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paradoxical3
31-07-2012, 21:27
Hi,

I have an apartment near Moscow that my grandmother left me and it is worth about $150,000. I have a buyer that wants to purchase it, but I am not sure how to get the money from Russia to the United States.

I am a dual citizen and my parents still live in Moscow, if that matters. I have a U.S. Bank account in the US and Sberbank account in Russia, but could open another one in the US if that will be easier. I am currently living in the United States so would like to avoid traveling to Russia again if possible due to cost.

How can I safely transfer the money? I am very worried about being scammed or losing half of it to taxes or a fee. I am not wealthy and this is a very large sum of money for me that I will be relying on.

Thank you so much!

Arthuro
31-07-2012, 22:04
1) First, make sure it is worth 150,000
(If you give me details I'll look up the prices)

2) For Russia you are a Russian citizen only, and not a resident of Russia (if at least if you do not have a propiska).. Therefore you'll have to pay a 30% tax (= 45000 USD - better to stay in Russia for 1 yr=)) in order not to pay it)


For a bank transfer you'll need a letter from nalogovaya, that you've paid all duties.

You can also lower the sum up to say 30,000 (and pay 30% from 30,000), but it's quite risky, particularly for the buyer, and you won't be able to transfer the money out of Russia..

3) You may also face problems with US tax . although I don't know anything about that.


4) You may give it to your parents (no duty as you are relatives), they can sell it and then transfer the money to you.
Un this case only 13% tax and 1000.000 rub untaxed base

DavidB
31-07-2012, 22:14
Your parents may need a power of attorney (доверенность) in order to manage the sale for you. They can get the text prepared at a lawyer/notary in Russia and then email it to you. You can then sign it and get your signature notarised in any Russian Consulate, and then send the document to Russia so your parents can use it to represent you.

Money can be transferred directly to your US bank account by wire transfer. Sberbank doesn't offer very good exchange rates, so you would be better to use another bank. UniCredit and Raifeisen offer good exchange rates on USD. You may be able to get a good deal since it's a relatively large amount.

You should keep all of the documentation so that you can prove to the IRS that the money was from the sale of your inheritance and not income.

Inheritance tax was abolished in Russia in 2006, so there will be no tax due as a result of you receiving the apartment from your grandmother. Income tax (30/13%) is only levied on capital gains (appreciation), not on the whole value of the asset. In addition, assets held for more than 3 years are exempt from capital gains tax. So I don't think there will be any tax, unless the value of the apartment has risen since you received it from your grandmother's will.

Since you're a resident of the US, you will have to check US inheritance taxes. I'm not sure how they work, especially with foreign assets.

Jas
31-07-2012, 22:29
Very happy someone else is curious about this. My partner is willing to sell her appartment, valued at $90,000, if I can't stay in russia. We'll use that to cushion ourselves if we are forced to go to the UK. Which neither of us want....
We had no clue about transferring large sums of money out of Russia, so i opened a thread on it last week. This is extra info for me. Thanks David and Arturo!!

Arthuro
01-08-2012, 02:09
Inheritance tax was abolished in Russia in 2006, so there will be no tax due as a result of you receiving the apartment from your grandmother. Income tax (30/13%) is only levied on capital gains (appreciation), not on the whole value of the asset. In addition, assets held for more than 3 years are exempt from capital gains tax. So I don't think there will be any tax, unless the value of the apartment has risen since you received it from your grandmother's will.

more than 3 yrs - this works for residents only..
No appreciation - nalogovaya will take 150k as a base..

another option for TS..
give a doverennost to parents..
sell it for 150k - usually in cash..
and ask your parents to come to US 15 times with 10k in cash
(tickets for 600-700$ to NYC are easy to find)

Do not go to nalogovaya..
If do not visit Russia for several yrs (I don't remember but smth like 3 or 4) you'll get away with it..

