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cccmedia, member, experts team

Johny there is a clearance process where they ask you for employment and banking documents and they screen for money laundering/proceeds of crime presumably. I did a transfer recently of %10 of your amount - there was no tax, some fees and they take a few % on the currency exchange of course. It took almost 2 months. With that amount of money you should pay a reputable lawyer to handle all of it, especially if you are transferring directly to a seller. I read of a scam in which a fraud artist tried to get someone to transfer into a fake sale and they would have had no recourse, a diligent lawyer figured it out and saved the client massive grief.

Have you already picked out your property or are you planning ahead?

I read a pretty good article a while ago on "how to fund your real estate purchase in Colombia". I was semi-convinced that the best way for me as a tourist was to use a broker rather than a bank and that the recommended broker had  bank accounts in both the U.S. and London to facilitate the transfer. The particular broker supposedly would take 1% fee for converting dollars to pesos and that government fee for the transfer to Colombia was going to be .04%.  The hitch is you can't just park your funds in this account. You have 7 days to make the transfer  to Colombia, or they return the funds to you.

If I ever make it to Colombia I was going to pay a visit to the broker which has offices in different cities. One of their requirements to open an account is that you be able to source the funds. In other words, they have their money- laundering sniffers on.



I was dumb enough to buy a house  12 years ago in Colombia.

Did it through Alianza Fiduciaria.

They took care of the formulario 8 or 9 or whatever it was.

As I remember, they gave a good exchange rate.

I understand you can do it through the banks as well.

Imagine its a lot more complicated now.

I just sold a stratus seven apartment last year that I had held for fifteen years. I was extremely happy to get my money out before the communists came into power. [Moderated]

Moderated by Bhavna last year
Reason : Political
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@Laker4115 This post is not about politics, [Moderated]

Moderated by Bhavna last year
Reason : Please remain courteous
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Hello everyone,

Indeed, please refrain from posting about the country's political system.. this will lead to off-topic and useless postings on the forum.

Let us focus on what the OP has asked : Transfer money and taxes.

Thanks in advance,


@Laker4115 Bet you didnt make much measured in $USD

maybe saved ra bit of rent

As far as the transaction costs and appreciation I came out fine, was fortunate to find a well funded buyer.  The real financial cost to me was the fifteen years that I owned the property, only using it three months during the year but paying full year's apartment  administration, electricity, prediales, telecommunications (internet etc.), water/sewer, trash pickup etc. etc.  The real financial saving was doing significant dental work in Colombia by people who do a better job than in the U.S. at only ten percent of the cost.  This literally saved us tens of thousands of dollars.  Also saved a lot on winter heating costs, had lots of friend and relative experiences, and enjoyed the country.

3 months in  a year?

Airnb would serve a lot better

But hind site is 20/20

As far as the present situation, and the OPs post  some people have tons of money, and losing a half a million or even a milllion is no skin off their back.

A Guy I know, a long term resident,  is in the process of spending a million on a mansion in Rio Negro area.

Yet he riidicules the young Colombianas on facebook who vote for Petro, sayng he will "laugh " at them should Petro win (which of course he did).

Even though he has potentially way, way more to lose.

Some people have so much money, loosing a lot or making a bad investment is no skin off thier back.

As far as te OPs question on taxes, the new government is proposing raising the windfall tax from 10% to 20% or 30%-applies to capitol gains on property you do not reside in.

This is on the capitol gain on the original house  price in Colombian Pesos.

For an idea of potential losses in Euros, refer to XE:com trends for Euros to COP over last 10 years.

Not as bad as $USD because of recent issues in Europe. But do you believe the uro is going to be weak over the next few years, espescially against the colombian peso?

Buy the house in Euros, the war ends, Euro rises, and you have to get out of Colombia, converting from weak Peso to stronger Euro.

Quite a lot of currency risk now , I would say … p;view=10Y

@nico peligro   How many AirBNB's do you think existed in 2005 when I bought the apartment?  The answer is zero, they did not exist back then although they did have cars and airplanes at that time.

any type of rental would have worked

Anyway hind site is 20 / 20.

Like I said some people have money to burn

Johnny London may want to live in "paradise" and may not qualify for a pensioners visa. Plus, it may not appeal to him to live 6 months (182 days) a year in an Airbnb, since he wants to pick out his furniture. While he could rent. and keep it vacant for 1/2 the year ,or make it a airbnb, without a cédula he is screwed. Also, he might have difficulty finding a cosigner for the lease, since who wants to take on that risk?

In any case, Johnny may have already changed his mind after reading the tax or health insurance threads.

Johny London,

Always anticipate there will be fees and taxes

on property purchase in South America.

Also expect that the exact amount of such

will not be available until shortly before

the transaction is completed,

Your attorney can estimate the extra charges,

but probably not to the exact peso .. until

los últimos días.


