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How to expatriate money from China?

SarahB (50 posts) • 0

Let's say I stay in China 5 years, and I save alot of money, equivalent to, say, $100,000 (I am from the US). When I move back, I want that 600,000 or so RMB to go with me and to become US dollars in my US bank account. How can I do that?

darkone264 (108 posts) • 0

direct bank transfer between chinese bank and US bank will require you to have an account at both, they will take a bit but i think the limit is 20,000USD a day (don't quote me on that) anything more is harder unless your a business

Tonyaod (824 posts) • 0

By law, any money cumulated in China cannot be freely converted into forex. Can't remember the ratio But I think you Can only convert 70%, unless, as darkone said, you have a company that does international trade

Geezer (1930 posts) • 0

I seem to remember the annual limit is of Yuan conversion to USD is $50,000 USD. The daily limit is $1,000, which I have done several times.

I have transferred USD into China using bank transfers but found the time delays, procedures, costs and frustration in China tedious. Using Hong Kong as a portal is faster, or was, but is not cheap.

You must do these types of transactions at specified bank branches as the typical retail branch, in China, doesn't, can't or is unaware they are permitted.

From time to time, restrictions on cash flows, in or out, are tightened or relaxed. Inward funds are more welcome.

Be aware, if you move funds out of China, it is best to verify the transaction is complete before you leave China. Any error in the information is going to be a problem.

Lastly, as an American you must consider US law. See FBAR and FATCA. China does cooperate with the US. Accumulation of $100K, the threshold is $10K total in all accounts, might give you problems back home.

SarahB (50 posts) • 0

Geezer thank you. That is useful. So what should, say, an American with several hundred thousands of US dollars worth of RMB do upon returning?

Geezer (1930 posts) • 0

Plan ahead. Avoid accumulating funds in China. US law, and regulations, as administered by the current administration is not expat friendly.

Annual reporting requirements for Americans are tedious and all violations are criminal.

If the situation is an investment in China and you are wondering about how to cash out, I can't help. Frankly, China's currency regime is in flux and has changed radically over the last 20 years but remains rather backwards.

A big consideration is the current huge outflow of funds recently, (currently?), by local people. Sooner or later this will be interrupted and new regulations put in place.

Do you shoot craps?

Xiefei (518 posts) • 0

First of all, if you haven't been reporting your income, you're going to have some issues when you bring all that money back to the states. If you're not well-versed in that, it's time to read up on Fin-Cen, FATCA and expat tax filing.

The easiest way to get money home is via a Chinese friend, though this does require some trust. They are allowed to purchase and send out up to $50,000 a year, with no daily limit. But you have to put the money in their account and hope they follow through.

If you can account for the money, say via salary, sale of a home or operation of a business, and can prove you paid taxes on it, you should be able to send most, if not all of it home, but there is a ton of paperwork.

Some people have taken to buying bitcoin in China and then selling them in America. This requires quite a bit of homework to figure out at first, though.

For smaller amounts, a lot of people leave their Chinese account open, and withdraw the money from ATMs back home. Probably not practical for such large sums though.

SarahB (50 posts) • 0

Xiefei, since I lived abroad somewhere else before China, I do report my income, and file taxes on it, so that is not a problem. Good thought, though.

Thanks for the information. It sounds like there is not one, legal, standard way to do this. I mean, the ways you mentioned are legal, but there is not a standard way to do it all in one go. Thanks!

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