You'll lose only 6-7% on tickets)

Nobbynumbnuts
01-08-2012, 03:58
more than 3 yrs - this works for residents only..
No appreciation - nalogovaya will take 150k as a base..

another option for TS..
give a doverennost to parents..
sell it for 150k - usually in cash..
and ask your parents to come to US 15 times with 10k in cash
(tickets for 600-700$ to NYC are easy to find)

Do not go to nalogovaya..
If do not visit Russia for several yrs (I don't remember but smth like 3 or 4) you'll get away with it..

You'll lose only 6-7% on tickets)

Is someone who has a 3 year work permit, considered a 'resident'?

I didn't fully understand what you meant by:
"No appreciation - nalogovaya will take 150k as a base"
Could you explain?

Cheers

DavidB
01-08-2012, 17:22
Is someone who has a 3 year work permit, considered a 'resident'?
Only if you've spent 183 days per year in Russia during the past 3 years. Breaks in your residency cause problems.


I didn't fully understand what you meant by:
"No appreciation - nalogovaya will take 150k as a base"
Could you explain?
Many people have a problem if they pay cash for an apartment, because they don't have sufficient proof of purchase for the tax service. As a result, they have to pay tax on the whole value of the apartment when they go to sell it.
I don't think it would be an issue in this case, because the owner will have a document proving when the apartment was inherited and then all that has to be established is what the value was on the date that it was inherited. The difference between the value when it was inherited and the sale price is considered a capital gain/loss and tax is due at 13/30% if there is a capital gain.

Your lawyer
02-08-2012, 19:47
i can help you to transfer any amounts. write to PM.

paradoxical3
13-08-2012, 23:23
Thank you all for your help.

I have one more question for you - I am married to an American (non-russian citizen). My mother back in Russia is claiming that I need to have a document that gives his permission for the sale. My real estate agent did not mention that, but did mention that she needs my marriage license.

I do not understand why/if this is necessary; he is not a Russian citizen and his name is not on my inherited apartment! I would prefer that he not know about the sale; I discovered his infidelity some months ago and am planning on separating from him.

DavidB
13-08-2012, 23:29
Thank you all for your help.

I have one more question for you - I am married to an American (non-russian citizen). My mother back in Russia is claiming that I need to have a document that gives his permission for the sale. My real estate agent did not mention that, but did mention that she needs my marriage license.

I do not understand why/if this is necessary; he is not a Russian citizen and his name is not on my inherited apartment! I would prefer that he not know about the sale; I discovered his infidelity some months ago and am planning on separating from him.

Where were you married? If ZAGS, the Russian consulate and other authorities don't know about your marriage, don't tell them.

You should think about leaving the money in Russia until you are divorced. Hold it in a good bank in Russia (Raiffeisen, UniCredit, CitiBank, etc.) until it's safe to transfer it to the US.

paradoxical3
13-08-2012, 23:56
Where were you married? If ZAGS, the Russian consulate and other authorities don't know about your marriage, don't tell them.

You should think about leaving the money in Russia until you are divorced. Hold it in a good bank in Russia (Raiffeisen, UniCredit, CitiBank, etc.) until it's safe to transfer it to the US.

We were married in both US and Russia unfortunately...:(

DavidB
14-08-2012, 00:08
In that case, you should think very carefully about it. Maybe the agent can advise exactly what will be required. I'm not sure of the exact requirements in Russia myself.

In your divorce case in the US, you will have to declare under oath all of the assets which you own. The court will then decide how they are to be split between you and your husband. You should find a good lawyer to help you get the best settlement you can, because you'll be entitled to some of your husband's assets.

It may be a good idea to transfer the ownership of the apartment to your parents so that they can sell it and hold the money for you. Once your divorce has been settled, they can transfer the money to you.

Arthuro
14-08-2012, 01:56
Thank you all for your help.

I have one more question for you - I am married to an American (non-russian citizen). My mother back in Russia is claiming that I need to have a document that gives his permission for the sale. My real estate agent did not mention that, but did mention that she needs my marriage license.


