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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Questions

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the largest law enforcement agency in the United States with a workforce of more than 45,600 sworn federal agents and officers. They are charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. U.S. Customs and Border Protection can have many legal implications if the laws are broken. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about U.S. Customs and Border Protection answered by the Experts.

If a United States citizen leaves the U.S. under bankruptcy, having never made over the tax deductible limit, and never filing taxes, what would they need to do to move back to the U.S.?

In most cases if a person is a U.S. citizen there is nothing preventing their return, because there is no check of Internal Revenue Service records as a predicate to admission to the U.S. However once they are in the U.S. the IRS can impose a forced tax against their unfilled tax returns, then they would either pay all of the taxes, penalties and interest, or make an “offer in compromise” to the IRS to reduce their tax liability. Any assets in the other country would probably be wise to leave there and access that money for support while they resolve their tax issues, because if they deposit it into a U.S. bank account the IRS can reach the money.  

If a person wired $30,000 from a bank in Mexico to a bank in the United States, would the US bank be required to disclose this to the Internal Revenue Service?

Typically if the person affiliated with the U.S. receives negotiable monetary instruments valued at $10,000 or more they are required to report it to Customs and Border Protection (CPB) within 15 days upon receipt of the monetary instrument to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) using form 105. If the person does not report this transaction through normal banking procedures the bank will report this information to the IRS.

If a person is entering the United States and declares more than $10,000 how much will customs take from it?

In most cases they may legally carry or mail any amount of money they want into or out of the U.S., but if it is more than $10,000 at one time they should first report it to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Failure to report the international transportation of money is a violation of the Currency and Foreign Transaction Reporting Act. The proper form to file with U.S. Customs is the FinCen 105.

If a person sold property abroad for $100,000 and wanted to take the money into the United States what steps should be taken in order to legally bring it into the country?

As a general rule the best way to transfer money is to open an account with a foreign bank and to transfer it to a U.S. bank. If this amount exceeds $100,000 in one year, they must then report that money by filing Form 3520 with the Internal Revenue Service. No tax will be due with the form, but it is a filing requirement that simply informs the IRS of their transfer and that they have money in a bank in the U.S.

Is there any way a national charity dedicated to helping victims and their families can become exempt from customs and import taxes?

Typically if their nonprofit organization is permanently importing goods for religious, educational or scientific purposes there is a possibility that their goods may be exempt from duty. Reference the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), Section XXII, heading 9810 to see if their importation meets the specifications for one of the provisions.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency’s primary mission is preventing terrorists and their weapons from entering the U.S., it is also responsible for apprehending individuals attempting to enter the U.S. illegally, stemming the flow of illegal drugs, protecting agricultural and economic interests from harmful pests and diseases, and protecting American businesses from intellectual property theft. The above questions were just a few dealing with the many responsibilities of the CBP answered by the Experts.
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