Large(ish) Cash Bank Deposit


I've been gifted around $20k from a family member who sold a house overseas. Unfortunately it's all in cash.

I want to deposit it in the bank to pay off some debts/home loan but I don't want to raise any alarm bells. I've been told has been done legally, but no one wants a call from the bank/ATO/police🙂

I'm aware there's some red flags if you deposit over $10k, but would there be the same issues if you deposited $5k four times over a couple of months? Or will this look like an income to the ATO?



  • They will note the regular lump sums, might make it reportable.

    Speak to an accountant, but tax wise as a gift you should be ok

    • as a gift you should be ok

      I remember reading a little while ago that Australia has no gift tax.

  • I've put similar amounts into the bank in cash with no issues.

  • +25 votes

    If you have nothing to hide, then why try to hide it?

    • You need to read more. People always skew the truth, plenty of witch hunts against innocent people.

    • Because he's not wanting the real criminals to get it. You know, the government, ato, banks.

  • Either hide under your bed and use it for shopping, petrol etc for a couple years…

    Or just deposit it in one chunk - the bank will notify AUSTRAC if you try to split up the deposits (called structuring - which is a specific offence) to keep it below a $10k deposit. They will notify AUSTRAC anyway when you deposit it and unless you are associated with OMGs or something you will go unnoticed.

    Keep some evidence eg screenshot of text msgs, emails etc which show that it is a gift

    • Four bank accounts. Different banks don't share deposit information, and one 5k deposit is unlikely to be reported.

    • You would have to structure alot more then 20k in a year for it to be structuring. There is plenty of gamblers or guys in gumtree that buy-sell and put in cash and into their bank.
      Your transactions would be a drop in a ocean.

    • A couple years? 20k will be gone long before that

  • Geeze you guys are quick🙂

    Speaking to an accountant on Monday.

    I've got nothing to hide, but at the same time I don't want to stuff up and have to pay tax, or have to even try and convince anyone it was a gift. If there's a way to avoid the hassles, I'd prefer to do it that way.

    Thanks for the advice. Think I might stagger the deposits over a couple financial years pending the advice from the accountant.

      • The lesson from that case for us seems to be don't make multiple cash outs from ATMs when you are overseas or multiple low value transfers to a third world country, unless you want to be flagged as a potential paedophile. It had nothing to do with deposits in Australia.

    • We are quick… you are slooooow.

      Who "gifts" 20k form over seas, in Aud?????

      • -1 vote

        Who "gifts" 20k form over seas, in Aud?????

        OP was so thankful for the gift they gave a brick of white powder in return!

    • Did they bring the cash in from overseas? Was it declared? If so then no worries, deposit into your bank account in 1 hit. If they ask say it was a gift and the person declared it coming in.

    • Just deposit 8k 8k and 4k or whatever in 3 separate amounts over a month or 2
      We were gifted similar amounts for present/wedding etc and we just made the deposits under 10k over a month

      Not really a big deal

  • Just do it in 1 go. International students pay up to $50k a year for university fee. $20k is nothing as monetary gift.

  • you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Just put it in. They are looking for a pattern. The more you try and hide it, the more suspicious you look.

    • This. I move more than this around when I need to, and I've never worried about it because I know I'm doing anything illegal. Nobody had ever tried to stop me or asked any questions. There's not much of a pattern to these larger transfers. There are however many patterns in my smaller transactions (groceries, car, electricity, gas, internet), in terms of location, timing, recurrence, and general amounts. I just live my life, and I suspect that the financial trail that I leave in doing so looks pretty broadly similar to lots of other people just living their lives.

      • In 2017/18 I finalised a 7 figure divorce settlement, a 7 figure inheritance and a 7 figure property purchase plus a few dozen 5 & 6 figure transactions associated with these items and superannuation top-ups, transfers to my sister, share purchases and sales, blah-de-blah.
        The churn through my accounts over a 24 month period was huge. Not a word was said.

  • So your 'relative' gave you $20K in $50 bills?

    • Look like this - nothing substantial

    • Good pick up. Makes no sense that OP gets a gift in cash. How did the giver end up with that amount of dosh???

      • sold a house overseas

        • Right, they sold a house overseas and somehow it magically became $20k in AUD in CASH??? People never heard of EFT?

          Think before you neg idiots….

          • @Tuukmaak: My ex's grandparents used to visit from Austria every few years. They'd give her $20k each time. They didn't have a bank acccount in Australia so they got it from somewhere.

            It happens a lot

            • @brad1-8tsi: Thanks for the insight, still baffles me how it is done. So they carry a large amounts of paper money on the plane over then change it at the money changers? That doesn't look sus at all…

            • @brad1-8tsi: Sometimes the slightly dodgy money changer's rate for cash beats anything the banks offer.

