The IRS finally fixed the Get My Payment website to accept foreign addresses about 10 days ago, but it was too late for some Americans living abroad to provide their US bank information for the direct deposit, as the IRS had already mailed or scheduled their checks for mailing. There are also Americans who don’t have US bank accounts, so they will also receive a check that will be difficult to cash abroad.

What options do you have in you are in this situation?

  • If you have a US bank account, you should be able to use a mobile deposit app to deposit the check. If your mobile deposit app doesn’t work where you live, try using a VPN to access the app from a US server. When I travel abroad I use a VPN app on my mobile to use my US bank app. There are many different companies providing VPNs apps that could help you overcome US mobile bank app restrictions in your country of residence.
  • If you don’t have a US bank account, but have a US PayPal account, you may be able to deposit your check at no cost in your PayPal account.
  • If you do not have a US bank account or a US PayPal account, and you are a member of American Citizens Abroad, you can open a free US bank account through the State Department Federal Credit Union and use their mobile app to deposit the check. If you are not a member of ACA and need a US bank account, become a member! It’s a very worthy organization to join.
  • If you have a Schwab brokerage account, you can use your Schwab mobile app to deposit the check.
  • If you live in Switzerland have a UBS US dollar account, you can deposit the check for a $30 fee. If you have a UBS Swiss Franc account, you will also incur foreign transaction fees when you deposit the US dollar denominated check.
  • If you live in Switzerland and have a Credit Suisse account, you can deposit the check, but you will need to pay a 20 Swiss Franc check deposit fee, plus 2.5% of the first CHF 1,000 and 1% up to 50, 000. Additional foreign exchange conversion costs apply if you deposit the check to a non-USD account. Ouch!
  • If you don’t live in Switzerland, ask your local bank about depositing the US Treasury check.
  • If you were considering endorsing your US Treasury check to someone else, be aware that many banks consider third party endorsements risky, and that they may not honor such endorsed for deposit. Since this varies from bank to bank, I recommend that you check with the bank in question before endorsing your US Treasury check to a third party.
  • If all of the above fails, US Treasury checks are good for one year. If travel restrictions are lifted within the next 12 months and you travel to the US before the anniversary date on your check, you may be able to cash it in the USA during your visit.

I hope you are able to use one of the options above to cash your check successfully without too much hassle or expense. What’s another small challenge for a US expat during a pandemic? Best of luck!

This is all for the week. Until next Sunday!

Until the next post!


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