Anything over 1,900,000 gets taxed said to say. And it gets taxed and the way out. In Ecuador the bank charges 5 percent for doing a money transfer.

@bsivell23 you keep.posting this on various forums but it is 100% mis information. Dont know where you got this idea.

People living  working and earning a salary in Colombia are not even required to do a declaración de renta if they make less than 4 million a month.

@bsivell23 my bank (Banco Collombia)charges me nothing on money I deposit..other than the 9 mil a month.maintenance fee.

They even.give me a little interest..not.much, but enouugh to cover the maintenance fee.

@N.Barley i have been living here 10 years just renting without any problems.

@nico peligro I get charged the 9mil monthly fee, but I don't get much in terms of interest. Then again, maybe the amount of millones in my Bancolombia account isn't enough to get 9mil in monthly interest. How much do you have in your Bancolombia account, if you don't mind (feel free to PM me)...

I dont have a comes and goes pretty quickly...

I never checked if the interest adds to 9 is a pittance anyway

my bank (Banco Collombia)charges me nothing on money I deposit..other than the 9 mil a month.maintenance fee.
-@nico peligro
i have been living here 10 years just renting without any problems

Do you find having a bank account useful in Colombia? There is a YouTuber in the coffee triangle who tells his viewers not to get a bank accounts because he says the DIAN will come after you, or something like that. The YouTuber swears by his Rappi app and card, however, in part because he transfer dollars from his U.S. bank to his Rappi account. I guess he goes to the ATM when he pays his rent.

I have had an account in Ecuador for like 10 years and use it to pay rent, utilities and groceries. I fund it using either X•O•O•M or R•e•m•i•t•l•y.

While I have the Rappi app, I don't have their card. So the trick of transferring dollars from the U.S. to a Rappi account is not available in Ecuador.

Loren Lowe, last name rhymes with cow.

Mr. Barley has referred before to the Expat

who posts videos from Armenia in the

Coffee Triangle, especially his Gran Colombia

channel's weekly program 'Coffee Time,'

typically live at 11 a.m. Bogotá time and

and available via replay from the archives.

Loren is in his fifth year living in Colombia

and has become a well-informed coach

to Expats and prospective arrivals on

a host of topics.  His program has become

an essential part of my weekly viewing.

I agree with Loren that it's conceivable

that someday Colombia could be in

financial straits and attack the assets of

individuals the government has

determined are delinquent in paying taxes.

Up to now, La DIAN has proved ineffective,

or perhaps not interested, in pursuing

Expats.  I have seen only one case in which

an Expat claimed that La DIAN pursued him.

That was reported on a different website's

Colombia forum .. and didn't result in a

major fine or punishment.

With advances over time in technology

and the recent advent of a national

administration that talks a good game

about increasing tax collections, I won't

be changing my personal policy as it

concerns exposure to Colombia taxation.

That policy includes assuming that

Colombia's government believes it has

the right to tax an individual's worldwide

wealth and worldwide income .. and

means staying the heck out of Colombia

for at least half the year so as not to be

considered a Colombia tax resident.

cccmedia in Bucaramanga, Colombia

@N.Barley You listen to You Tubers giving BS info?

Why the hell would a bank account tell them anything? Proves nothing. Any foreigner, resident or non resident can get a bank account. And foriegn deposits tell them nothing, because it could be on previously earned income, not present earnings, or could be a family member sending you money.

Also, having a Visa and Bank account does not make you a tax resident. I know a guy that has a permanent  "R" visa, invested many 100s of millions in Colombia, (a fraction of his net worth)  spends less than 183 days a year in Colombia - so is a "non-ResidenT" for tax purposes.

What they can do to get your tax residency status is go to Migraciones, and get your Migratoria records. Easily available from Migracions, I have gotten this information a couple times.

From this, they can determine if you have been in the country 183 day in a 365 day period.

Depending on the type of Visa you have, they can also determine roughly at least, what your income is.

If they really want to know your income exactly, they have access yto the CRS data, and thus your US IRS Tax Returns.

So why would the screw around wih something useless like bank accounts?

If you are an American and can get a Charles Schwab or Capitol one account in the US and avoid Colombian Bank Accounts.(Although I still know US people who have these accounts, yet still transfer 10s of millions into thier Banco Colombia account without any DIAN issues)

Up until recently, for at least 6 years, I was able to do it as a Canadian as well, using a FinTech card for no fee 0% mark up  exchange rate  visa purchases and ATM wihdrawals.

But Fintech companies (espescially Canadian based) have been shutting accounts of Canadians they suspect are living overseas lately, espescially in Colombia, because of onerous rules by the Canadian Financial Institutions dictaed by the totalitarian Canadian Finance Minister.

