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Dennis V

Moving money and assets on K1 visa

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I’m wondering if anyone can share information on what to plan for or expect when moving over foreign assets and bank deposits?  My fiancée would be entering on a K1 visa, and wants to know what she should be doing about her bank accounts prior to coming to the US.  Also, is there anything we need to do once she enters the US, in terms of declaring assets and personal possessions?  Thanks in advance for the help.

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22 minutes ago, Dennis V said:

I’m wondering if anyone can share information on what to plan for or expect when moving over foreign assets and bank deposits?  My fiancée would be entering on a K1 visa, and wants to know what she should be doing about her bank accounts prior to coming to the US.  Also, is there anything we need to do once she enters the US, in terms of declaring assets and personal possessions?  Thanks in advance for the help.

It's up to her. She can keep her bank account in Japan, or she could transfer all her money to a US account. Some people like to have a bank account in their native country when they go on vacation and stuff. I myself gave up all my accounts since I had to pay to keep them open.

 

She doesn't have to declare anything as long as she doesn't have 10 grand in cash on her when she enters the US.

When transferring the money from a foreign account to a US account she doesn't have to do anything. It is wise to stay under 10 grand per transaction, simply cause 10 and over will send a message to the IRS (what doesn't matter, she already payed taxes in Japan so she shouldn't have to pay it again, but it could be a hassle)

Usually she does have to mention how much money she had in 2019 in US and/or foreign accounts when filing taxes, but that's something to think about next year.

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5 minutes ago, C90 said:

It's up to her. She can keep her bank account in Japan, or she could transfer all her money to a US account. Some people like to have a bank account in their native country when they go on vacation and stuff. I myself gave up all my accounts since I had to pay to keep them open.

 

She doesn't have to declare anything as long as she doesn't have 10 grand in cash on her when she enters the US.

When transferring the money from a foreign account to a US account she doesn't have to do anything. It is wise to stay under 10 grand per transaction, simply cause 10 and over will send a message to the IRS (what doesn't matter, she already payed taxes in Japan so she shouldn't have to pay it again, but it could be a hassle)

Usually she does have to mention how much money she had in 2019 in US and/or foreign accounts when filing taxes, but that's something to think about next year.

FBAR and taxes are two different things.   

 

Earnings on deposits is a tax item.  Account holdings is another 


YMMV

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29 minutes ago, payxibka said:

FBAR and taxes are two different things.   

 

Earnings on deposits is a tax item.  Account holdings is another 

Yeah idk how it works lol, my husbands uncle is our accountant. I mentioned it more so he could look into that, but that's nothing he should think about while she transfers her money. She can just transfer her money without having to do anything extra then pay a fee to the bank. 

 

P.S. She can see if Transferwise works for Japan - USA. They're waaaaay cheaper then when you have to pay fees to your bank or those expensive companies

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@Dennis V

 

Here are the things she needs to think about before moving out of Japan:

 

Residence Tax / 住民税 

 

In Japan your residence tax is paid the following year: this year she would be paying last year's tax, next year she'll pay this year's, etc. Her tax obligation doesn't go away when she moves because she may still owe tax for last year. Usually this is handled automatically by employers but she should visit her city or ward tax office to find out what's owed (if anything) and arrange for payment.

 

Shipping Goods

 

When you move internationally you need a customs declaration for unaccompanied goods, to keep from paying duties. There's a separate form and also a box to check on the customs declaration when she arrives at her POE. Here's the CBP form she needs: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1467/~/instructions-for-cbp-form-3299---declaration-for-free-entry-of-unaccompanied

 

If she only has a few things, she could probably go to Japan Post and ask about shipping some stuff via EMS, plus whatever she carries in her luggage. https://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/use/writing/ems_customs_en.html Unlike the US postal service Japan Post is always helpful and polite.

 

If she has a lot of stuff it's probably better to use a service like Yamato, they'll handle the customs declaration for her: http://www.y-logi.com/service/kaigai/english/index.html

 

Mobile Phone

 

Japanese providers often have crappy inflexible agreements (looking at you Softbank) and won't cancel your plan until you've bought out the contract. That leaves a lot of people in a chicken-egg type situation where they need their phone but can't cancel the agreement. Sometimes people leave their Japanese bank accounts open with a small amount of cash in case there are any residual payments that need to be made. Or she could cancel her current one and get a temporary plan. Just something to consider.

 

Banking

 

Most Japanese banks require you to live in Japan to keep your account open, but you can fudge it by not telling them you're leaving. If they get any mail or documents returned as undeliverable they'll freeze the account so make sure mail gets forwarded to someone. She can also give someone a power of attorney (委任状) and let them manage the account. Unless she has a really good reason to leave it open it's probably better to close the accounts: the savings interest rate is something like 0.015% here.

 

Moving Money

 

If she has less than 1M yen or some low multiple of that, transferwise is probably the easiest way to go. She can also arrange a wire transfer from her own bank. For international wire transfer banks often have low fees but screw you on the exchange rate so watch out.

 

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I moved from the UK, not Japan, but some issues will be the same

 

1) I moved most of my cash to the US. During our first tax return together I had to declare if I'd had more than USD10k in foreign bank accounts during the preceding year. I had to fill in some forms to declare this, and explain the reasons (obviously in my case the reason was that I was a UK citizen, resident in the UK at the time. I declared all the accounts and amounts, and was never followed up about this (this was 2-3 years ago). This is separate to the tax return, google "FBAR foreign asset reporting" for more info. It was a little tricky to details all the accounts as I had money spread in several that I then consolidated in one account in order to send to the USA in one transaction.

 

I'm not a tax expert but I imagine that the Feds are familiar with what happens when someone moves to the US, and that they might have had assets in overseas accounts for entirely legitimate reasons.

 

2) The above responsibility is ongoing, so you may find it easier to ensure that you have less than USD10k in overseas accounts once resident in the US to avoid reporting in following years.

 

3) Any income or interest from overseas assets must be declared as income on your tax return.

 

4) In terms of moving physical assets, I had some personal possessions that didn't have massive financial value that I wanted to ship to the USA (several electric guitars, a grand father clock that I inherited etc). I arranged with a specialist shipping company to ship these from the UK to USA. They sent me a load of forms from US customs that I had to fill in with details of my visa, inventory of the items being shipped etc. Since I could show I was immigrating to the USA there was no taxes to pay (though as I recall there were relatively small customs charges to pay for inspections etc). The cost of shipping and paperwork probably outweighed the value of the items I was shipping, but these were sentimental possessions.

 

5) When you enter the USA on your k1 visa you might have to fill in the customs form that tourists and other visitors are given. This asks whether you have items worth more than (I think) USD200 that will remain in the USA. Obviously everything you are carrying (clothes, laptop, jewelry etc) will be staying in the USA. I didn't complete that part of the declaration and asked the customs officer what I should put as I was entering on a k1 visa to live permanently in the USA. He said its fine, and just took the card from me. As above, I think the system understands that new immigrants are going to have assets on them of well above the USD200 value.

 


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~~Moved to Taxes and Finances, from K1 P&P ~~


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Met Playing Everquest in 2005
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Interview 03-12-08
Visa received 04-21-08
Entry 05-06-08
Married 06-21-08
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Citizenship
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Citizenship for older 2 boys

Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

Biometrics 04/15/14

Interview 05/29/14

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Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS

 

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Posted (edited)

Does anyone have any thoughts on temporary medical insurance?  I saw what the major medical international insurer (In__buy) had to offer.  Is that the best option until I can add her to my employer coverage?  How about coverage during the last week or so in her home country (Japan) prior to her entry into the US?

Edited by Dennis V

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