Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

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khangaroo
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Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by khangaroo » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:13 pm

Hi Bogleheads, I would like to ask for your help using your collective brainpower.

My uncle had land in Vietnam that he just recently sold for $2M US Dollars. He is currently over there right now finalizing the transaction and has a green card here in the US. The issue is that the Vietnamese Government only allows you to transfer $60k/year out of Vietnam if you are a US Citizen and $30k/year if you're a green card citizen therefore it would take decades to move the $2M out.

1) I know it's a very niche question but does anyone have any experience with transferring money out of Vietnam?
2) Who would I contact for help on this topic? A CPA with international experience? An international tax attorney?

Thanks in advance for all your help!

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Pajamas
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by Pajamas » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:16 pm

With $2 million and such a low transfer limit, seems like professional advice would be helpful if he can find an appropriate source. Seems like there must be some creative but legal way to get around it.

MotoTrojan
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by MotoTrojan » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:20 pm

Maybe there are applications for crypto currencies after all.

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HueyLD
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by HueyLD » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:07 pm

In another country back in the days of strict currency regulations, one legal way to transfer a large amount of cash was via travelers checks.

The OP's uncle should inquire about similar possibilities while he is in Vietnam.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:14 pm

khangaroo wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:13 pm
Hi Bogleheads, I would like to ask for your help using your collective brainpower.

My uncle had land in Vietnam that he just recently sold for $2M US Dollars. He is currently over there right now finalizing the transaction and has a green card here in the US. The issue is that the Vietnamese Government only allows you to transfer $60k/year out of Vietnam if you are a US Citizen and $30k/year if you're a green card citizen therefore it would take decades to move the $2M out.

1) I know it's a very niche question but does anyone have any experience with transferring money out of Vietnam?
2) Who would I contact for help on this topic? A CPA with international experience? An international tax attorney?

Thanks in advance for all your help!
How about a major international bank?
If they can't help, they may be able to suggest which other type of company might be able to.

Are there are similar restrictions on removing extremely valuable items out of the country, or is it not only cash?

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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HueyLD
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by HueyLD » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:19 pm

Even major international banks have to follow all the laws and regulations in the country they operate.

I still believe that they are other legal ways to transfer a large amount of cash, but I am not an expert in Vietnamese banking laws.

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whodidntante
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by whodidntante » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:44 pm

I suggest becoming a skilled appraiser of high end jewelry. The rest will work itself out naturally.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:51 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:16 pm
With $2 million and such a low transfer limit, seems like professional advice would be helpful if he can find an appropriate source. Seems like there must be some creative but legal way to get around it.
I'd certainly agree. I can think of lots of ways to do this, but the "legal" gets in the way of all of them.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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FlyAF
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by FlyAF » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:54 pm

Gold brick and a chartered aircraft.

47Percent
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by 47Percent » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:57 pm

khangaroo wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:13 pm
Hi Bogleheads, I would like to ask for your help using your collective brainpower.

My uncle had land in Vietnam that he just recently sold for $2M US Dollars. He is currently over there right now finalizing the transaction and has a green card here in the US. The issue is that the Vietnamese Government only allows you to transfer $60k/year out of Vietnam if you are a US Citizen and $30k/year if you're a green card citizen therefore it would take decades to move the $2M out.

1) I know it's a very niche question but does anyone have any experience with transferring money out of Vietnam?
2) Who would I contact for help on this topic? A CPA with international experience? An international tax attorney?

Thanks in advance for all your help!

If you can find a counter-party who needs to move money from US to Vietnam, your problem would be solved.
There is a whole system called Hawala which acts as a brokerage for this.
Hawala is a system where money transfer is achieved without money crossing the borders.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawala

But the problem is it usually functions outside or on the fringes of the national laws.
You could run into some unsavory characters.

The amount involved is quite high -- but there may be some elite hawala networks.

THis system is quite popular for modest amount money transfers in gulf countries, Indian sub-continent, and many asian countries.

H-Town
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by H-Town » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:59 pm

khangaroo wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:13 pm
Hi Bogleheads, I would like to ask for your help using your collective brainpower.

My uncle had land in Vietnam that he just recently sold for $2M US Dollars. He is currently over there right now finalizing the transaction and has a green card here in the US. The issue is that the Vietnamese Government only allows you to transfer $60k/year out of Vietnam if you are a US Citizen and $30k/year if you're a green card citizen therefore it would take decades to move the $2M out.

1) I know it's a very niche question but does anyone have any experience with transferring money out of Vietnam?
2) Who would I contact for help on this topic? A CPA with international experience? An international tax attorney?

Thanks in advance for all your help!
Your uncle should have a tax CPA advisor since it can become a serious FATCA non-compliance.

As for transferring all $2M, it's not an issue with money going into the U.S. (as long as you can prove that the source of money is legal, if asked). The issue will be money going out of Vietnam as the Vietnamese laws in this area is murky and the application of the laws is even murkier. I know there are certain banks in Vietnam that legally allows the wire transfer (at 5-10 basis points fee). I'm not sure they're doing that anymore.

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ray.james
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by ray.james » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:03 pm

Most countries have a process have a way to ask their central bank for special permission to repatriate as the person is not a citizen. Normal banks would not do it. Some countries have nationalized banks in which their central bank is just a committee. This is the first, best , a bit bureaucratic but works.

Start an llc in Vietnam and through it invest in USA. This bypasses current restrictions in some way but still you are slowly repatriating 60K per year. If he wants to buy some assets here buy it from LLC and then transfer off to USA based entity.

crypto and diamonds - unconventional and grey areas.

Regarding FATCA, he just need to inform the treasury about foreign account. The deadline is same as tax deadline but this is a separate form. Of course IRS itself has tax rules for foreign gains.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:07 pm

Just a thought.....are there Vietnam based banks who issue credit cards that, like US based cards have reasonable currency exchange fees and could be used outside of Vietnam? I'm just thinking.....use that card in the US. Pay it via internet monthly from the Vietnam bank account.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

international001
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by international001 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:08 pm

47Percent wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:57 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawala
Isn't this what Transferwise does?
Does the Vietnamese government also keep an eye on Transferwise?

international001
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by international001 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:11 pm

Can't you have 10k cash on each flight? They don't keep an account of that, do they?
It could cost you lots of time and money on planes, but perhaps is theoretically possible

wootwoot
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by wootwoot » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:28 pm

This is going to be tough as Vietnam is a communist country. Lawyer up my friend.

brito11
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Re: Transferring $2M out of Vietnam to the US

Post by brito11 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:37 pm

Don't have much advice here - but my relative has an import business in Vietnam and the Vietnamese government followed up on money transfers in and out to make sure everything was "done as it should."

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