Letter Re: SAR’s and CTR’s

Hugh, I’ve read for years about how banks raise their eyebrows concerning large cash withdraws. I am beginning to think this is more hype than substance.

I have been a contractor for 20+ years and have never once been questioned about large cash withdraws. Over the life of my business, I have restructured three times– sole proprietor, partnership, and finally in 2003 an “S” corporation. As any decent responsible person does, I pay my taxes. But I also don’t leave money in the bank after my obligations have been met.

A typical transaction for me goes like this: My customers pay me by check, I deposit the check in my business account and pay my business expenses. After my expenses are met, I transfer the sales tax and appropriate payroll tax over to a separate tax account that is tapped every quarter by Uncle Sam and King Insleee. (I make the deposits; they make the withdrawal, and it’s been that way for decades.) I essentially drain the checking account except for a small amount to keep the account open, I then repeat the process all over again after the next deposit.

The checks I write to myself, that I cash at the same bank, typically run anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 monthly, depending on how much is left in the account after my obligations. I have never had a teller ask me, or even question my acts, even once while they are counting out a stack of bills to me. The bank has had 20 years of opportunities to call me out on my actions or have me fill out some sort of form for tax reasons. I’ve never experienced either.

I have come to the conclusion that so long as you aren’t acting like you are doing something sinister while doing your banking or being a jerk about it, tellers have no reason to treat you with suspicion.

Also, this isnt our grandparent’s economy. A thousand bucks by today’s standards is a month’s of groceries, a tank of gas, utilities, and maybe a little walking around money at the end of the day. Two thousand bucks is just adding the mortgage to the mix.

Blessed in the Redoubt- L.O.

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