If you are based outside the US and have US clients or have US money coming to you, you may require a USD bank account to receive payments for invoices made to US clients or receive those funds from the US (e.g. a tax refund from the IRS).
Setting up a USD account is very easy from outside the US, using a company like Wise.com who offer multiple currency accounts for both individuals and entities organised outside the United States.
What sort of account do I receive?
The account once opened is like a local account in country. So for the US, the account is able to receive funds in from local US payors (individuals and entities). You receive an account number and ABN routing number (which reduces international payment fees) for inside the US to a local checking account.
Wise.com uses Evolve Bank and Trust as their local partner bank and full bank address details are listed in their app or their website once the account is opened. Payments received in attract no ACH fees.
You also have outside the US bank details for USD payments that need to be sent by wire transfer (i.e. BIC/SWIFT). Wire transfer fees apply, but these are significantly lower than an international USD bank in your local country.
I have to file a US tax return and have a refund due from the IRS
If you have a US tax refund as a result of filing a US tax return, the IRS normally will post a cheque as they do not transfer to outside the US (i.e. international bank details). Having a US account will help speed up the receipt of funds from the IRS as electronic payments are processed faster (no cheque clearing or international post issues - leading to 12 to 16 weeks delays in receipt of funds).
Please note, sometimes the IRS will just send a cheque as a matter of course or for security reasons. If this happens, unfortunately it will be difficult to receive an electronic transfer instead (due to IRS delays in processing due to Covid and security if filing for the first time).
Just Breve always advise to obtain the details, just in case they are able to transfer electronically at the point of processing the tax return. At the moment due to IRS delays, they want you to have USD details so they can issue funds quicker, as it makes it easier for them to get refunds out.
Please note Wise.com do not accept cheques - they are an electronic only payments company. Any USD cheque would have to be banked in your own local account in your country of residence.
Are there limits on the amount of USD I can receive?
Yes, there are limits but they are quite high. Details can be located on their website.
Per day - $1 million
Per Year - $5 million
Per day - $3 million
Per Year - $15 million
These limits apply for a rolling 365-day period, and not per calendar year.
They may also request additional information and / or documents from you relating to the receipt of USD funds - this is via email and they will contact you for more information if this happens (a matter of course for money laundering purposes).
Do I receive a bank card I can use?
Yes an international currency card is available which allows you to spend in multiple currencies on the same card. So if you have USD it will use that first. If not enough USD, it will use the next available currency. Refer to their website for more details.
If you want to try out an account, whether in USD or other currency, you can receive a fee-free transfer up to GBP 500 by clicking here.
Just Breve deals with US tax issues for non US persons. If you need assistance with US tax filings or US tax forms, please contact us today:
T - 0208 1444632