- Need to move funds to the US from Australia? Get up to speed with the basics of international money transfer to the US.
- Choosing the right money transfer company to send funds abroad can help you save on fees and currency exchange rates - especially for large transfers of $10,000+.
- Large international transfers to the US may require you or the recipient to file paperwork and pay tax.
Whether you’re paying ecommerce bills, freelancers, or funding your overseas business, or sending money back to family members living in the United States, there are plenty of ways to transfer money to the US from Australia.
This money transfer page will help you choose between your bank or a digital money transfer provider and give you a few helpful tips on international transfer laws and taxes relevant to the United States.
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Best ways to send money to the USA
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Common reasons people transfer money overseas to the US
People transfer money overseas to the US for personal and business reasons.
- The most common personal reason is sending money to family.
- Financial support transfers are executed by both US expats living in Australia and Australians who have family living abroad.
- In addition to financial support, buying property and paying for education overseas are other common reasons.
- Australians moving to the US may also transfer funds to pay for or obtain visas.
- Paying for kids and young adults to go to University in the US is also a common reason for transferring money to the US.
- People planning to get married in the US may also transfer funds to wedding planners, suppliers, and event coordinators.
- Business purposes vary from paying freelancers to paying overseas employees.
- Investing in real estate, running an ecommerce, or paying contractors or suppliers are other frequent reasons businesses transfer money to the US.
Business vs personal considerations
While sending money overseas to the US is straightforward, there are some laws you should know about if you have to send a large remittance.
All banks and financial institutions in the US have an obligation to report payments exceeding US$10,000 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This law, officially called the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, was established in 1970, and it has the purpose of monitoring fraudulent activity.
Large remittances, but also several smaller remittances sent to the same bank account over a short period of time, can raise a red flag. The recipient’s bank or credit union is obligated to report all suspicious activity to the government within 15 days of receiving it.
To comply with the law, your bank or money transfer service may ask you to submit documentation when sending large sums, including proof of address and ID.
Sending funds to your own US bank account from an overseas bank account in your name could also trigger controls.
The IRS is generally responsible for investigating the income and foreign accounts of US citizens (regardless of where they live) and establishing whether or not they have to pay US tax. To avoid legal repercussions, you should report your foreign accounts and assets to the IRS periodically.
If you send money to provide financial support to family members living abroad, know that all transfers that are made without expecting goods or services in return are considered gifts. The recipient is exempt from gift tax for sums up to US$15,000 a year (US$16,000 from 2022).
You or your recipient may also have to pay tax if the transfer is classified as income. This includes income from sources such as properties abroad, dividends, capital gains.
How much money can you send to the US from Australia?
Legally, there is no limit on how much money you can send to the US from Australia – the only rule is that you have to declare transfers of US$10,000 or more to prevent IRS audits.
Although your bank or financial entity may limit the transfer amount. Most Australian banks limit personal accounts to A$5,000 per international transfer, on average. You can generally change the limit via your walk-in branch.
Money transfer services have higher limits, generally exceeding A$50,000 per transfer. Some services have minimum limits, too, so you should check before choosing if you want to send a small remittance.
How much does it cost to send money through a bank?
How much you have to pay depends on the transfer method and whether you send the money from your internet banking account or walk-in branch.
International bank transfers through internet banking are relatively cheap (generally between A$6 and A$15 per transfer).
In-branch fees are higher, usually exceeding A$30 per transfer. Fees aside, you should also consider the currency exchange rate since most banks apply margins to the interbank exchange rate.
Alternatives ways to send money to the United States
If you’re looking for a cheaper and faster method than your bank, then money transfer services that charge no transfer fees and have better exchange rates could your the best bet.
Using crypto to send money to the United States
If the business or person recipient is happy to receive crypto then you could look at this as a viable alternative.
You can use an international crypto exchange such as Binance or Coinbase to buy a stablecoin with AUD and then send that to the recipient. If you and the recipient use the same crypto exchange, no fee will typically be incurred when transferring funds.
How to compare money transfer services
Getting the best international money transfer deal isn’t hard if you compare the following factors:
- Minimum and maximum limits
- Transfer speed
- Currency margin
- Payment methods