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The Local _ Finance _ Depositing a US dollar check

Posted by: RAFS 28.May.2019, 08:57 PM

I might be getting a refund of some USA tax from the IRS. Without a US bank account the only way to receive it is by check! Can I actually deposit a US check (which will be in USD obviously) into a Swedish bank account? I'm with Handelsbanken and have asked them, but got no response so far. Could open an account elsewhere if needed.

Alternatively does anyone know a trustworthy service that will provide a resident of Sweden with a US bank account number that can receive this payment?

Posted by: gsurya 29.May.2019, 12:12 PM

I assume you still have a bank account in the US? Deposit it there and then transfer the money here. It is far easier to also explain to IRS and Skatteverket.

Posted by: Svedallas 29.May.2019, 04:27 PM

QUOTE (RAFS @ 28.May.2019, 09:57 PM) *
I might be getting a refund of some USA tax from the IRS. Without a US bank account the only way to receive it is by check! Can I actually deposit a US check (which will be in USD obviously) into a Swedish bank account? I'm with Handelsbanken and have asked them, but got no response so far. Could open an account elsewhere if needed.

Alternatively does anyone know a trustworthy service that will provide a resident of Sweden with a US bank account number that can receive this payment?


Sweden does not accept checks.

If you got no response, is because it checks is not a system we use. Only bank transfer.

Posted by: Saywhatwhat 29.May.2019, 05:06 PM

You will lose a small percentage but you can cash a check at a currency exchange. But then you will run into the problem of depositing cash at the bank perhaps... maybe take a picture of check first and keep receipt from exchange to show bank?

Posted by: RAFS 29.May.2019, 09:30 PM

You mean places like forex.se ? I actually have a credit card with them but didn't think to ask them. I'm fine with getting the money as cash, but how would that work - wouldn't they have to wait a month or more for the check to clear first?

Posted by: Saywhatwhat 29.May.2019, 09:36 PM

QUOTE (RAFS @ 29.May.2019, 10:30 PM) *
You mean places like forex.se ? I actually have a credit card with them but didn't think to ask them. I'm fine with getting the money as cash, but how would that work - wouldn't they have to wait a month or more for the check to clear first?



Honestly, I don’t know if it would take time or instant. I have always exchanged cash or from a card, not a check...

But you can exchange checks at currency exchanges... it was just an idea that could maybe help. Ask at forex... it could work.

Best of luck.

Posted by: RAFS 30.May.2019, 09:35 AM

I think they're talking about traveller's checks there - but sure, I will ask.

Posted by: Hanna Denize 31.May.2019, 10:43 AM

When I received an Australian check, I deposited it at the Handelsbanken's counter. They were first a bit confused and unsure about it but after a few calls here and there, they accepted the check. Handelsbanken took 250,00 kr charge for the service and it took several days before the amount appeared on my account because Handelsbanken had to contact the issuer of the Australian check first.

Posted by: RAFS 31.May.2019, 10:46 AM

Interesting! I finally called Handelsbanken today and was told (rather reluctantly) that they *might* be able to deposit a US check, but they'd have to look at it to be sure (!) and the fee would be 1000 SEK! (Plus currency conversion mark-up, no doubt)

Posted by: joshr 3.Jun.2019, 09:22 PM

Do a third party endorsement and give it to someone that you trust in the USA, then use a service like Transferwise to get the money.

https://www.moneyinstructor.com/wsp/endorse.asp
https://firstquarterfinance.com/list-of-banks-that-accept-third-party-checks/

Far easier than dealing with it here.

Posted by: RAFS 4.Jun.2019, 06:59 PM

I've never endorsed a check (that seems to be a USA-only thing), but from your link it seems like that would require me to go in person to the bank with the new payee, so they can verify that it's really the original payee endorsing it. That makes sense - how would some bank that's never heard of me verify my signature otherwise? I have no plans to travel to the USA, however.

I may have found a solution, though! I opened a TransferWise Borderless account, which gives me a USA bank account number. According to their support people have had success with getting tax refunds in that account, so hopefully it works. If not I'll just have to pay the bank fee to deposit the check!

