79

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 flat rate of less than 30$ (and no percentage), so for larger amounts, it is worth shopping around. Note that for smaller amounts, which are the majority of ...


59

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 and would act accordingly - up to impounding assets located in the US and arresting the person on the next visit. This would also probably imply that many visas ...


42

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 conversion fee is generally a small part of the decision as to which bank to choose, banks can be non-competitive in this area. If this is an important ...


31

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 margin. Currency Conversion have inherent risks, on small amount, the Bank generally does not hedge these risks as it is expensive; but balances the position ...


15

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, and sometimes can even be haggled. If you Google EURUSD, as an example, you also get something like $1.19 at 4pm, 9/18/2017. If you look at the actual ...


14

They borrowed it from the people, and typically to finance wars and military spending. For example, Wikipedia suggests that the Bank of England "was set up to supply money to the King. £1.2m was raised in 12 days; half of this was used to rebuild the Navy." It's a game that everyone has to play once started; if Napoleon buys an army on credit, you'll have to ...


13

Typically, a transfer of money isn't taxed in and of itself. If they send you $1000 and you send them goods, your profit is what would be taxed, not the full amount sent to you. You need to keep track of all money you spend to acquire the goods, and all money coming in, so you can declare the profit you've made as income. Your question appears to be less ...


12

Going through the list of economies that currently use the dollar, all of them list cents as a fractional unit. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, the 1/100 fractional unit is still called a cent, but it's no longer in circulation in coin form and only finds use in financial markets or electronic payments. In countries like Malaysia, the word "sen" is used as the ...


12

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 advice on how to evade taxes.) More seriously, the United States has signed reciprocal tax treaties with many different countries in which they agree that some ...


10

By the phrasing of your question it seems that you are under the mistaken impression that countries are borrowing money from other countries, in which case it would make sense to question how everyone can be a borrower with no one on the other side of the equation. The short answer is that the debt is owed mostly to individuals and institutions that buy ...


10

Part 1 Quite a few [or rather most] countries allow USD account. So there is no conversion. Just to illustrare; In India its allowed to have a USD account. The funds can be transfered as USD and withdrawn as USD, the interest is in USD. There no conversion at any point in time. Typically the rates for CD on USD account was Central Bank regulated rate of 5%...


10

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 records are maintained by private companies who provide the information to your creditor. There's no legal limitation for the creditors to be within USA, only ...


10

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 local equivalent of FDIC. I'm not sure about local regulation but it means that they are backed partially by the government - at least this is the case in US ...


9

But I suspect this isn't the correct way to do things. You should be paying taxes in the US (you're a US resident by citizenship) and Mexico (you're probably a Mexican resident for tax purposes). There's a tax treaty between the US and Mexico, that will probably affect you. In addition you should remember the foreign income exclusion and foreign tax credit,...


9

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 credit card, then you get the additional protection provided by your credit card bank too. If you use PayPal, there isn't really a way for her to take more ...


8

I would like to establish credit history - have heard it's useful to gain employment and makes it easy to rent an apartment? Higher credit scores will make it easier with landlords, that's true. As to employment - they do background checks, which means that they usually won't like bad things, but won't care about the good things or no things (they'll know ...


8

To transfer US$30,000 from the USA to Europe, ask your European banker for the SWIFT transfer instructions. Typically in the USA the sending bank needs a SWIFT code and an account number, the name and address of the recipient, and the amount to transfer. A change of currency can be made as part of the transfer. The typical fee to do this is under US$100 ...


7

It essentially works the same. Some states don't have any income taxes at all (like Florida or Wyoming), some only tax income derived in the state, and some tax worldwide income (like New York or California), similarly to the Federal income taxes. However, if you're living abroad (i.e.: you're a citizen or resident of a foreign country and you live there), ...


7

Lazy Portfolios do tend to have a mix of US bonds, US stocks and international stocks as there is something to be said for that international exposure being somewhat mixed in the big US companies. While Coca-Cola's growth may be overseas, there is something to be said for domestic sales playing a role in how well does that work. Same for Apple, Microsoft ...


7

If you are paid by foreigners then it is quite possible they don't file anything with the IRS. All of this income you are required to report as business income on schedule C. There are opportunities on schedule C to deduct expenses like your health insurance, travel, telephone calls, capital expenses like a new computer, etc... You will be charged both the ...


7

Wikipedia has a nice list of currencies that use "cents" and currencies that use 1/100th division that is not called "cent". Cent means "100" in Latin (and French, and probably all the Roman family of languages), so if the currency is divided by 100 subunits - it will likely to be called "cent" or something similar in the local language. The list of ...


7

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 customers, and make the money back by charging more than their costs for services like currency exchange. If you don't choose to pay those fees, use an online service ...


7

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 rate was historically. But the banks/PayPal don't care about the historical value. They want to know the price that they'll pay when they get around to switching,...


7

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


6

Others have pointed out that the entities loaning money to the government are typically people and institutions. Recently, however, the US federal government borrowings were largely funded by money printed by the Federal Reserve. The government had to borrow $1.1 trillion from October, 2010 through June, 2011. During this period the FED printed around $0....


6

The right answer to this question really depends on the size of the transfer. For larger transfers ($10k and up) the exchange rate is the dominant factor, and you will get the best rates from Interactive Brokers (IB) as noted by Paul above, or OANDA (listed by user6714). Under $10k, CurrencyFair is probably your best bet; while the rates are not quite as ...


6

I faced something similar for travel or work reasons, and as for me I preferred wire transfer over credit card withdrawals because my bank has huge fees. My thoughts so far are: the fee can vary a lot for credit card. As for me, I can expect 5% fees on foreign withdrawals. But I considered changing bank and I think a Gold (or premium) card might be a good ...


6

From what I understand, you have money earned in US and after paying taxes that are due in the US, you have transferred a portion of this to your brother. As you have earned this money outside India, there is not tax liability of this amount in India. Your giving it to your brother would at best be treated as GIFT [and not Income]. As you are giving it to ...


6

The only advantage of changing all your money now to the new currency is that you might get a better conversion rate now than later, so you get more of the new currency and you may pay a lower percentage fee for changing a larger sum of money. However, regarding the better conversion rate - you will not know this except with hindsight. The disadvantage of ...


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