          • @Tuukmaak: Better than jumping to conclusions.

            • @smartazz104: Sure mate, nothing sus about getting $20k in cash in this day and age, from someone overseas who sold a house, who presumably didn't get the proceeds in cash in the first place…

              • @Tuukmaak: You can legally bring an unlimited amount of cash into Australia in any currency. Anything over $10k has to be declared to customs.

                When my FIL worked at Munich Airport as a porter he would receive 80% of his income as tips. Most of that was coin. He would take huge wads of cash on holiday.

                A lot of my self-employed tradie mates were the same. You've got to burn it somehow.

                What is most suspect and will raise alarm bells is coming here with no cash, no travellers cheques and no obvious means of supporting yourself.

    • Agreed.
      So a ‘family member’ sold a house ‘overseas’, so this cannot be verified locally.
      Presumably, the buyer was local and paid in cash, because you got a wad of $AUS. Otherwise why not a bank transfer from your ‘family member’.
      Then you claim this ‘family member’ just gave you $20k in cash, for no reason.
      Bro, this is why AUSTRAC exists.
      You have to know this dirty money. Keep it under the bed or have a better story.

      • True. The story seems very suspicious to me. If a family member overseas sold a house, most likely using some form of electronic payment in a foreign currency, how the hell does that turn into $20k in Australian cash? You'd have to jump a lot of hoops to get there.

        Either way, we're not the cops, and OP is innocent until proven guilty. If you've got nothing to hide, then there's no reason to hide. If you did something wrong there's a good chance you'll get caught.

        Either way, I recommend just stashing the money under your dog house or in a sock somewhere. Stuff the banks, stuff the ATO, and stuff the government who wants to keep a record of everything you buy. Pretty soon they'll be locking people up for not spending enough every month on face marks and hand sanitiser.

  • +12 votes

    It's only 20k.

    Just pay for bills, groceries, sundries, and you'll use it up before you know it.

  • +18 votes

    Do you bank with hsbc? It'll be fine coz they wave through money laundering, so 20k is chump change

  • It will be fine if you deposit it in one go at your local Westpac branch.

    • Ha! many people will not get this joke.

    • Hand it to a Westpac Accounts Manager and he'll have your babies.

      Seriously, Westpac don't care. I have a friend who works for Westpac and I've met his team. Some of the most brilliant financial managers and data scientists I've ever had the pleasure of working with. They do this risk analysis all the time. They figure the money they make will be more than the fine they have to pay over a number of years. Westpac's upper management aren't bothered with bad press and fines because it's normal these days.

      • +2 votes

        Some of the most brilliant financial managers and data scientists I've ever had the pleasure of working with. They do this risk analysis all the time. They figure the money they make will be more than the fine they have to pay over a number of years.

        I thought it might be this. Look at where this money is going and what it is funding, I studied a lot of mathematics at university but I could never do this. We blame Westpac as a corporation but there's people there that enable this. I wonder at what point in those people's lives, if they had any to begin with, did they abandon any sense of social or moral responsibility. But to be honest, I don't know what's worst these days, dodgy business practices/decisions or the fact that society defends them because it's just capitalism.

        • I wonder at what point in those people's lives, if they had any to begin with, did they abandon any sense of social or moral responsibility

          There's usually little to no accountability in these kinds of environments. Managers are free to break the law in secret and have no fear in doing so because their legal team and HR are loaded with cash. Many of these people also grew up in environments where breaking the law was the norm. For example, I knew middle-upper management who grew up in war-torn countries and were promoted to their positions because they were willing to lie, discriminate, threaten and bully people (all done as convertly as possible). When employees threatened them with litigation, the company buries the case, pays out the complainant and moves the problematic manager to a new department or gives them 'training' to stop it happening again. Many people say you can't change people, especially teenage kids, imagine how futile it is to give training to racist and criminal scum in their 40s, 50s and 60s. The only way to get them fired is to take the case public, embarrass the company, and have shareholders revolt and threaten the board with expulsion. Law Enforcement is also very good at getting individuals sacked. Nothing like a good jailing!
          I see it all the time in the companies I have worked in.

          • @Orico: Thanks for your insight, looks like you've seen a fair bit haha

            Nothing like a good jailing!

            How often does this actually happen? I hardly see anyone go to jail for stuff like this, especially in America. I agree with this though, jail time does very little to reduce crime rate when it comes to murders and robberies but I think it would be more effective in areas like this. Like you said, it's just fines and if you make more than you would breaking the law then it's worth it for them.

            • @bkhm:

              How often does this actually happen?

              Every week there's a new company that comes to light on the news or in internal networks.
              In large companies, the guy talking about the importance of diversity, inclusion and LGBT issues is usually the biggest (profanity) in the company and is probably a racist.
              Look at the people who have been in the company for a long time, especially in management, but contribute squat. They're usually protected by someone above.

