TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

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Latest post Tue, Apr 25 2017 8:17 AM by ca19lawyer2. 25 replies.
  • Mon, Nov 15 2010 7:06 PM

    TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    If you are carrying more up to/more than $10,000 in cash on an airplane, can TSA detain you and seize the funds?  I know some "high rollers" going to Las Vegas for gambling like to carry that much cash on them, and if TSA finds this on a pat-down I'm sure they will want to know 1) If the money is legal  2) If it's drug money or not.

     

    First off, how would you [legally] be able to prove the source/purpose for the money in this situation?  Secondly, what does the law say about travelling with large amounts of cash on domestic flights?  I only know of the standards for inernational flights and declaring it to customs.  

     

    Thanks!

  • Mon, Nov 15 2010 7:12 PM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    PandemicOperation:
    If you are carrying more up to/more than $10,000 in cash on an airplane, can TSA detain you and seize the funds?  I know some "high rollers" going to Las Vegas for gambling like to carry that much cash on them, and if TSA finds this on a pat-down I'm sure they will want to know 1) If the money is legal  2) If it's drug money or not.

    It is not illegal to carry large amounts of cash while traveling (foolish, certainly, IMO, since there are much better ways to get the cash to your destination). The government cannot seize the funds without first proving it to be connected with criminal activity or having a lien on the cash (e.g. from a tax assessment, etc). Absent some other fact found in the screening that would indicate criminal activity, the TSA should not detain you for long simply because you have a lot of cash on you.

  • Mon, Nov 15 2010 7:38 PM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    Thanks for the answer!  I had trying to look for answers prior to asking but couldn't find anything concrete. Much appreciated.

  • Sun, Jan 2 2011 7:25 PM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    you could not be more wrong. They can and will take the cash from you givving you a reciept and sending you on your way penniless and with  a very short time to to file a claim to it. Then you will have to prove where it came from thru an expensive unfair procedure. [foul language] Doubt it? Checkout "in REM" laws & proceedings

  • Sun, Jan 2 2011 8:48 PM In reply to

    CuriouslyMadCheshire-

    I edited your post to remove the foul language which is against site rules. I've included a quick guide to the rules of the forums for your review.

    http://community.lawye...

    Thank you for your cooperation going forward.

    Sharon

  • Mon, Jan 3 2011 2:19 AM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    Why is that? From what I read, they would only really do that on a domestic flight?

  • Mon, Jan 3 2011 2:41 AM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    CuriouslyMadCheshire:
    you could not be more wrong. They can and will take the cash from you givving you a reciept and sending you on your way penniless and with  a very short time to to file a claim to it. Then you will have to prove where it came from thru an expensive unfair procedure. [foul language] Doubt it? Checkout "in REM" laws & proceedings

    You seem to assume because that happens in SOME cases that it happens in ALL cases. It does not. I used to be a lawyer for the federal government before leaving for private practice and know that from first hand experience. The government must have reason to believe that the cash is connected with illegal activity or have some other basis to seize the cash (i.e. a lien in favor of the government). Merely carrying a large amount of cash is not, without more, sufficient basis to believe the cash is connected with illegal activity.

    While this thread concerned domestic flights, if someone comes into the U.S. from abroad with a large amount of cash and fails to declare it as required, that may provide a basis to seize the cash too.

  • Mon, Jan 3 2011 5:30 AM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    CuriouslyMadCheshire:
    Doubt it? Checkout "in REM" laws & proceedings

    Yes, I doubt it.  You stated a lawyer (who formerly worked for the Federal Government) was "wrong". 

    Yet, you did not have courtesy to at least explain why [YOU THINK] he is wrong, or provide us with a link where a situation like this has actually happened. 

    Ok  I'm not a lawyer.  This is only my opinion /suggestion.  Most Replys' are based on information provided by the "original post" (OP).

  • Mon, Jan 3 2011 6:50 PM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    " The government must have reason to believe that the cash is connected with illegal activity or have some other basis to seize the cash (i.e. a lien in favor of the government). Merely carrying a large amount of cash is not, without more, sufficient basis to believe the cash is connected with illegal activity. "

    However, the facts that the individual has been interviewed and has admitted to the perfectly legal practice of carrying large amounts of cash are noted in police records. The police then looks for patterns of behavior to the end of preventing illegal behavior.

    Find a guy carrying $$$ on NY to LA flights? Get the drug dogs to sniff him on his next LA to NY flight.

  • Sat, May 24 2014 10:40 PM In reply to

    • Phantom1949
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Sat, May 24 2014
    • AZ
    • Posts 5

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    This is an old question but I would like to expand on the question.

     

    First, I am not an attorney.  I am not into drugs or anything illegal (other then exceedin gthe speed limit once in a while).

    I was told that I can legally carry currency within the USA without fear of the TSA confiscating the money.  I wuold be carrying over $10,000 in foreigh currency and have the receipts (which I would take with me).

    It seems that if I fly withing the USA, then there is no limit on what I can carry currency wise but when leaving the USA, I am limited to under $10,000.