Officially you do not need a permission because you inherited this apartment,
and this is not a "совместно нажитое имущество"
Howewer sometimes potential customer ask for this, just to be sure there will be no claims from a spouse in the future. But as I understand you already have a customer who (I suppose) have a good price for him and officially it is not required

US court and divorce process usually means nothing for Russian authorities..
For US court it will be almost impossible to get officially any info about Russian property, since there is no governmental agreement..
(Unofficially in person it's easy though)
So you may even think to say that you do not have any property (but better to consult a lawyer)

DavidB
14-08-2012, 02:07
US court and divorce process usually means nothing for Russian authorities..
For US court it will be almost impossible to get officially any info about Russian property, since there is no governmental agreement..
(Unofficially in person it's easy though)
So you may even think to say that you do not have any property (but better to consult a lawyer)

The only problem I see is that she will get divorced and then a short time later, $150k will arrive in her bank account in the US. :D

Better to make some arrangements so that it looks like a gift from the parents, I think.

Arthuro
14-08-2012, 02:14
Yes, a problem..
anyway if TS trusts her parents - better to put them in a scheme)

paradoxical3
14-08-2012, 05:46
Okay so if I understand correctly, this is not an official bank requirement and the bank cannot ask for it? It's just that the seller sometimes wants it in the contract?

So technically I can just tell them that I cannot or do not want to give them my husbands signature and will not sell the apartment if they insist on it?

As long as this isn't an official bank of government document I will feel much better.

Thank you so much, I apologize for asking so many questions.

Arthuro
14-08-2012, 13:04
Okay so if I understand correctly, this is not an official bank requirement and the bank cannot ask for it? It's just that the seller sometimes wants it in the contract?

So technically I can just tell them that I cannot or do not want to give them my husbands signature and will not sell the apartment if they insist on it?



1)not a bank, a government requirement.. banks have nothing to do with your husband..
2) yes , sometimes the buyer (not the seller) wants it - because if your husband proves he paid some money to somehow upgrade your property - he could have a right to claim smth..
But it's not easy though..
3) techinically yes, and check up the price your buyer offers through various agencies or similar flats in the ad..))

EMERALD12
25-08-2012, 11:50
How can I safely transfer the money? I am very worried about being scammed or losing half of it to taxes or a fee.

Ask your parents to check with Sberbank on a fee for the transfer of some large amount at once. A friend of mine transferred to her daughter about $200,000.00 to the US with paying just $25 for the transfer in 2010.

EMERALD12
25-08-2012, 12:03
I do not understand why/if this is necessary; he is not a Russian citizen and his name is not on my inherited apartment! I would prefer that he not know about the sale; I discovered his infidelity some months ago and am planning on separating from him.

I think you have to check with the US attorney before the separation with your husband if he can claim some % of any inherited money during the divorce. If you live in the commune property state, he might.

Regarding the law about the signature of your husband on the sale contract: it protect the buyer, in case if your husband will claim later that he didn't want to sell the real estate that you inherited (inheritance is not a gift, remember).
If you were married in Russia, ask him to write a letter that he doesn't have to do anything with your inheritance, doesn't mind if you sell it and also doesn't want any $$$ from it in the future. You can ask some attorneys in the US how to do it...I think also Russian consulate will help you with this form of official letter. It will be enough to assure the buyer in Russia. Good luck!

EMERALD12
25-08-2012, 12:05
1) First, make sure it is worth 150,000
(If you give me details I'll look up the prices)

Arthuro, are you a real estate agent? If so, may I ask you some questions too?

Arthuro
27-08-2012, 20:36
Regarding the law about the signature of your husband on the sale contract: it protect the buyer, in case if your husband will claim later that he didn't want to sell the real estate that you inherited (inheritance is not a gift, remember).


By Russian law inheritance is gift (or very similar).
It doesn't matter what a husband wants or doesn't want.
He could claim for smth if he proves in the court that he spend his money to upgrade smth in the flat (e.g renovation, furniture, etc).
But this is hard to prove and the benefit is not big compared to the flat's price.
Anyway sometimes buyers ask for this paper just to be sure nothing like this happens..

Arthuro
27-08-2012, 20:36
Arthuro, are you a real estate agent? If so, may I ask you some questions too?
I'm not
But you may ask.
If I know, I will be pleased to help you.