When you’re sending money abroad, particularly to family, there are some certain things to know. Maybe you’re sending money to El Salvador, Mexico, or anywhere throughout Central and South America. Perhaps you’re sending money to family in Europe or Asia. Wherever you’re sending it, what should you know?
The following are some considerations to keep in mind for people sending money from the U.S. to family in another country.
How Much Are You Sending?
If you’re sending more than $10,000, there may be special considerations to know about. First, by law, all financial institutions report transactions of more than $10,000. In some cases, transactions that are much lower may be reported. Depending on the financial organization, reporting thresholds may only be $1,000.
If a financial institution is reporting a transaction, they will report the name and contact information of the person making the transaction and receiving the money, banking details, and the amount received.
The reason the U.S. government keeps tabs on certain transactions is that they want to lower the risk of transfers that are fraudulent, and they want to be able to spot the red flags of money laundering. There’s also the risk of offshore accounts the government wants to stay ahead of.
What Do You Need to Send Money Abroad?
Before you send money to family living abroad, you’ll need their banking information, and if you’re using a transfer service, you can determine which bank pickup location is going to be most convenient for them.
You’ll need to know about the tax thresholds in the U.S., but also in the place where you’re sending the money.
Another consideration is whether you will send the money in USD or you’ll send it in your family member’s local currency.
Comparing Money Transfer Services
A lot of people sending money abroad find that using a remittance service is the least expensive option. However, not all money transfer services are the same.
It’s best to compare a variety of factors when choosing a money transfer service. For example, what is the customer service like? Compare the fees and delivery times as well as the level of security and risk management utilized by the company.
If you need to get money to family quickly, you can check to see if a transfer service offers expedited options, and if so, what the time for the transfer to be completed will be.
Keep All of Your Information
When you’re sending money abroad, you want to make sure you keep all your documentation and all of the receipts from your transfer. Of course, if you’re using a properly vetted company, you shouldn’t run into a problem, but it’s still good to keep everything showing that you sent money and how much you sent, as well as who you sent it to.
This can also be valuable in terms of tax implications as well. You should be well aware of any tax documents you need to complete before making your transfer, and as a final note, you might want to only send money a few times a year but make larger payments to save on things like transfer fees.