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Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

Ruling

FIN-1992-R002 (Formerly 92-2)
Issued: November 16, 1992
Subject: How should a financial institution complete a CTR when multiple transactions are aggregated and reported on a single form and all or part of the information called for in the form may not be known?

This ruling, formerly known as 92-2, was posted to the website on May 18, 2010; it was previously published via the Federal Register. Please note that references in this ruling to CTR exemptions and form numbers are outdated.


Facts:

31 U.S.C. 5313 -- Reports on Domestic Coins and Currency Transactions

31 CFR 103.22 -- Reporting of Currency Transactions

31 CFR 103.28 -- Identification Required

Proper completion of the Currency Transaction Report (CTR), IRS Form 4789, when reporting multiple transactions. Financial institutions must report transactions in currency that exceed $ 10,000 or an exempted account's established exemption limit and provide certain information including verified identifying information about the individual conducting the transaction. Multiple currency transactions must be treated as a single transaction, aggregated, and reported on a single Form 4789, if the financial institution has knowledge that the transactions are by or on behalf of any person and result in either cash in or cash out totaling more than $ 10,000, or the exemption limit, during any one business day. All CTRs must be fully and accurately completed. Some or all of the individual transactions which comprise an aggregated CTR are frequently below the $ 10,000 reporting or applicable exemption threshold and, as such, are not reportable and financial institutions do not gather the information required to complete a CTR.

Holding

Multiple transactions that total in excess of $ 10,000, or an established exemption limit, when aggregated must be reported on a CTR if the financial institution has knowledge that the transactions have occurred. In many cases, the individual transactions being reported are each under $ 10,000, or the exemption limit, and the institution was not aware at the time of any one of the transactions that a CTR would be required. Therefore, the identifying information on the person conducting the transaction was not required to be obtained at the time the transaction was conducted.

If after a reasonable effort to obtain the information required to complete items 4 through 15 of the CTR, all or part of such information is not available, the institution must check item 3d to indicate that the information is not being provided because the report involves multiple transactions for which complete information is not available. The institution must, however, provide as much of the information as is reasonably available.

All subsections of item 48 on the CTR must be completed to report the number of transactions involved and the number of locations of the financial institution and zip codes of those locations where the transactions were conducted.

Law and Analysis

Sections 103.22(a)(1) and (c) of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations, 31 CFR part 103, require a financial institution to file a CTR for each deposit, withdrawal, exchange of currency, or other payment or transfer, by, through, or to the financial institution, which involves a transaction in currency of more than $ 10,000 or the established exemption limit for an exempt account. Multiple transactions must be treated as a single transaction if the financial institution has knowledge that they are by, or on behalf of, any person and result in either cash in or cash out of the financial institution totaling more than $ 10,000 or the exemption limit during any one business day. Knowledge, in this context, means knowledge on the part of a partner, director, officer or employee of the financial institution or on the part of any existing automated or manual system at the financial institution that permits it to aggregate transactions.

The purpose of item 3 on the CTR is to indicate why all or part of the information required in items 4 through 15 is not being provided on the form. If the reason information is missing is solely because the transaction(s) occurred through an armored car service, a mail deposit or shipment, or a night deposit or Automated Teller Machine (ATM), the financial institution must check either box a, b, or c, as appropriate, in item 3. CTR instructions state that item 3d is to be checked for multiple transactions where none of the individual transactions exceeds $ 10,000 or the exemption limit and all of the required information might not be available.

As described in Example No. 5 below, there may be situations where one transaction among several exceeds the applicable threshold. Item 3d should be checked whenever multiple transactions are being reported and all or part of the information necessary to complete items 4 through 15 is not available because at the time of any one of the individual transactions, a CTR was not required and the financial institution did not obtain the appropriate information.

When reporting multiple transactions, the financial institution must complete as many of items 4 through 15 as possible. In the event the institution learns that more than one person conducted the multiple transactions being reported, it must check item 2 on the CTR and is encouraged to make reasonable efforts to obtain and report any appropriate information on each of the persons in items 4 through 15 on the front and back of the CTR form, and if necessary, on additional sheets of paper attached to the report.

The purpose of item 48 is to indicate that multiple transactions are involved in the CTR being filed. Items 48 a, b, and c require information about the number of transactions being reported and the number of bank branches and the zip code of each branch where the transactions took place. If multiple transactions exceeding $ 10,000 or an account exemption limit occur at the same time, the financial institution should treat the transactions in a manner consistent with its internal transaction posting procedures. For example, if a customer presents four separate deposits, at the same time, totaling over $ 10,000, the institution may report the transactions in item 48a to be one or four separate transactions. If the transactions are posted as four separate transactions the financial institution should enter the number 4 in item 48a and the number 1 in item 48b. If the transactions are posted as one transaction the institution should enter the 1 in both 48a and 48b. Reporting the transactions in this manner will guarantee the integrity of the paper trail being created, that is, the number of transactions reported on the CTR will be the same as the number of transactions showing in the institution's records.

These situations should be differentiated from those cases where separate transactions occur at different times during the same business day, and which, when aggregated, exceed $ 10,000 or the exemption limit. For instance, if the same or another individual conducts two of the same type of transactions at different times during the same business day at two different branches of the financial institution on behalf of the same person, and the institution has knowledge that the transactions occurred and exceed $ 10,000 or the exemption limit, then the financial institution must enter the number 2 in items 48a and 48b.