Payoneer also allows getting a US bank account number, but they explicitly prohibit using it to receive tax refunds. (Yes, I've spent a lot of time on this! I hope I get that refund!)

Posted by: joshr 4.Jun.2019, 07:06 PM

You can do it via the post- I did it many times when I lived in the US.

A properly endorsed check is essentially the same as cash. The bank receiving it though may wait for it to clear before allowing the person to take out the funds.

Posted by: Bsmith 5.Jun.2019, 11:07 AM

You would think in this modern age of money transfer that this would be no problem for any bank. You would think...

Posted by: joshr 5.Jun.2019, 07:37 PM

It’s not. It’s the IRS that has the problem smile.gif

Posted by: RAFS 5.Jun.2019, 08:28 PM

No, it's the people that want to get money from the IRS that have the problem. smile.gif

How would endorsing a check via post work though? How does the bank check the signature of the endorser?

Posted by: Saywhatwhat 6.Jun.2019, 09:28 PM

Have you checked with forex about cashing a US government check?

What did they say?

Posted by: joshr 8.Jun.2019, 08:53 PM

QUOTE (RAFS @ 5.Jun.2019, 09:28 PM) *
How would endorsing a check via post work though? How does the bank check the signature of the endorser?


Essentially, no one looks at signatures. Twenty years ago, there were two separate fleets of aircraft that crossed the country every night handling check clearing (independent of FedEx and UPS). Now-a-days everything is digital. Even if you pay at Walmart using a check, it is scanned on the spot and a transfer is initiated.

Used to be that you could get your checks back from the bank after they had been deposited. Now you can just get images - Walmart actually gives you your physical check back after they scan it.

So when the IRS gives you a check, it is instructions to their bank to transfer money to you. When you sign it over to someone else, you have now told the IRS's bank to transfer money to someone else. When they deposit it at their bank, it is scanned and "presented" to the IRS's bank. The IRS's bank then transfers the money to the bank that presented the check for payment. Unless there is suspicion of fraud, no one ever looks at signatures.

Look at the bottom of your check - see how the numbers look strange? That is because they used to be printed with magnetic ink. When the check was scanned, each number scanned differently. Obviously today everything is optical, but that's a bit of history for you...

Posted by: RAFS 8.Jun.2019, 09:24 PM

Interesting, thanks joshr! I guess that's a backup option then.

Saywhatwhat, I never found if Forex can cash it. If they can, I doubt it would be significantly cheaper than Handelsbanken because SEB advertises this for 1600 SEK!

Posted by: Saywhatwhat 9.Jun.2019, 06:27 AM

QUOTE (RAFS @ 8.Jun.2019, 09:24 PM) *
Interesting, thanks joshr! I guess that's a backup option then.

Saywhatwhat, I never found if Forex can cash it. If they can, I doubt it would be significantly cheaper than Handelsbanken because SEB advertises this for 1600 SEK!



That’s the fee to cash or deposit a check of foreign currency???!! Wow


Can you sign the check over to someone in the US, mail it to them (I’m assuming you will get check in Sweden), have them deposit then transfer money to Swedish account of yours? Sorry if someone mentioned that already

Posted by: RAFS 9.Jun.2019, 08:33 AM

Yep! Handelsbanken's 1000 SEK almost looks reasonable by comparison.

Anyway, I will try the TransferWise Borderless account first and if that fails maybe try the endorsement thing.

Posted by: Jeremy H 1965 23.Jul.2019, 10:41 AM

I have banked US checks at Handelsbanken without issue - the cost was 250 SEK and it took a week. They even publish the exchange rate that they buy checks for regarding US dollar (https://www.handelsbanken.se/sv/privat/konton-kort-och-betala/betala/betalkurs)

You need to go to your home bank (the office where you are registered) - they will look at you a little strangely and look at the check and comment that it was a long time since they saw one of these but it works

Posted by: RAFS 23.Jul.2019, 06:38 PM

Thanks, good to know someone has done it! I'll try that if the TransferWise account fails.

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