    Is this correct or not? 

    Also, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth part of the USA.  So when flying to Puerto Rico since it is part of the USA (while not a state - but neither is the District of Columbia) am I limied to up to $10,000 or is it unlimited as when flying from state to state?

    I am looking for advise....... and input.

    Oh, and yes I would be flying with receipts and security....

    Lastly when flying from the continential USA to Puerto Rico, assuming it is legal to carry over $10,000, is there a difference between fling a commcial flight as opposed to a private flight?

     

    Thank you.

     

     

     

  • Sat, May 24 2014 11:27 PM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    Can't imagine why you didn't check with the TSA website first.

    Took me all of five seconds to find your answer:

    http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/currency-coins-precious-metals-or-valuable-jewelry

    Anything not answered by that link, I suggest you call TSA and ask.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Sun, May 25 2014 12:06 AM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    adjuster jack:

    Can't imagine why you didn't check with the TSA website first.

    Took me all of five seconds to find your answer:

    http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/currency-coins-precious-metals-or-valuable-jewelry

    Anything not answered by that link, I suggest you call TSA and ask.

    Jack, he might have found that page. But honestly, that TSA page is nearly useless in answering the OP's questions. That's not suprising, since the TSA is only concerned about Airport and aircraft security; laws that are outside the scope of its jurisdiction the TSA isn't going to discuss much, if at all, on its site. And much of the law concerning carrying currency is outside the TSA's jurisdiction. Indeed, much of it is tax law that is within the jurisdiction of either the IRS or the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). So, calling and asking TSA about this isn't likely to be all that useful.

  • Sun, May 25 2014 12:11 AM In reply to

    • Phantom1949
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Sat, May 24 2014
    • AZ
    • Posts 5

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    Thanks but I was already on the TSA website and the TSA post did not answer the question.  To wait to go to TSA to find out what one can do is not planning.  The webiste post you referenced did not mention the $10.000 limitation when going overseas.   The website also did not answer the question of whether flying from the continuential USA to Puerto Rico is staying within the USA or flying to a foreigh country.

    So fast is not always accurate or complete.

     

    But I have already written the TSA any hopefully they will provide a correct and accurate answer.

    I do not mean to sound arrougant, but your response is at best incomplete and a poor attitude.

     

    Either you can help or not, but your answer was poor and not an answer,

     

     

  • Sun, May 25 2014 12:47 AM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    Phantom1949:

    It seems that if I fly withing the USA, then there is no limit on what I can carry currency wise but when leaving the USA, I am limited to under $10,000.

    Is this correct or not? 

    Not quite correct. There is no law in the U.S. that restricts the amount of cash you may carry while traveling, whether it is travel entirely within the U.S. or whether you are going into or out of the U.S. However, a number of other nations do have currency restrictions of some kind, and you'd want to ensure that you understand those laws before traveling to those countries.

    What U.S. law does provide is that if you transport into or out of the U.S. more than $10,000 in currency you must report that transaction to CBP using Fin Cen Form 105. Failure to comply with this provision may result in seizure and forfeiture of the cash as well as a fine of up to $500,000 and/or 10 years in federal prison. Depending on the circumstances, other reporting might also be required.

    You raised the issue of transporting cash to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a territory of the U.S. The law imposing the reporting requirement is 31 U.S.C. § 5313. The definitions that apply to that law are found in 31 U.S.C. § 5312. United States is defined in § 5312(a)(6) to mean “the States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and, when the Secretary prescribes by regulation, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a territory or possession of the United States, or a military or diplomatic establishment.”

    So, in order to determine if Puerto Rico is considered part of the U.S. for this purpose (and thus whether reporting is required), one must look at the Treasury Regulations on the subject, found in Title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Chapter X. Specifically, 31 CFR § 1010.100(hhh) defines United States as follows: “The States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Indian lands (as that term is defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act), and the Territories and Insular Possessions of the United States.” So, it appears that transporting over $10,000 in cash from a U.S. state to Puerto Rico should be treated just like transporting it from one U.S. state to another for the purpose of determining the obligation to file Fin Cen Form 105.

    Note that the obligation to file the Fin Cen Form 105 does not depend how the cash is transported, so whether by commercial flight, by private jet, by boat, through the mail, or whatever, the requirement will apply.

    Note that for other purposes, notably income tax laws, Puerto Rico is treated like a foreign country. Thus, you have to look at each particular law at issue to see how Puerto Rico (or any other territory or possession) is treated. For some purposes, it is treated as though a part of the U.S., and for others as though it is not.

  • Sun, May 25 2014 12:58 AM In reply to

    Re: TSA and carrying $10,000 or more cash on an airplane

    Note one more thing. If you transferred the cash through the banking system, i.e. from an account in a bank in the U.S. to an account in a foreign bank or vice versa, you may not need to file the form Fin Cen 105. In general, using the banking system is both the safest and most convienient way to transfer money from one place to another. I would recommend against carrying large amounts of cash with you on an airplane. It just isn't a very safe thing to do.

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