Money Seizures: What You Need to Know

When entering the United States, it is required that all passengers report any amount of money with them that is in excess of or equivalent to $10,000. If there is a failure to correctly report, this money can be seized.  This reporting requirement is a worldwide standard that the U.S. abides by.  It is important to note that this $10,000 amount applies to dollar equivalents as well, so if a passenger is traveling with the euro – or any other currency – equivalent of $10,000 this is necessary to report.

When entering the country, the form that you report this information on is the FINCEN105.  There are certain exceptions to this reporting requirement. For example, you do not have to report checks of any amount unless they are endorsed. Understanding the technicalities of this reporting requirement will make you a more prepared and aware traveler. Customs does have the right to ask you questions about the money you are reporting, but as long as you have properly disclosed all necessary information you can bring in any size sum you wish.  If you do report correctly, no tax or penalty can be levied on the money you bring in.

In the event that your money is seized, here is a brief overview of the process that you will go through to get it released.  Certain steps of this process are subject to variation in the amount of time they will take, but provided below is a general overview.

  1. You will receive a receipt with your case number.
  2. You will wait to be issued a Fines and Penalties Seizure Notice – this will inform you exactly which statutes you are in violation of. Once you have this information, you can begin to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation.
  3. You will file a Petition to remit the funds. This is where you give Customs the reason(s) the money should be returned. Essentially, you are detailing why you did not report the money originally. There are a variety of reasons that can be used in this explanation.
  4. Customs provides a Response. Receiving this response can take anywhere from a minimum of four months up until one year.  The Response is Customs’ answer to your request for the funds to be returned.  If the decision is made to return the seized money and you agree with the terms, which normally involve some deduction as penalty, it can take up to six weeks for the refund to be processed.

Subscribe to our blog today to always be informed on relevant topics such as this one.  Also, be sure to check back next week as we will be taking a more detailed look at this topic as we examine CAFRA vs. Non-CAFRA seizures.

For more information regarding The Mooney Law Firm, LLC and the services we provide, please contact us.


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