When to File a Currency Transaction Report

May 3, 2012 — 1,688 views  
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A Currency Transaction Report (CTR) is to be made by banks any time financial transactions over $10,000 take place in the United States. This includes all deposits, withdrawals, exchanges, payments or transfers, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. It is designed to prevent individuals from doing suspicious and illegal monetary exchanges such as money laundering. These reports first became a requirement as part of the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986.

A bank will typically tell a person if there has been a currency transaction report filed on their account. If a bank wishes to report transactions less than the $10,000 threshold, this report will usually be referred to as a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) instead. Currency transaction reports are also filed by casinos (CTRC) as well as by individuals who want to report transactions among one or more accounts in foreign countries. This is called a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

The Council explains some transactions do not need to be reported even if they exceed this amount. For instance, those by certain commercial or retail customers and other transactions that meet specific criteria may qualify for currency transaction report exemption.