Whether you are American, a resident or simply a tourist, you must respect the limits regarding the amount of money that you can bring to the United States without declaring it.

The crucial question is: How high is that amount?

The truth is that there is no limit, but if you exceed $ 10,000 then you have to make a declaration at customs.

This is due to the Currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act.

But what is considered “money”?

The following list shows you what is added to those $ 10,000:

  • Current coins in circulation
  • Gold coins
  • American dollars
  • Currency of any other country
  • Signed money orders
  • Traveler’s checks
  • Business or personal checks that are signed or endorsed, even if the payee is not the traveler or if the payee’s name is not specified.
  • Signed promissory notes

What if I travel with my family and distribute the money among all?

Not a good trick. The authorities count the total amount of money that all the members of the same family carry together. Remember: the total can’t exceed $ 10,000.

If I’m bringing more than $ 10,000 to the U.S., how do I declare them?

Filling the FinCEN 105 form. It can be downloaded for free from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website.

How much do I have to pay?

Usually, nothing. However, the CBP will inform the IRS and the latter will decide whether you have to pay a tax on that money or not.

What if I did not declare the money and I get caught?

Several things can happen. Most often, the authorities will take the money from you, and you may not see it again.

Tip: The best in these cases is to hire a Customs attorney. If you can prove that the money has a legal provenance, and after a long process that can take months, you may get the money back.

Is there a limit to the amount of money that I can take out of the U.S.?

No. There are no customs control points when leaving the country. However, authorities are alert to detect illegal activities.