Will I get in trouble with my bank and/or Taiwan?

I opened a bank account without an ARC last week and plan on staying in Taiwan for a year or two. I will be sending money from my US saving accounts periodically since my US banks charge ridiculous ATM fees and the cards rarely work. Will this get me in trouble with my bank or immigration since I am not working, am not an official student and won’t be paying taxes to Taiwan? I’ve had money wired already and under reason the bank put 匯入款 (remittance) after a long phone call asking me questions about where it came from. I suppose what I’m worried about is the bank reporting my account to the government and them coming after me for fines/deportation/etc.

FWIW, I’m taking time off from work to study Chinese with a private tutor and language partners. I struggle in non 1 on 1 teaching environments and am not interested in learning characters so I decided to go the 90 day visa-exempt route. Thanks.

You’re not doing anything illegal - you only pay taxes on income. A tourist is expected to have his own source of funds.

Exactly. Another route to consider is travellers checks. Get family in the US to send them.

NO NO NO NO please do NOT get travellers checks they are totally useless now.

ONly one counter at one bank at the SungShan airport will change travellers checks. And only American Express and only max 500 dollars. They charge bout 300nt for that service.

The counters at CKS want to charge almost triple.

Its totally ridiculous

USE WAlmarts money service. Its awesome to TAiwan. The Taiwan end is COSMOS bank.

It only costs ten usd to send 500 usd this way. And no commission is charged at Cosmos end. They give you the daily exchange rate. Its awesome.

By comparison the same service to indonesia costs bout 20 usd to send 500 usd. And the indo bank side charges about another 2pct in fees by giving you less then the official rate.

Just to put your mind at ease, I’ve been doing this for over 3 years now. Every single month I transfer funds from my Ameritrade account into my Taiwanese bank account for rent and monthly expenses etc. There is nothing illegal about this so go ahead.

Thanks for the reassurances and advice everyone. Looks like I was worried for nothing.

Yes Taiwan is very relaxed. Its not East Germany, circa cold war ya know?

NO NO NO NO please do NOT get travellers checks they are totally useless now.

ONly one counter at one bank at the Sungshan (Songshan) airport will change travellers checks. And only American Express and only max 500 dollars. They charge bout 300nt for that service.

The counters at CKS want to charge almost triple.

Its totally ridiculous[/quote]

Are you sure? If you use your own bank account, which the OP has, the charges are lower than a bank transfer.

You may want to ask your bank what they will charge. It could be more then you think.

A transfer from walmart is very cost effective to taiwan. No waiting MOney is available right away.
Travellers checks may not deposit immediately into your bank account. ASk them how long before you have access to your cash and how much they charge.

I didnt like the answers I got asking several banks.

Lets face it. Travellers Checks have pretty much gone the way of the dinosaurs in most places.

Oh definitely and it is a total scam. Now when you travel you pay exchange rates on every withdrawal and a local ATN fee in addition to whatever your bank may charge. All because the bank needs to hire so many people to operate those levers and dials on their servers.

So what do you do for backup now when travelling? You have to carry a bit of cash which is much less safe.

I too thought the Travelers Checks was an awesome idea. You pay one pct to get them (now they are free because they are almost useless).

And you could cash them in most countries for money on the spot. And in the USa many businesses took them.

Back in the day, credit cards were hard to get and most young folks didn’t have a credit card. So you traveled with travelers checks.

Now you have to use your ATM card. Which thankfully in many countries allows you access to cash.

When i used my ATM card in machines in Taiwan, I dont think i was charged a fee. I just got the standard exchange rate even. But many countries/banks/machines do apparently charge a fee for each transaction and possibly give you a lower then standard rate.

But you need some cash always and its usually good not to carry big amounts in cash anywhere.

When I was in Alaska I was charge US$5 per ATM withdrawal just by the bank there. I was also losing on the exchange rate.

But even when I travel in China it is bad. Once, I looked at how much I spent in China and how much I would need to buy that (if I bought it in Taiwan at a bank) and it was a few percent difference. So for example, buying 10,000RMB at a bank or withdrawing 10,000RMB using ATMs in China is different.

Yup, banks are in the business of making money ( insert debate on Glass-Steagall / Dodd Frank ) The result being higher fees and less customer friend services like travelers checks. The days of banks caring what customers want are long gone, so it’s probably best to just do your banking with large international banks like HSBC and setting up your ATM and credit cards so you are ready to travel.