If you calculated a budget and have funds for the down payment, what could be so complicated about transferring your money to Israel? For starts, you must find a reliable way to move that money from point A to point B. After all, you can’t exactly stuff thousands of dollars into Uncle Shmeryl’s suitcase!
Many buyers prefer transfer services to banks for a variety of reasons, a major one being to spare them the trouble of opening an Israeli bank account at this stage. Additionally, transfer services tend to charge much lower and fewer fees than banks, which bill those transfers in a whole variety of ways. Transfer services offer competitive exchange rates and don’t levy “hidden” charges. They’re user-friendly, too, with personal service available in English, flexible hours, quick turnaround times, and more.
Make sure to choose a service licensed by Israel’s Ministry of Finance and which issues receipts. The transfer company should use segregated accounts and have methods to secure the money. Once that money arrives in Israel, the transfer service can hold it (or send it to an Israeli account). The funds then must be dispatched to the seller (in the form of payment slips, or shovarim, in cases in which an apartment is purchased “on paper”), according to a designated schedule. If a buyer goes the traditional bank route, he will have to manage the payments himself. But if he uses a transfer service he will have a lot less to worry about. Regardless of whether a buyer chooses to use a bank or a transfer service, if he employs a brokerage firm like The Getter Group, he will receive expert advice and guidance he can’t get anywhere else, including which company to work with, when to exchange his money, and so much more.
Another important factor, especially for U.S. citizens already residing in Israel, relates to potential tax ramifications. Any U.S. citizen who has more than $10,000 in a foreign bank or investment account must file an FBAR form with the IRS or face heavy penalties. Furthermore, foreign accounts over a certain monetary threshold must be divulged on U.S. tax returns. Finally, if a large sum is transferred to Israel prior to a home purchase, and that money is invested in an Israeli savings account even temporarily, any earned interest requires disclosure on the buyer’s U.S. tax returns. Knowledgeable parties in the field can ensure that not only is a buyer getting the best, safest deal on his transfer, but they can also scrutinize any legal issues involved.
Mr. Shia Getter is an authority in real estate and buyer protection in Israel. He founded The Getter Group to help homebuyers secure their interests and avoid pitfalls when buying in Israel. Enlist the experts. Contact The Getter Group today at 718-473-3950 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Mr. Getter will be visiting New York and New Jersey from January 13-16. Be in touch to arrange an appointment.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to provide legal opinions, or to serve as a substitute for professional advice. The author does not guarantee that the information contained herein is complete or accurate and does not assume any liability for any loss or damage caused by errors, inaccuracies, or omissions contained in this article.