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About $25,000 was found in my home ceiling which I believe was put there years ago by my parents and forgotten. I want to know if I deposit it all in the bank at one time will that cause any problems with IRS and the bills have older dates on them. will the bank accept them and should I make multi deposits?

  • You mentioned the IRS in the question, so I am assuming the United States. – mhoran_psprep Jul 24 '15 at 20:56
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    Not only will breaking it up not be effective, but the IRS may suspect you of "structuring" and seize your assets. – BrenBarn Jul 24 '15 at 21:32
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    How old are the bills dates? They may have collector value above face value of the notes. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jul 24 '15 at 21:37
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    I think step one is confirm where the money came from, rather than assuming. Who the devil leaves $25k lying in a ceiling and forgets about it? This just sounds weird. – jpmc26 Jul 25 '15 at 6:16
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    It does occasionally happen, when someone has a paranoid distrust of banks.... – keshlam Jul 25 '15 at 17:00
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Assuming US,but the principles apply in many (not all) places:

If the bills are legitimate and issued by the federal government, they're legal tender and you can spend or deposit them. Old bills, especially silver certificates, may be worth more than their face value to collectors (or may not).

Bills issued by banks, by the confederate states, or something like that have only collector's value (which will vary depending on exactly what they are and their condition).

The value of money from another country will depend on the issuing country and exchange rates, of course.

There's nothing wrong with windfall cash. The IRS may ask some nosy questions about it to make sure you aren't trying to hide something, but if you aren't deliberately trying to cheat them or hide something illegal that's generally harmless at worst.

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    Why taxable? If it was from his parents, wouldn't it be considered inherited? And in the U.S. Too small an amount to be subject to estate tax. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jul 25 '15 at 0:20
  • ... I think you're right, @JoeTaxpayer. Fixing. – keshlam Jul 25 '15 at 0:39
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If you are going to put it into a banking system, just deposit it.

Why did breaking it up even cross your mind? Like what would that even have accomplished, so you could pretend like you started moonlighting as a club bouncer if you were ever casually asked by a bank teller or federal agent?

If you have to ever account for the source of your money, you will have to account for it regardless. You shouldn't worry about things that may trigger higher scrutiny on you, because it is pretty random. The financial institution may file a suspicious activity report any time they feel like it (which they routinely do without the customer's knowledge, for a wide range of reasons), and actually attempting to break it up into smaller deposits would mean the suspicious activity report would escalate into criminal charges.

And regarding the IRS, if they ever audited you then you will still have to account for that $25,000 no matter what you did with it.

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  1. Declare to the IRS BEFORE putting it into the bank.
  2. Keep as cash
  3. Buy bitcoin locally. (only if you think you are technologically literate enough and curious enough to climb the learning curve)

Do not try to deposit piece wise. Either use the system in complete transparence, or do not use it at all.

The fear of having your bank account frozen, even if you are in your rights, is justified. In any case, I don't advise you to put in bank before reaching IRS. Also keep all the proof that you indeed contacted them. (Recommended letter and copy of any form you submit to them)

Be ready to also give those same documents to your bank to proove your good faith.

If they are wrong, you'll be considered in bad faith until you can proove otherwise, without your bank account. Do not trust their good faith, they are not bad people, but very badly organized with too much power, so they put the burden of proof on you just because they can.

If it is too burdensome for you then keep cash or go bitcoin. (but the learning curve to keep so much money in bitcoin secure against theft is high)

You should declare it in this case anyway, but at least you don't have to fear having your money blocked arbitrarily.

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Depositing above $10,000 in cash into a bank automatically triggers warnings in the banks computer system, and reports are submitted to appropriate authorities. Every bank has to do its, it's the law. If you "structure" your deposits where you put in several cash deposits below $10,000 that's a crime and bank computers are very sensitive to picking up on that. They're so sensitive to structuring that innocent people get flagged by it all the time. So I recommend only depositing $6k or less of that money into banks.

What do you want to do with the money?

If you want to use it to buy stuff in person at stores then I recommend just using it at the counter instead of credit cards.

If you want to buy things online with it then I recommend bitcoin. It's anonymous, the IRS won't know it's yours, and it's easy to buy what you need with bitcoin. You can easily exchange bitcoin for cash among your neighbors using apps like PaxFul, LocalBitcoins, and BitQuick. They'll give you bitcoin which you'd load onto an app called a "wallet", for example Mycelium or Blockchain.info. You can buy just about anything online with bitcoin these days: from computers at newegg, to hotels at expedia, to airplane tickets at cheapair.com, to anything on amazon at 20% off using purse.io, or you can invest it by offer people around the world loans at BTCJam.com and they pay you back with interest. You can hold on to bitcoin as it grows in value, or you can donate it to any of the thousands of charities around the world who accept it. You can even use it to support presidential campaigns (at this time, only Rand Paul's campaign and Joe Biden's SuperPAC accept bitcoin).

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    "You can hold on to bitcoin as it grows in value": or you can hold on to bitcoin as it drops in value. Cash and ordinary bank accounts are guaranteed to maintain their value. Not so with bitcoin. – Pete Becker Jul 25 '15 at 16:15
  • "Cash and ordinary bank accounts are guaranteed to maintain their value." No they aren't. In fact, they are guaranteed to lose value at whatever rate the Federal Reserve Bank decides. This isn't even taking into account financial crises like we saw in 2008 or the EU/Greece are seeing today. That's not to say that bitcoin is a good store of value, right now it's not. But I have more trust in the incentives created by a system like bitcoin than the current financial system. – Chris Rico Jul 25 '15 at 16:56
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    yeah dude, this is not a relevant opportunity to evangelize about bitcoin – CQM Jul 25 '15 at 21:26
  • @CQM Someone wants to use their money but there are things in place which make it hard to do so. There's a technology out there which allows him to bypass these hurdles that the original post was asking about. Ah, but you already have an opinion about that particular technology so you downvote it and express your opinion about it whenever you see bitcoin, even if it is actually relevant. – hendrixski Jul 26 '15 at 2:08
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    @hendrixski and this is not one of those situations. My rep on the Bitcoin stackexchange site is greater than all of your rep combined and goes back years and I've also influenced federal public policy on cryptocurrency in favor of permissionless innovation. Sorry, nice try though. – CQM Jul 26 '15 at 3:11

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