81 votes
Accepted

Why do financial institutions charge so much to convert currency?

Mainly because they can. Yes, there is a cost for banks to execute such transactions, and yes, there is a cost to cover the implied risks, but it is far from 3 or 4%. There are banks that charge a ...
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  • 36.7k
60 votes

Has any country exempted their citizens/residents from the US citizenship-based taxation?

As that taxation law is an US law, no other country can declare an 'exemption' to it. If France for example would 'allow' their citizens to ignore it, the US IRS would still consider the taxes due ...
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  • 36.7k
53 votes

Why does a US company need to know the location of their employees for tax purposes?

In addition to the information in Andrew Timpson's answer, it is important to understand that the information is critical for the employer itself. A company with even one employee in another state is ...
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50 votes

Is "bank.gov.ua" the official website of the central bank of Ukraine?

It's legit and has been in use for at least 23 years. A quick check with the Wayback Machine shows that the first record of bank.gov.ua being used by the National Bank of Ukraine goes back to January ...
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  • 741
46 votes

Why does a US company need to know the location of their employees for tax purposes?

US employees are taxed based on where the work occurs. Each state has its own tax rate, and in some cases individual cities have income taxes as well. Companies need to know where their employees are ...
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44 votes

Why do financial institutions charge so much to convert currency?

All institutions, financial or otherwise, seek to maximize profits. In a free market, each bank would price its services to be competitive with the current state of the market. Since the currency ...
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31 votes

Why do financial institutions charge so much to convert currency?

Why do these fees exist? From a Banks point of view, they are operating in Currency A; Currency B is a commodity [similar to Oil, Grains, Goods, etc]. So they will only buy if they can sell it at a ...
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  • 56.5k
26 votes

How do some companies allow some of/all their employees to work remotely from a tax standpoint?

There are several ways to handle the situation. First, if the employer is large enough (not necessarily Google size, but just large enough) and already doing business in several locations, adding ...
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25 votes

Is "bank.gov.ua" the official website of the central bank of Ukraine?

The site ukraine.ua has, for a long time, been run by the Ukrainian government, has been registered in 2012 according to whois, and is owned by the Ukrainian patent office, uatm.ua: domain: ...
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22 votes

Why does a US company need to know the location of their employees for tax purposes?

Although it doesn't answer your literal question I think it is important to note that in the specific example you are citing, Facebook wants to adjust/lower the salary of an employee according to the ...
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16 votes

Is "bank.gov.ua" the official website of the central bank of Ukraine?

*.gov.ua can be fairly conclusively considered under the control of Ukraine's government, and it appears to be their standard to use English subdomains. https://twitter.com/DefenceU, the verified ...
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  • 2,535
15 votes

Why do financial institutions charge so much to convert currency?

In my experience working at a currency exchange money service business in the US: Flat fees are the "because we can" fee on average. These can be waived on certain dollar values at some banks or MSBs,...
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  • 1,218
12 votes

Has any country exempted their citizens/residents from the US citizenship-based taxation?

Although no other country can change the IRS’s mind that a U.S. citizen living abroad owes it taxes, good luck to them collecting from you in certain parts of the world. (Not that I’d ever give ...
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  • 396
10 votes

Can I default on my student loans if I move to another country?

You should really talk to a lawyer about criminal concerns. There may be some. Does USA credit score transfer to other countries? The USA doesn't do anything with credit scores. In the USA credit ...
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  • 127k
10 votes
Accepted

Why is deposit interest rate in the same currency different from country to country?

This is just a guess but I would imagine that it has to do with risk. The deposits in Banks are usually as safe as government bonds (broad oversimplification) as: Usually bank deposits are insured by ...
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  • 475
9 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to send money to someone in USA through Paypal?

PayPal is generally a pretty safe way to send money, because not only is there a money trail, but PayPal has pretty good fraud and buyer protection. Furthermore, if you fund your PayPal account with a ...
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  • 45.2k
8 votes

What happens if you don't pay the credit card or personal loan amount, and then leave the country?

Your friend will be shut out of the credit market in the United States for a few years and that's it. (For people with deeper ties to the United States, this is seen as a horrible option too because ...
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  • 20.1k
8 votes
Accepted

What happens if you stop paying IRA and move to another country long before your retire?

There is nothing that requires you to give up your IRA when you leave the US. You can continue to maintain the account, and the balance will increase or decrease over time based on how you have the ...
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  • 3,632
7 votes

Why do financial institutions charge so much to convert currency?

Banks do of course incur costs on currency transactions. But they're not as high as the fee charged to the customer. Most banks in most places lose a lot of money on operating bank accounts for ...
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  • 22.2k
7 votes

Why do financial institutions charge so much to convert currency?

Is there not some central service that tracks current currency rates that banks can use to get currency data? Sure. But this doesn't matter. All the central service can tell you is how much the ...
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  • 20.8k
7 votes

Ever been asked to send money to this man?

It's a scam. Why else would a stranger contact you and ask you for money?
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  • 709
7 votes

How risky is it financially to emigrate to a different country?

Your current assets are small compared to what you can expect to earn in a lifetime and compared to what you will need for retirement. Fortunately, you are young and have decades more to save. Many ...
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  • 28k
7 votes
Accepted

Do US delivery companies pay out insurance if the declared value of a package is $0?

6 months ago I sent some sports cards The goods should have been declared under Customs Procedure Codes 23 00 000. Temporary export for return in an unaltered state. Free circulation goods ...
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  • 10.1k
7 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to comprehensively compare personal tax rates between countries?

It's a very difficult question to answer - it becomes political in nature, and the nature of definitions used can massively swing the data. I've spent ages and years trying to find this sort of data. ...
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  • 13.5k
7 votes

Can I gift cash to relatives for investment and they give back to me later?

A gift is unconditional. You cannot say "I gift you this but you must return it back to me". If you give the money to your parents, they can chose to spend it however they want to. Claiming ...
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  • 2,425
6 votes

Why is deposit interest rate in the same currency different from country to country?

It may seem weird but interest rates are set by a market. Risk is a very large component of the price that a saver will accept to deposit their money in a bank but not the only one. Essentially you ...
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  • 8,482
6 votes
Accepted

Selling a home in the UK to buy a home in the US

So it turns out that US lenders are only concerned with things that show up on your US credit report. As my loan in the UK was in the UK, my US lender did not care. It appears that the US will allow ...
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  • 1,147
6 votes
Accepted

How should residents of smaller economies allocate their portfolio between domestic and foreign assets?

why should I have any bias in favour of my local economy? The main reason is because your expenses are in the local currency. If you are planning on spending most of your money on foreign travel, ...
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  • 20.8k
6 votes

Unexpected overcharge on international transaction

So far their response has been that they are offering to give a full refund, but I don't think that's acceptable. If they are willing to give a full refund, to an extent this is fair. Can they get ...
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  • 56.5k
6 votes

If you buy asset in one country that is 2/3 owned by an investor in another country, what currency do you pay in?

That entity owns 2/3 of the company. You can't force them to sell. So the negotiated price will have to be stated in some units that both sides can accept. You will have to decide if they insist on a ...
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