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Obligation to Report at International Transfers?

A lot of DKB-bank account holders have already become aware of this issue, when reading, „SVWZ+UEBERTRAG AWV-MELDEPFLICHT BEACHTEN HOTLINE BUNDESBANK. (0800) 1234-111“.

Caution concerning the obligation to report foreign bank transfer on the bank statement

That is how the note of an eventual obligation to report at the DKB looks like. One can learn from the details in the bank statement (online banking) that the credit entry came from Switzerland.

What can you do now?

First of all: Read this article without ruffle or excitement.

Generally, financial transactions to and from Germany are subject to reporting, if they

  • are higher than 12,500 Euros
  • an economic deal was the reason of payment
  • and the recipient or sender of the money is an habitual resident in Germany.

What are these reports good for?

From the sum of all reports, the balance of payments of the Federal Republic of Germany is created (Source: § 11 (2) No. 2 AWG).

What are these reports not good for?

These reports are not used for the purpose of taxation. There is no crosslink to the tax office.

Do I always have to report, when I receive more than 12,500 Euros?

No. Based on the thematic cases of our web portal, one can distinguish between two groups:

  1. Pure Account Transfer

    If you have money on a foreign savings account and you want to transfer it back to Germany, then you are not subject to reporting.

  2. Sale of Securities or Real Estate with consequent Account Transfer

    However, if the money is due to the sale of securities, then a „underlying transaction“ was before the account transfer. In this case, you have to fill out form Z 10. At the hotline of the federal bank 0800-1234-111 (toll free number), people will gladly assist you.

Special Case: Reporting despite of a Domestic Transfer

The indication to a possible obligation to report also appears on account statements, even though it was a domestic transfer. For example, from a bank account of the Comdirect to a bank account at the DKB.

Reason

The customer data record at any German bank contains the information on whether one is a resident or non-resident, so someone with residence in Germany or not.

One emphasis of DeutschesKonto.org is to report on how to open a very good bank account and securities account in Germany as a non-resident. Some non-residents, who could be foreigners but also emigrated German citizens, maintain a bank account in Germany. Now, if you receive a payment from someone like this, then automatically this indication will be on the account statement.

No obligation to report for non-residents.

By the way, non-residents do not have such indications on their German account statements, as their banks have to take care of the reporting (however, some banks still show the indication automatically, which causes confusions). The law says that the obligation is always borne by the resident and in this constellation, this is the bank of the non-resident.

What happens when omitting the report?

The omitting of the report is an infringement, which can be punished by a fine of up to 30,000 Euros (§ 19 (5) No. 2 and (6) AWG).

However, the detection probability is quite low, as the bank does not send a report to the federal bank by itself and will not verify, whether you meet the legal obligations or not.

Summary

At international transfers (also SEPA-transfers), there is an obligation to report from 12,500 Euros, if it is just an account transfer without a legal transaction. The report is only for the statistical records of payments of the Federal Republic of Germany with the other country.

A forwarding of the information to the tax office and customs can be excluded (there is no legal basis).

Whoever omits the report commits an infringement, which can be punished with a fine of up to 30,000 Euros. However, the risk of detection is very low.

Zoll Autos

No forwarding of data to the tax authorities!

Further Questions?

Do you have further questions about this subject? Please use the comments box and we will reply as soon as possible.

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14 Responses to “Obligation to Report at International Transfers?”

  1. Mira says:

    Hello,

    I recently sold my old flat in Czech Rep. and I would like to transfer the money from my Czech account to my German account. It is about 60.000 Euro. I need to do this in two steps – first 40.000 Euro and second the rest (I have a limit set in my bank).
    I am employed and living in Germany (though not German).

    Is this transfer Meldepflicht. What else do I have to take care of? I will be grateful for a German answer.

    Regards, Mira

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    • Martin says:

      (English:) Mira, in general it is not necessary to report the transfer of money from your Czech bank account to your German bank account. Only payments have to be reported and this is not a payment. However, selling property abroad meant receiving a payment, so in this case the transaction might need to be reported, depending on the circumstances. I’d recommend to discuss your individual case with German federal bank under the hotline 0800-1234-111 – it’s free to call the number from Germany.

      (Deutsch:) Im Allgemeinen gibt es keine Meldepflicht für Überweisungen von Ihrem tschechischen Bankkonto auf Ihr deutsches Bankkonto. Nur Zahlungen müssen gemeldet werden und so ein Übertrag von einem aufs andere eigene Konto gilt nicht als Zahlung. Allerdings wurden Sie für den Verkauf Ihres Besitzes im Ausland bezahlt, sodass in diesem Fall doch eine Meldepflicht bestehen könnte. Das hängt von den genauen Umständen ab. Ich würde empfehlen, Ihren individuellen Fall mit der Bundesbank unter der aus Deutschland kostenlosen Rufnummer 0800-1234-111 zu besprechen.

