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My sister-in-law and her husband currently live in northern Iraq. Due to the current dangers in that country and the fact that they're Christian, they are finding it more and more difficult to live there. They've decided to try to apply for Canada.

They just recently sold some property and have close to $80k in U.S. dollars. She wants to send the money to me, and I'm in Michigan. She wants me to hold on to it so they can leave Iraq and go to Canada.

I've never done such a thing. Would this affect me in any way being that it is a large amount? Generally speaking, how could they send me the money? What would the banks say or do if they suddenly see $80k in my account? Do I need to be concerned about taxes or other issues?

  • Product/service recommendations are off-topic so I would suggest you remove that part of your question and focus on the other issues. – Chris W. Rea Nov 15 '15 at 21:11
  • Chris can't you edit? – JonH Nov 15 '15 at 21:11
  • I certainly can, but it's also important that you know the guidelines here. – Chris W. Rea Nov 15 '15 at 21:12
  • If they're not coming as refugees, Canada (and other countries) expect that an immigrant has a certain amount of money to live on while getting set up. They may not like the fact that you effectively have control of the money. I don't know if it's possible to set up a custodial account (aka it's theirs but you're a custodian of it). – mkennedy Nov 16 '15 at 23:17
  • Right that's exactly my point. Through the UN and the church the program would then allow me to wire them the money to Canada. I have no intrest in the money whatsoever. They just need me to hold on to it while they wait in the country of Jordan. – JonH Nov 16 '15 at 23:21
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Banks in the US have to report deposits of more than $10,000, so they'll contact you to complete form 8300 or something. It should not be a problem, though, if you specify that it's someone else's money, not your income.

  • So how do I initiate this, should I go to the bank and ask for this form. If they ask what is this money for, do I just state that I am simply holding on to it for my sister in law? Im only asking because a friend of mine mentioned that you should simply state it is a "gift" from my sister in law. – JonH Nov 18 '15 at 19:14
  • The report is for the purpose of detecting money laundering. It goes to a central location. So they can detect when someone repeatedly transfers large sums, especially if he does this by different means. I think they are interested in knowing the transfer if they see repeated transfers that look suspicious - not just one. And politely ask by sending the form if they want to look closer. No problem if they ask, but they may prefer to spend their time on more interesting cases. – Volker Siegel May 17 at 12:16
  • The currency transaction report is applied only for cash transactions, so it is not clear it applies to the situation. I assume she wants to deposit the USD 80000 cash in Iraq. – Volker Siegel May 17 at 12:28

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