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How Much Money Can You Deposit Before it is Reported?

If you deposit more than $10,000 cash in your bank account, your bank has to report the deposit to the government.

The guidelines for large cash transactions for banks and financial institutions are set by the Bank Secrecy Act, also known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act. The goal is to prevent money laundering by criminals using cash deposits to disguise their illegal source of funds.

What this article covers:

Are Banks Required to Report Large Deposits?

When a cash deposit of $10,000 or more is made, the bank or financial institution is required to file a form reporting this. This form reports any transaction or series of related transactions in which the total sum is $10,000 or more. So, two related cash deposits of $5,000 or more also have to be reported.

Related transactions are defined in two ways:

  • Two or more related payments within 24 hours, or
  • Two or more related transactions within 12 months 

When $10,000 or more of cash is used to buy a negotiable instrument such as a bank draft or a cashier’s check, the issuing financial institution also has to report this. This rule applies to American dollars as well as foreign currency worth more than $10,000.

As a Business Owner, Am I Required to Report Large Cash Transactions?

Banks aren’t the only ones on the hook for reporting cash transactions over $10,000. If your trade or business receives a cash payment of $10,000 or more, you’ll need to file Form 8300.

Filing Form 8300

If your business receives a cash payment over $10,000, you also have to report the transaction. To do so, you’ll use Form 8300, which offers valuable information to the Internal Revenue Service and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).  It helps the agencies combat money laundering that is used to facilitate various criminal activities such as drug dealing and terrorist financing.

According to the IRS, here are some things you need to keep in mind while filing Form 8300.

Trades and businesses which receive more than $10,000 in cash in a single transaction or in related transactions have to file IRS/FinCEN Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business.

Transactions that require Form 8300 include, but are not limited to:

  • Escrow arrangement contributions
  • Pre-existing debt payments
  • Negotiable instrument purchases
  • Reimbursement of expenses
  • Making or repaying a loan
  • Sale of goods or services
  • Sale of real property
  • Sale of intangible property
  • Rental of real or personal property
  • Exchange of cash for other cash
  • Custodial trust contributions 

The cash can be received as a lump sum, installment payments that cause the total cash received within one year of the initial payment to total more than $10,000 and previously unreported payments that cause the total cash received within a 12-month period to total more than $10,000.

If the cash deposits were made to a joint account, you will have to identify each depositor.

The cash can be in American or foreign currency.

Cash also includes cashier’s checks, bank drafts, traveler’s checks, and money orders. If a customer pays with a cashier’s check, bank draft, traveler’s check, or money order that is greater than $10,000, the issuing financial institution will need to report the transaction. 

If a customer pays with one of these instruments and it is less than $10,000, you will need to file form 8300 in some instances, such as for the sale of a collectible or travel and entertainment, where the related sales price of all transactions is more than $10,000. The reference guide for form 8300 has more detail on what is considered cash. 

You have to file the form within 15 days after receiving the cash.

You can file the form electronically or mail it to the IRS.

A copy of this form is sent to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Businesses that fail to report these transactions can have severe penalties imposed on them. 

How Much Cash Can You Deposit Before It Is Reported to the IRS?

If you deposit less than $10,000 cash in a specific time period, it may not have to be reported.

However, when a customer makes multiple smaller cash payments in a 12-month period, the 15 days countdown for reporting to the IRS starts as soon as the total paid exceeds $10,000.  

The IRS may also look at suspected “structured” deposits that were made to evade the $10,000-or-above reporting requirements. For example, if you’re consistently depositing $9,800 for two weeks to evade the IRS. In this case, the bank will file a Suspicious Activity Report with the FinCEN. They can also file voluntarily file reports for suspicious deposits that are less than $10,000. 

As a small business owner, if you foresee a time when you would be receiving enough funds to exceed $10,000 in deposits in the near future, talk with the bank or credit union. They will let you know the best way to adhere to the rules outlined by the Bank Secrecy Act.

 

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