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  1. #1
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    Do we need a US bank account? If so, how?
    I'm sorry if this has been covered before, but as an Aussie Affilliate marketer or mercahnt, have any of you decided to open a US bank account in order to join certain programs, receive payments from your US customers, or use Google base or whatever?

    For example, I've been looking into CJ, and it looks like the only way to receive payment, apart from DD to a US bank account, is via US bank check. I did a little more digging, and some of these checks take months to clear. Not to mention postal delays and other problems, such as errors etc. And I'm sure there are programs that are less reliable again when it comes to paying Aussies, and some that won't.

    And google checkout won't even work if you don't have a US bank account.

    I did a google search looking for information about setting up a US bank account as an Aussie, and I couldn't find info I could trust. Just stuff that looks like a scam. Is this a question for my accountant? Or a tax lawyer?

    I would be really grateful if someone could steer me in the right direction.

    Thanks for you time!

  2. #2
    Newbie DataFeedFile.com's Avatar
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    Yes, it has been covered too many times before. Probably why no one replied yet... Here is the search:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/search.php?searchid=564800

  3. #3
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataFeedFile.com
    Yes, it has been covered too many times before. Probably why no one replied yet... Here is the search:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/search.php?searchid=564800
    Sorry, either your search had no matches
    or this search id has expired.
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  4. #4
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    CJ pays in Aussie Dollars. Adsense and SaS do direct deposit to Aussie Banks accounts in Aussie Dollars. I am sure other networks either already have or will soon have similar faciliaties.

    Many merchants will pay via PayPal, either as part of the offer or if pressed to do so.

    If you get to know you Bank Manager they (Westpac and Commbank to my knowledge, probably others) will cash US cheques on the spot for a small fee ($10-$15) on the understanding that if it bounces they take the money back with additional fees (which has only happened once to me at which point I dropped the merchant). Once the cheques reach sizable ammounts (I think US$2k) then you need to send it off for reconciliation which can take 6 weeks or so and does attract larger fees.

    You could always setup a US$ account with your local bank, but there are some hurdles to overcome and you may have to keep a sizable balance.

    You can always set a reasonable payment threshold with other merchants/networks to avoid paying more in fees than the initial cheque is worth. Of course that is not always adhered to - I have had a few cheques for $10 or the likes that I have simply thrown into the "too hard to deal with" drawer.

    The challenge in opening up US$ bank accounts situated in the US is that you may open yourself up to scrutiny by the US IRS,,and may then be liable to US taxes as well as Aussie taxes. Tread Carefully and yes, it would be a god idea to speak with a competent accountant/lawyer.

    I know, it is a pain, but would you live anywhere else?
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for your response Woz! DataFeedFile.com, I couldn't get your link to work, sorry, but thanks for posting it.

    Woz, what kind of hurdles can you think of for setting up a USA bank account via an Aussie bank? Apart from the bank balance? It sounds like a good idea, except for the bit about paying IRS taxes, and then Aussie taxes when the money is brought back into Australia. But surely there are exemption forms...like the one you have to sign when you join up with CJ?

    My head hurts...I think I might have to ask a tax lawyer. I just hope it does cost me 4 grand just to talk to his or her receptionist, LOL.

  6. #6
    You are in, or you are out ... choose!
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    >USA bank account via an Aussie bank?

    Sorry, perhaps I was not clear, I meant a US$ account opend with an Aussie Bank in Australia. IE., the account would be housed in Australia and not related to the US at all. It might simply make it easier to deposit US$ cheques. Sunno, you had better talk to you bank about that one.

    As to opening an account in the US, I am afraid I have to take the Stg Shultz stand on that one. - "I know nothing ..."
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  7. #7
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    I've looked into this and you can open a US based bank account if you're in Oz. I think I asked Citibank (you need to go global banks - other banks like HSBC also will do it for you) a long while back but never really followed it up. There was a minimum account balance you have to deposit in that bank account to kickstart it though - Citibank was happy to set it up for me here in Oz (ie you need to bring in your passport) - they may have changed their policies (I last looked into it 3 years ago). You will have to work out taxes though - and be prepared for the tax dept to watch you pretty closely - they don't like it when you have offshore accounts. I believe for tax purposes you will be exempt from US taxes but will have to report all income (even if you haven't brought it into Oz and it's just sitting in your US account) to the tax dept and get taxed here in Oz - that's what my accountant told me.

    It does save the hastle but ONLY if the network will do a DD for you. Smaller indie merchants will still be sending you US$ cheques (Oz spelling ) so you need to ask yourself what you are going to do with those? Unless you've got a US based friend I can't imagine the bank staff cashing it in your account on your behalf? So I just left it at that - I went with Westpac - got to know the bank manager - explained my situation with them and they were happy to bundle my cheques up 4 at a go and charge me the one off $15 fee (used to be $10 but they raised it lately) for all 4 checks so usually I just wait till I get 4 and then cash it.

    LS, SAS and Adsense will DD into your Oz bank account. SAS charges a $7 fee for it though but I would rather that then to queue up at the bank.

    cheers
    Oscar
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  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Oscar, why did you not choose to use a US account for the smaller checks? I have lots of small indies that send me checks for under $ 100 often, some as low as $10 - $30 and by the time I pay the $10 fee for each check with my bank it can be hardly worth it. I can also bundle up the checks (if they are from the same bank only) but I would like to have a US bank account that I could deposit these checks in & not get this charge. So if I open a US account with City Bank, would this be possible & what is the amount they expect to have in the acccount to open it?
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