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I have a bank account in the United States from the time when I lived there. I am not a US citizen and I have not lived in the US for several years now.

My in-laws are planning to send a large sum to this account as a gift to us. The transfer would come from a third country (not the US and not where we currently live). The reason for using this account: avoid currency conversion.

What are the reporting requirements within the US that apply to this case, and what are the penalties for failing to report?

I understand that US citizens and residents need to report large foreign transfers to the IRS. However, we are neither residents nor citizens of the US, and no longer deal with the IRS. What is the correct procedure in this case? I expect that there are still some anti-money-laundering regulations we need to follow.

This question is solely about requirements to report to the US, not about reporting to the tax authorities of the country where we currently live.

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You may not have to report anything, but I would certainly ask the receiving bank to be sure.

If you were a US citizen or resident and if the gift you receive from a foreign person is more than $100,000, then you would report this on IRS form 3520. Since you are neither a citizen nor resident the form probably does not apply to you. However, if you decide to transfer the money to a US citizen or resident, then that person will have to report it on 3520 since you are the "foreign person" in that case. Again, I would double check with the receiving bank just to be sure. (They may just automatically report it for you without you needing to do anything.) Rule of thumb: if there is any doubt about filing an IRS form, it's always better to report unnecessarily than to fail to report when you should have.

  • I may have made a mistake. I was under the impression that for a US citizen or resident, any foreign transfer must be reported above $10,000, not above $100,000. If the threshold is 100,000 then there is not problem. Perhaps I mixed up the threshold above which banks must report transfer with the reporting requirement for individuals. – Guyu Aug 7 '18 at 14:53
  • @Guyu - the $10K threshold is only for cash/currency/money order. If you do a wire or electronic transfer the amount incoming from a foreign "person" is $100K. (If it's from a foreign company it's less, I think around $15K.) – TTT Aug 7 '18 at 15:00

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