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Bringing in Aus$35,000 cash.

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BlacKnox

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My recently married friend has received a 3,000,000yen cash gift from his Japanese MiL/ FiL. He wants to take this (about Aus$35,000) into Australia as cash. He will be travelling with his new bride, but is still obviously over the $10,000/ person cash limit. Can anyone advise what they should expect, and whether any of this cash (income) is taxable, given that it is a "wedding present"? He is an Aussie and she an Aussie resident. And yes, I have tried to convince him of other options to no avail. Any advice/ experiences shared appreciated.
 

NM

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It is not against any law to bring more than $10,000 into Australia, nor to take it out. You just have declare it on the appropriate forms. Not declaring the money is an offence.

They may be asked why they are bring that much into the country, but may not get any questions. Be prepared to be honest about it.

This is part of the tracking process for any transaction over $10,000 that is in place to try to identify money laundering activities.
 

QF WP

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Remember a recent Border Patrol program where this was caught "on tape".

What NM says is correct. Not an offence if declared (and the reasons are qualifiable or believed by Customs). If it isn't declared and they find it, then you're up the ditch. Know that the scanners they have will easily show it up no matter where it is packed - quite sophisticated surveillance these days. They'll question you ad nauseum trying to catch you out in a lie.

The biggest risk is carrying it and the risk of loss/theft. Needless to say, the less people who know about it, the better...
 

BlacKnox

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Thanks NM and Lindsay Wilson. He is not bringing cash to attempt to conceal or otherwise, he just prefers using Kings for currency exchange. With tracking in place I suspected that the government will be looking for an appropriate deposit in an Aussie bank account. They'll have their recent wedding papers on them so customs should be ok.

I know there are some accountants on this forum and was hoping someone could respond about any taxation liabilities... IIRC family members are allowed to gift to family $20,000 per year tax free???

I know this isn't a question for AFF but couldn't find anything on the net. Thought I'd post here anyway, under the ruse that someone else might want information about "importing" cash. Cheers!
 

QF WP

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BlacKnox, I'm not an accountant (try a CFP), but I've never heard of that before.

The closest that I can think is the rule about people on Centrelink (social security) not being able to gift more than $10,000 a year to others, otherwise it is held as an asset and their pension payments can be reduced.

Capital can pass around (particularly cash) without too many tax consequences, so long as requisite tax has been paid on any profit (or income) made.
 

Karen

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Transactions greater than $10k are reportable transactions. Banks have to advise the ATO of any movements of money in and out of accounts over this amount. They look at it incomputer matching and if there seems to be a discrepancy between declared income and spending they will do an investigation.

If it were me, I would just TT it from Japan to an Australian bank account. Who the hell walks around with $35k in cash? And if he does, surely his bodyguards could carry some of it and it wouldn't be an issue?
 
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shillard

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BlacKnox said:
My recently married friend has received a 3,000,000yen cash gift from his Japanese MiL/ FiL. He wants to take this (about Aus$35,000) into Australia as cash. He will be travelling with his new bride, but is still obviously over the $10,000/ person cash limit. Can anyone advise what they should expect, and whether any of this cash (income) is taxable, given that it is a "wedding present"? He is an Aussie and she an Aussie resident. And yes, I have tried to convince him of other options to no avail. Any advice/ experiences shared appreciated.
What flight is he arriving on, and what date?

:twisted:
 

robertz

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For $35K, I would personally go the TT way as Karen said.

But, he/she needs to speak to their accountant and find the best way to disperse the funds. I'm pretty sure they have to declare it as other income, but there should be a Tax Treaty with Japan.

Or could go the way of $9900 each in Traveler cheque's and leave the balance there until his next trip. Or TT the balance over and only report this amount.

In this supercomputer age, the banks actually report a lot more to the ATO than just transactions over $10K. I got a nice letter from the ATO last year, telling me I didn't report the full amount of interest earned in one of my accounts, with a list of accounts and interest earned.
I forgot about 1 account, which I didn't use, and got a 'please explain' letter, over $20 in interest.

Scared the crap out of me....

Rob
 
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Another (y) vote for Karen's advice...

but hey...if its tax you're worried about... go to western union and send yourself a few gifts to pick up in Australia :)
 

thadocta

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Karen said:
Transactions greater than $10k are reportable transactions. Banks have to advise the ATO of any movements of money in and out of accounts over this amount.
Bzzzzzt - wrong answer.

They have to advise AUSTRAC of any movements of more than $10K. The ATO is not the party to report to, although with data-matchning they will certainly take an interest.

Dave
 

Karen

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AUSTRAC

OK, got me on that one. But they information share so whats the difference? They also information share with the CSA so if he has any outstanding child support debt they will garnish it from his bank account. In which case I still think he should TT it, cause what sort of low-life starves his own children?

Gifts are not income (particularly wedding gifts) as they do not have the nature of income (that they are regular payments etc), and they do not relate to income earning activities. Unless of course he is making a living out of marrying poor unsuspecting girls for the lucky money they will receive from her family as a wedding gift, in which case he's screwed.
 

AlwaysUpThere

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1) Security is the issue - don't be a twit - you should TT it. If you don't have an account in Japan, put it in the misus' account and TT it.

2) The AUD is VERY expensive right now. If you don't need it immediately, leave it in Yen - leave it in Japan if you want. Surly you can TT over the net (though maybe not in Japan...)


3) Banks in Japan tend not to give very good rates an charge high fees for currency exchange - try to do in outside Japan.

3a) Some banks in Aust have foreign currency accounts - HSBC certainly do. Bring it to Australia but leave it in Yen.

4) If you're having trouble with the transfer, contact Ozforex.com.au

5) If you do bring more than the equivalent of AUD10,000 in, as mentioned, you must declare it. No consequence for doing so - significant penalties (including forfeiture!) if you don't - no matter what currency you bring in.
 

BlacKnox

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions, advice, humour and graphs :!: I'll share your feedback with him tonight over a couple of cold ones on my balcony at home :D .
 

BlacKnox

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BlacKnox said:
Thanks everyone for your suggestions, advice, humour and graphs :!: I'll share your feedback with him tonight over a couple of cold ones on my balcony at home :D .
Well I'm a bit ordinary this morning after a few cold ones on the balcony was extended to a "nomihodai" (all you can drink) party at an "izakaya" (restaurant) downtown. Great night though :D .

I got the laptop out on the balcony and showed him your responses. It seems the weight of consensus drowned some sense into him, and now he agrees that cash is probably not the smartest option. After looking at AlwaysUpThere's graph, he also felt he could exchange the money at a later time, as it's not needed now. He'll probably get a bank cheque or similar in yen, and open a multi-currency account in Oz (HSBC, Citibank...) for the deposit. Later hopefully when the exchange rate improves he'll convert to dollars. Thanks for all your comments.
 
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