- Find out if you should use your bank or a remittance service to move money to Japan from Australia.
- Discover how much money you can transfer to Japan and if Japan or Australia limit the transfer amount.
- When moving money to Japan, there are some laws and taxes you should know about, especially if you're sending large sums of AUD to JPY.
With more than 100,000 Japanese living in Australia and an Australian expat community of about 10,000 living in Japan, the two countries share many personal and business ties. People move money to Japan from Australia to provide financial support to family or for business purposes.
No matter your reason, this guide will show you which service to choose to skip high fees and avoid slow transfer speeds.
Need to transfer money to Japan from Australia?
Best ways to send money to Japan
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Common reasons people transfer money overseas to Japan
The vast majority of money transfers to Japan from Australia are from individuals sending money back home to family. People also send money to pay for education overseas or to provide financial support to family members living abroad.
Emigration to Japan is another common reason. Australian residents also send money for business purposes. The most common reasons include:
- Paying freelancers
- Paying suppliers or contractors
- Paying overseas employees
- Running an ecommerce business
- Investing in real estate
- Making charitable donations
Sending money for business vs personal purposes
Sending money to Japan from Australia either through a money transfer service is easy, but there are a few laws and taxes to know about before moving the funds.
Individuals and business senders should know that there is no limit on the amount you can send, but you will be asked to submit identification documents (a passport, national ID card, or driver’s licence) when sending 2 million yen (about $23,850) or more.
The Japanese Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act also requires banks and financial institutions to submit a report for each transfer exceeding 30 million yen (about $357,755).
Fund transfers from parents to children or between friends and relatives are considered gifts in Japan. Japanese residents are exempt from gift tax if the annual gift doesn’t exceed 1.1 million yen, except for qualified transfers from lineal ascendants who are over 60 years old made to descendants who are at least 20 years old.
In this case, gifts up to a total of 25 million yen will be exempt from gift tax. Tax on all other gifts is 20% on the amount exceeding the threshold.
Japanese residents also have to pay income tax on overseas earnings that are transferred to Japan. These include business and capital gains, dividends, income generated by the possession or management of foreign assets, salaries and pensions, and distribution of profits.
How much money can you send to Japan from Australia?
Legally, there is no limit on how much money you can send to Japan from Australia. Your bank or money transfer service could limit the transaction amount.
Depending on your bank, your default limit for international transfers can vary from $0 to $10,000. Most banks offer an average of $5,000, and you can usually increase this limit in the branch. However, each transfer that exceeds the default limit may require in-branch authorisation.
Business accounts have higher limits, but they may still be too low for your business needs. These generally vary between $50,000 and $100,000. You can send more but have to contact your bank to increase the limit.
Money transfer services allow you to transfer larger sums, and most options have lower fees compared to the bank. However, those services that charge a percentage of the amount sent can be more expensive if you want to send a large sum.
How much does it cost to send money to Japan through a bank?
International transfer fees vary from bank to bank and the transfer method you choose (internet banking or in the branch). Internet banking fees are generally cheap but still more expensive than money transfer services fees. Expect to pay anywhere between $6 and $10 per transfer (sometimes more).
Most banks charge between $25 and $35 for transfers executed in the branch. These fees are very high, considering that many money transfer services only charge a currency conversion margin applied to the interbank exchange rate.
In addition to the fixed fees, you must also consider the conversion rate. Banks generally apply higher margins compared to money transfer services.
What to compare to get the best deal
Getting the best international money transfer deal can be challenging, but comparing the following factors could help you decide:
- Minimum and maximum limits
- Payment methods
- Transfer speed
- Currency margin
- Transfer fees