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When are Assets Repatriable?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Repatriable assets are any assets that are currently located in a foreign country, but are eligible for transfer to a domestic location, such as a domestic bank. Depending on the country where the assets reside, there may be some restrictions on the type of assets that may be repatriated or the conditions that must be met before a repatriable asset can be moved from the foreign nation to the country or residence. Many of these conditions have to do with the calculation and payment of taxes in the host country, but may also involve the necessity of obtaining formal permission to move the assets.

There are several different classes or types of assets that are generally considered repatriable. Cash and many types of securities are usually subject to repatriation when and as the owner chooses to execute the transfer. Other types of assets may or may not be moved, such as real estate holdings that are located in a given foreign nation. The laws governing ownership of various assets within the nation where those assets are currently held will determine if a given holding can be moved out of the country and to the nation where the owner currently resides. Many nations also have regulations regarding the receipt of assets being transferred from another nation.

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With assets that are considered repatriable, the owner must usually settle any financial obligations connected with those assets before the transfer can take place. For example, if the host nation assesses taxes on the assets, those taxes must often be paid in full before any type of movement will occur. If the regulations of the host nation require that assets must remain within the country for a specific period of time before they are considered repatriable, then the owner must wait for that time limit to expire before attempting to transfer the assets back to a domestic location. There is also the chance that taxes must be paid to the receiving nation as well, especially if those assets were originally moved from the domestic location to a foreign account.

Understanding which circumstances must exist before assets are considered repatriable is especially important in nations that provide foreign investors with offshore accounts of any type. Before opening an offshore mutual fund or even a savings account, it is important to determine what is required in terms of how long the assets must remain within that nation before they can be transferred elsewhere. Determining the tax obligation that must be paid before the transfer is also important. Since asset repatriation laws do vary somewhat from one nation to the next, obtaining legal counsel and becoming acquainted with the terms and conditions related to an offshore account will save a great deal of time, money, and frustration in the future.

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