I was studying until recently in the US and had a basic bank account there. With basic I mean the usual checking-and-savings bank account package offered by most major banks. When leaving the country, I keep the bank account open to collect the security deposit from my landlord. Now I have to decide if keeping the money in the account or having it cancelled and the funds transferred to my home country. The account has the minimum amounts not to produce fees, I'm not in need of this money in the foreseeable future, and I'll likely go back to US to pursue further studies next year, so I'm for leaving the account open. The only thing holding me would be having to fill taxes, so my questions are:

  1. Are there tax liabilities (in the US) for having a US bank account while I'm abroad?
  2. If someone makes a deposit, even small, will that change something? This deposit is not business or salary related (like that pizza a friend is still owing me).
  3. Lets say I purchased a gift for a friend in the US and need to top up the money in the account to keep the fee exemption, will I have to report it?
  • In the US, an individual's income is taxed, not their assets, so the only liability would come from interest earned by the account. If you don't have other US income, it seems unlikely you'd have any tax liability or be required to file.
    – Hart CO
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 17:29
  • Check if either account has a no-activity fee.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Sep 4, 2017 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


I don't think so in your case. Unless the account generates so much interest income that it became reportable (I don't know the exact limit, but I think it's in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars, you might get a 1099 form if it generates over $10 of interest income, but you don't have to file taxes if your overall income is too low anyways).

The US does not typically tax assets, only income. There are some states (Florida is the only one I can think of) that has odd tax treatment of intangible assets, but I doubt that would apply in your case.

If this were a large enough amount, usually over $10,000, it might trigger some reporting requirements (possibly by your home country).


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