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I need to find how much cash a touris from China can carry with him without paying taxes, penalty or being forfeited by the US

Los Angeles, CA |

customs officer? Should he claim all of the $ amount on the claim form?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. The fact that you're asking this question is of concern. Bring whatever funds you deem necessary for your visit.Declare it on the forms - no worries. If you try to hide the money, then civil /criminal penalties may ensue. Act accordingly.


  2. A foreign national, upon arrival to U.S. can have virtually unlimited amounts of cash on him, as long as he/she declares it to U.S. Customs upon arrival. There is no "tax" or "penalty" that is due on an amount of money that has been earned or brought from abroad by a non-resident alien = a visitor from China or Uganda. You will only start paying taxes on the interest banks will pay you on the deposit of these monies in a bank account. With interest rates banks pay on time deposits being close to zero, I wouldn't worry about it.

    Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


  3. As my colleagues point out, the amount is not the issue. It is honestly declaring them on the form provided by customs. Be sure that if you carry money out of the US, including money you declared on the way in, that you file the declaration as well. I have had client's who failed to do so to their dismay.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  4. I agree with my colleagues. People that are caught not reporting true amount will feel the wrath of the law.

    This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. This means that I am not your lawyer and I will not appear in court simply by posting on this site. If you would like me to represent you, you must call my office, sign a written fee agreement and pay a legal fee, assuming I do not have a conflict of interest and you are in Southern California. If I respond to your question and you have follow up questions by posting on this site, I may or may not reply. This information should not be construed as legal advice. I am offering my opinion. Each person's case is unique, and that's why you should contact a lawyer over the phone for a consultation for your situation. That's why you should not rely on any response that an attorney posts on this site. I am licensed in California. I am not licensed in another state or country. I do not practice law outside of California.

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