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Here's What Happens if You Deposit More Than $10,000 in Cash Into Your Bank Account

The Ascent 1/18/2023 Natasha Gabrielle
a woman sitting at a table using a laptop computer: Woman sitting on sofa holding cash and using a calculator. © Getty Images Woman sitting on sofa holding cash and using a calculator.

Depositing cash in your bank account is a normal activity for many people. Whether you make cash tips at your job or receive birthday money from your grandma, putting your cash in a bank account is a great way to keep it safe. However, your bank will report your activity to the IRS if you make a large cash deposit over a certain dollar amount. 

Banks report cash deposits totaling $10,000 or more 

If you're headed to the bank to deposit $50, $800, or even $1,000 in cash, you can go about your affairs as usual. But the deposit may be reported if you're depositing a large chunk of cash. When banks receive cash deposits of more than $10,000, they must report it to the IRS. 

While most people making cash deposits likely have legitimate reasons for doing so, that isn't always the case. The government wants to keep a record of large cash deposits to make tracking and tracing illegal activity easier. 

Anyone depositing more than $10,000 in cash into their bank account should be aware that their bank will report the deposit by completing IRS Form 8300. It's also worth noting that this rule applies to more than just cash deposits. 

If you plan to deposit more than $10,000 in foreign currency, cashier's checks, traveler's checks, or money orders, your bank will also need to report the bank deposit to the IRS. Personal checks, however, aren't an issue and don't apply to this rule.  

What you need to know about this rule 

Some people may wonder if they can get around this rule by depositing $9,500 and then making another $501 deposit a few days or weeks later. You can't get around this rule by making smaller deposits. 

The IRS requires Form 8300 to be filed if more than $10,000 in cash is received from the same payer or agent in any of the following ways:  

  • In one lump sum
  • In two or more related payments within 24 hours
  • As part of a single transaction or two or more related transactions within 12 months 

This is something to keep in mind if you make cash deposits regularly. If you're making legitimate cash deposits into your bank account, there is nothing to worry about -- but it's good to be aware of this cash reporting rule. 

When are you responsible for filing out IRS Form 8300?

It's also worth noting that you may need to fill out an IRS form 8300 if you operate a trade or business and someone pays you in cash. If you receive a cash payment of over $10,000 in one transaction or two or more transactions, you'll need to report it. You and the person paying you will need to provide the details of the transactions on IRS Form 8300. Keep this in mind if you're a business owner who accepts cash payments. 

Bank accounts are a great place to store your extra cash

If you're keeping your spare cash in a piggy bank or under your mattress, you may want to start stashing it in a bank account instead. When you keep your money in an FDIC-insured bank account, up to $250,000 of your funds are insured. 

If you have significant savings, don't keep all your money in a checking account. You'll miss out on earning interest. High-yield savings accounts offer an excellent way to boost your savings as you earn interest on your contributions. For additional money management tips, the following personal finance resources may be helpful. 

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