Examples and Application of Law to Examples

Example No. 1

Dorothy Fishback presents a teller with three cash deposits to the same account, at the same time, in amounts of $ 5,000, $ 6,000, and $ 8,500 requesting that the deposits be posted to the account separately. It is the bank's procedure to post the transactions separately. A CTR is completed while the customer is at the teller window.

Application of Law to Example No. 1

A CTR is completed based upon the information obtained at the time Dorothy Fishback presents the multiple transactions. Item 3d would not be checked on the CTR because all of the information in items 4 through 15 is being provided contemporaneously with the transaction. As it is the bank's procedure to post the transactions separately, the number of transactions reported in item 48a would be 3 and the number of branches reported in item 48b would be 1. The zip code for the location where the transactions were conducted would be entered in item 48c.

Example No. 2

Andrew Weiner makes a $ 7,000 cash deposit to his account at ABC Federal Savings Bank. Later the same day, Mr. Weiner returns to the same teller and deposits $ 5,000 in cash to a different account. At the time Mr. Weiner makes the second deposit, the teller realizes that the two deposits exceed $ 10,000 and prepares a CTR obtaining all of the necessary identifying information directly from Mr. Weiner.

Application of Law to Example No. 2

Even though the two transactions were conducted at different times during the same business day, Mr. Weiner conducted both transactions at the same place and the appropriate identifying information was obtained by the teller at the time of the second transaction. Item 3d would not be checked on the CTR. The number of transactions reported in item 48a must be 2 and the number of branches reported in item 48b would be 1. The zip code for the location where the transactions took place would be entered in item 48c.

Example No. 3

Internal auditor Mike Pelzer is reviewing the daily cash transactions report for People's Bank and notices that five cash deposits were made the previous day to account +/- 12345. The total of the deposits is $ 25,000 and they were made at three different offices of the bank. Mike researches the account data base and finds that the account belongs to a department store and that the account is exempted for deposits up to $ 17,000 per day. Each of the five transactions was under $ 17,000.

Application of Law to Example No. 3

Having reviewed the report of aggregated transactions, Mike Pelzer has knowledge that transactions exceeding the account exemption limit have occurred during a single business day. A CTR must be filed. People's Bank is encouraged to make a reasonable effort to provide the information for items 4 through 15 on the CTR. Such efforts could include a search of the institution's records or a phone call to the department store to identify the persons that conducted the transactions. If all of the information is not contained in the institution's records or otherwise obtained, item 3d must be checked. The number of transactions reported in item 48a must be 5 and the number of branches reported in 48b would be 3. The zip codes for the three locations where the transactions occurred must be entered in item 48c.

Example No. 4

Mrs. Saunders makes a cash withdrawal, for $ 4,000, from a joint savings account she owns with her husband. That day her husband, Mr. Saunders, withdraws $ 7,000 cash using the same teller. Realizing that the withdrawals exceed $ 10,000, the teller obtains identifying information on Mr. Saunders required to complete a CTR.

Application of Law to Example No. 4

In this case, item 2 on the CTR must be checked because the teller knows that more than one person conducted the transactions. Information on Mr. Saunders would appear in Part I and the bank is encouraged to ask him for, or to check its records for the required identifying information on Mrs. Saunders. If after taking reasonable efforts to locate the desired information, all of the required information is not found on file in the institution's records or is not otherwise obtained, box 3d must be checked to indicate that all information is not being provided because multiple transactions are being reported. Whatever information on Mrs. Saunders is contained in the records of the institution must be reported in the continuation of Part I on the back of Form 4789. The number of transactions reported in item 48a must be 2 and the number of branches reported in item 48b would be 1. The zip code for the branch where the transactions took place would be entered in item 48c.

Example No. 5

On another day, Mrs. Saunders makes a deposit of $ 3,000 cash and no information required for Part I of the CTR is requested of her. She is followed later the same day by her husband, Mr. Saunders, who deposits $ 12,000 in currency and who provides all data required to complete Part I for himself.

Application of Law to Example No. 5

Item 2 on the CTR must be checked because the teller knows that more than one person conducted the transactions. Information on Mr. Saunders would appear in Part I and the bank is encouraged to ask him for, or to check its records for the required identifying information on Mrs. Saunders. If after taking reasonable efforts to locate the desired information, all of the required information is not found on file in the institution's records or is not otherwise obtained, box 3d must be checked to indicate that all information is not being provided because multiple transactions are being reported. Whatever information on Mrs. Saunders is contained in the records of the institution must be reported in the continuation of Part I on the back of Form 4789. The number of transactions reported in item 48a must be 2 and the number of branches reported in item 48b would be 1. The zip code for the branch where the transactions took place would be entered in item 48c.

Example No. 6

A review of First Federal Bank's daily cash transactions report for a given day indicates several cash deposits to a single account totaling more than $ 10,000. Two separate deposits were made in the night depository at the institution's main office, and two deposits were conducted at the teller windows of two other branch locations. Each deposit was under $ 10,000.

Application of Law to Example No. 6

Item 3c should be checked to indicate that identifying information is not provided because transactions were received through the night deposit box. If the tellers involved with the two face to face deposits remember who conducted the transactions, institution records can be checked for identifying information. If the records contain some of the information required by items 4 through 15, that information must be provided, and item 3d must be checked to indicate that some information is missing because multiple transactions are being reported and the information was not obtained at the time the transactions were conducted. Item 48a must indicate 4 transactions and item 48b must indicate 3 locations. The zip code of those locations would be provided in item 48c.





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