              How often does this actually happen?

              People who don't do any real work and spend their time playing office politics because they're protected are usually the ones doing this. Happens in every large company where management is awful. The worst is in engineering and finance companies where useless idiots (women included) are promoted to positions they have no experience working in or any technical knowledge or skills to get teams working together. The amount of times I've seen women these days get promoted into positions where they have no real drive to contribute to their employees success and wellbeing is astonishing! I've even asked them why they want to be in such positions and it's usually just because they want to climb the workplace ladder and are very close with upper management. Such stupid and immature games. These companies have very limited success, though. They won't last the length of time.
              On the other side, you have brilliant intellectuals (usually men in their 40s and 50s) who are forced to do people management, because the muppet manager can't develop people and is just there to fire, hire and have pointless meetings. When you hire people to do the bidding of upper management and nothing else, you'll end up with dropkicks and criminals in management. Management that are constrained by cash issues also throw their accountability meetings in the backlog.

              Glassdoor or Indeed or even reddit or ABC news (lol) are usually good places to look for toxic companies.

      • Westpac got fined almost 5 million for each offending customer (they had 262 customers accounts closed). Do you really think those customers made Westpac anywhere close to that?

        • Yes, but it was 19 million international transactions.
          That's not how it works. They're not relying on those individuals alone to make money. They made a 16% increase in net profit from 2018. They're doing pretty G

  • Just bank it. I put through a large amount some years ago, straight through, nothing ever came up.

    If anyone ever did come knocking, you simply inform them as to what has happened and if it comes to it and your family member corroborates your story, that ends that.

    As has been mentioned above, its patterns that are of most interest here. Deposits of $20k cash are not actually that uncommon. If you're really that paranoid about it, your only option is to slowly use it up paying for groceries, fuel, etc., but it's really not worth the hassle.

  • If anyone asks just tell them you work for the Labour party.

  • Westpac will help you hide it

  • Put it all on the gold coast titans to beat Newcastle knights
    Good odds

  • It's only $20k lol. For all they know you could have sold your car.

  • pay rates, pay rego, pay car insurance……all gone. nothing to worry about anymore

  • Better off doing it as one go, I've done a few in the past and never any issues raised by anyone.
    I think they generally look for ongoing payments, i.e. to determine if you are drawing an income from overseas, rather than the one offs.


    Everything over $10K is supposed to be reported to AUSTRAC by the institution handling the money. If they don't, they get the Westpac treatment.

  • Generally-speaking, as a once-off, it will be fine, based on the amount. If there is a pattern of regular large deposits, then it will raise alarm.

  • I'm aware there's some red flags if you deposit over $10k

    You would be surprised. They will not care at all as its small amount. If anything the teller might get a little angry as they have to count it all then double count, so extra work, but that is it.

  • Watch out if you try to deposit cash at a branch…
    Some banks may charge for large cash deposits….I remember ANZ has this fee long time ago… no idea if they removed it now….

  • Who carries $20k in cash? Who pays cash for a house? Somebody somewhere sounds dodgy and asking for advice online also sounds dodgy. If you wanna be sneaky with it do it properly. Open a bank account at several banks and deposit different amounts at each them to wash the money. $20k is nothing. Regular casino people deposit that much and more in and out all the time.

    • LOL
      Open multiple accounts and the authorities will know of each one of them. And will snoop as in why so many accounts.

      Have your visiting overseas relatives open multiple accounts and might be OK. Use different addresses by the way.

    • Who pays cash for a house?

      How do you think rich Asians (I know for a fact, I don't know if others do it) in Sydney buy real-estate and cars in SYdney? LOL
      I know so many Chinese guys in my mate's network who buy houses with cash.

  • Make a statutory declaration with the person who gift you the money. If anyone ever ask, send that over.

    • This, get the person giving you this gift to stat dec the amount, where it was from and when it was paid etc.

  • +1 vote

    … who sold a house overseas. Unfortunately it's all in cash

    Mmmmm … so you got 20k of Australian dollars?
    From overseas or from a bank transfer from overseas?

    If the money trail is 100% legal then deposit at once.
    No worries.
    Income Tax will be applicable on accrued interest only or Social Security benefits reduced if this cash affects.

    The bank has to red-flag over $10K(?) but as it is 101% legal nothing else will occur.

  • With current interest rates why even bother introducing it to the banking system.

  • -3 votes

    Is the money from Afghanistan

  • $20k is not a big deal.

    Just put half in your bank and the other half in your family member's account. I literally deposited $12000 last week after arriving from Auckland in a Commbank branch and I used the ATM machine lol!

  • Just say you won it at the casino or something. Logical and reasonable.