an entity called the IRS - each will have a different name for the tax collector. Some will definitely have rules about getting permission to transfer money abroad. Despite this, when all's said and done, the OP is in danger of falling for a scam. – frank May 13 '16 at 10:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.