      Falls eine Meldung nötig sein sollte, können Sie diese auch per Telefon unter dieser Nummer abgeben.

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  2. Mark says:

    I actually live in Germany, but I will work in Vietnam where I will move my residence.

    However, I will send every month my savings from a foreign bank account (my employer). I will pay taxes in Vietnam.

    Do I need to report? Which documents do I need to provide to avoid problems?
    Thanks!

    Best
    Mark

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    • Tanja says:

      There is no obligation to report transactions which are below 12500 EUR to the German Federal Bank. You can probably transfer your monthly savings without a report.

      As far as we know, there are no other obligations to notify German public authorities such as the tax office about financial transactions either after you have moved your main place of residence to Vietnam and pay taxes there.

      So you can keep your bank account in Germany without having to worry. Do you already know the account “DKB Cash” with its free Visa card? You can use this card to withdraw money free-of-charge from ATMs worldwide. Applying for the account is easier while you’re still in Germany. You can find more information here:

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      • Mark says:

        Wow!
        This is a great news, I was very concerned about sending these savings.
        Sorry to rephrase, but I want to be sure I understood 🙂
        So even if every month for 12-18 months my employer (in Vietnam) sends 3000 euro in my account (already taxed), I do not need to make any statement or send any document as it is no more than 12,500 euro per month. Am I correct?
        Also, I will not live in Germany, but my residence will be in Vietnam.
        When you say “probably”, does it mean that there is a little possibility to get in trouble?If yes, which document should I submit?Maybe a payroll? or maybe just nothing?

        Thanks in advance
        You give great suggestions!

        Mark

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        • Tanja says:

          Yes Mark, you’re right: there is no obligation to report these transfers as long as each one is less than 12,500 EUR, even if they add up to more than 12,500 EUR after a few months.

          The reason for writing “probably” was that I didn’t know for sure yet whether your money transfers would be less than 12,500 EUR each. But they are, so there’s no need to submit any documents.

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  3. John says:

    I am sending salary payments, using an international transfer, to our employees in Germany

    If an employee is lucky enough to receive over 12.5k Euros in a single payment – do they have to report this?

    They are all German citizens, working for a German company in Germany

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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  4. Dawna says:

    I am a German resident since 2002, and planning to move back to Canada soon. 1) If I send more than 12500 from my DE savings account to my brother back home, do I need to report that? And 2) then once I sell my home here and want to transfer that money to Canada (I will have opened a bank account in Canada in my name by then), do I need to report that? Thanks in advance!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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  5. Ashkan says:

    I am outside the country and I’m trying to call this number as 0049 800 1234 111 but its not possible. could you help me with another number?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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  6. Marc says:

    Hi,

    I would need some information about the new Automatic Exchange of Information among banks. I am not sure if this is off topic.

    I have a bank account in Germany and I am an Italian citizen, however I live in Cambodia.

    My bank account is not of high value (app. 30,000 euro in it).

    I was reading that:
    1) bank accounts below 250,000 USD may not be reported
    2) the information will be shared to the country of residency.

    I am assuming that my bank may still send the info, even if the account is way below 250,000 USD non mandatory threshold. Now to whom this info will be sent? Cambodia or ITaly?
    Cambodia has not signed the agreement for Automatic Exchange of Information.

    I pay taxes in Cambodia and part of my salary is sent to the German Bank account. I would not like that this creates some problems and after I need to pay again taxes in ITaly or Germany or get fined.

    Do you have any insights? I would rather fix this in advance rather than taking a risk .

    Thanks

    Best

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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  7. Mary says:

    Dear Tanja,
    I am a resident in Germany and Singapore is my home country. I want to transfer some of my savings from my Singapore account to my german account equivalent to 20,000 – 40,000 euros.

    These are savings accumulated over the years from my income as a salaried employee when I was working in Japan for 10 years. They have therefore been already taxed in Japan.

    Will I be taxed further here in Germany even though they are my savings net from my taxed salaried income?

    Thanks!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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  8. Phuong Nguyen says:

    Hi,

    I am foreigner PhD student in Germany. I’m gonna to come back to my country – Vietnam in this June. Therefore, I need to transfer my saving money from my Deustchebank account. I have just transfer 15.000 euro from my Deutsche bank account to the account of my sister in Vietnam via online banking of Deutsche Bank. This is a Vietnamese account.

    Do you know that do I need to do the report related to my transfer?

    Many thanks!

    Best regards,

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0

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