What would happen if I carry more than $10,000 cash or cash equivalent through the US Customs?
I practice the Customs and Border Protection Laws, Laws of the US Sanctions against Iran, and the US Tax laws. I get the above question often on my radio or TV programs or through telephone calls to my offices. Here is the answer:
Generally, there is no limit as to how much money can be taken out of or brought into the United States. However, a person or persons traveling together and filing a joint declaration (CBP Form 6059-B), carrying more than $10,000 in the US currency or currencies of other countries or negotiable monetary instruments, must answer “Yes” to the question number 13 (thirteen) on the form 6059-B. Then, they will be required to fill out a form “Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments” FinCEN 105. Passengers who falsify the form 6059-B or restructure their money between or among the family members travelling together or fill out more than one form to avoid filling out the form 105 and get caught, risk civil penalty of forfeiting their entire funds and criminal penalty of up to five years in prison. Generally, these funds may be recovered through a legal process and assistance of an experienced attorney.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and requires filling out the form 105. The Director of FinCEN is appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury and reports to the Treasury under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. FinCEN’s mission is to enhance the integrity of financial systems by facilitating the detection and deterrence of financial crime.
The information revealed on the form 105, for example source of the funds, may have other legal significance; such as international tax issues. Therefore, it is extremely important that individuals filing the form 105 consult a tax attorney, be aware of the potential legal and tax consequences and take appropriate remedial actions. Contrary to mistaken belief, “the Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments” are not directly related to the US Sanctions Laws against foreign countries or the US Immigration Laws.
If your money or non-cash property has been seized at a US airport or have concerns regarding the legal and tax implications of transferring your asset into the US, we can assist you. Please call us at (310) 719-1040 (Los Angeles) or (714) 546-4272 (Orange County).