Wednesday, May 11, 2011

CBI allow tranfer off up to $50,000 for personal needs

About two weeks ago, the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) issue instructions to the commercial banks and money changers to report to the income tax authorities on any transfer overseas in excess of $10,000. Suddenly, the purchase of foreign currency from the central bank, which averaged as much as $150 million a day, has come to a standstill.

The CBI reversed its earlier instruction to allow the transfer of up to $50,000 for personal purposes such as tourism, medical services or studies without reporting to the income tax authorities.

[Editor's comment: The initial order by the central bank was meant to curb money laundering. The new guidelines issued by the CBI do not specify how many transfers a person may make within a given time. Given the scope of corruption in Iraq, transmitting $50,000 at each transaction is hardly an efficient way to curb corruption. Incidentally, in the United States, banks must report to the U.S. Treasury on every transfer in excess of $5,000]

Source: Al-Zaman, Iraq, May 9, 2011