In addition, even if you can use a FinTech card for transactions in Colombia, most ATMS now wont accept them or even regular Canadian bank cards, unless you pay the 6 to 11% combined exchange/transaction fee.

Thats why I have gotten a Colombian Bank Account lately. For Cash availability. Prefer to purchase with foreign cc and pay 0 to 2.5%, but this is not always possibly in Colombia- a cash society that often does not accept foriegn credit cards.  Worst comes worst. if Remitly (another Fintec)  shuts me down, I can have family or friends send me money to my Colombian account, and do asimple etransfer to them in Canada.

As far as Tax Liability in Colombia, Canadians have another firewall US people dont-the Colombia-Canada Tax agreement.

A Rappi  account? You gotta be kidding me?

Is This guy a muchilero (back packer ) or something, because only a destitute backpacker would take a Colombian Rappi account  over a Charles Scwab or Capitol One account.

You can also use your Remitly account (or similar) to pick up money at different locations, but the amounts are ridiculously low (About 600,000 COP ) at places like Exito, Carulla, Servientrega etc., and sometimes they wont even have cash available.

You can pick up to $999 a shot at the major banks, without a bank account there,, (at Least Davivienda and BancoColombia), but are limited to $6.9 million COP a month, and you are still in the banks "records".

I am sure it is the same with the tiny pickups at Exito, etc., and the same with Rappi..they all record your cedula, name, date amount, etc.

You can run but you cant hide, so why worry about chiken Sh1T things when DIAN get get all the detailed low down on you, if they really wanted to?

Yes mainly because he is a transplant from Ecuador and because I don't have any of the usual social media accounts.

Also, having a Visa and Bank account does not make you a tax resident. I know a guy that has a permanent "R" visa, invested many 100s of millions in Colombia, (a fraction of his net worth) spends less than 183 days a year in Colombia - so is a "non-ResidenT" for tax purposes.

That is a good point, especially for the OP at this moment, if he is still with us. I initially thought he was going to get the "R" investor's visa with that 250k, but I think resolution 5477 does away with that visa and beginning Oct 22nd, he will only be eligible for the lowly "M" visa. I think this means he has to be in Colombia for 6 months of the year until obtaining his R visa after 5 years.

A Rappi account? You gotta be kidding me?
Is This guy a muchilero (back packer ) or something, because only a destitute backpacker would take a Colombian Rappi account over a Charles Scwab or Capitol One account.
-@nico peligro

He has a Capital One account in the states and does some kind of electronic transfer from their website to his Rappi account, and at times, will use his Rappi card at the ATM instead of Capital One.  I think he also pays all his utility bills with the Rappi app.  I was thinking it might be a cheaper way of getting cash from U.S. to Colombia, partly because Rappi is a Colombian company. But I have no idea.

@nico peligro     Hello my name is Claudia and I am planning on retiring in Colombia and I am wanting to rent an apartment near Bogota. What documents do they require to rent a place? I'm moving from Florida.

Thank you much!

@cccmedia Loren Lowe

That dude hates Ecuador and especially Ecuador expats. Dissed them again today.

By the way, I get the impression that all Colombia gringos pronounce "Pereira" like there is a letter "D" where that second "r" is.  What is up with that?

Pronunciation of Pereira:  the rolling second 'r' is quite 'hard', and the Paisas make it sound like a 'd'...

Metro Bogotá, Claudia?

Many Expats rule out this zone  due to

pollution, traffic and chilly weather.

Don't attempt permanent relocation to

a city in Colombia without checking out

the Coffee Zone, Medellín and

Bucaramanga (my personal favorite

en esta época).  These places have

favorable weather compared to the

capital .. and it's easier to get around

town.  Armenia, Quindío, in Coffeeland

is a notably great place.  The exception to

this advice is if you have a

location-dependent job or loved one(s)

who are tied to the capital city area.

You should be able to rent with either

a passport or a cédula ID, unless the

landlord requires a fijador -- which is

not a document but rather a person

acting as your guarantor.

cccmedia in Bucaramanga

@cccmedia thank you very much for the info.!

A well known "Medellín adviser" on the web says there are four options in Medellín for renting an apartment. Maybe they apply in Bogota as well:

Option #1: Use a Fiador

Option #2: Put money into a CDT (certificado de depósito a término)

Option #3: Prepay 6 months rent

Option 4: Rent directly from an owner


All those options you mention is all big ???

One if you rent directly from an owner he may take 6 months without a fiador ir he may not where I am in Pereira it depends what the owner wants.

If you rent from a renting agency they almost all the time ask for a fiador. And they don't accept 6 months advance pay.

All those options you mention is all big ???

These "options" are better characterized as "strategies" that one can try when looking for an apartment.

I always end up with no 4

Bucaramanga  is way easier to rent a place than other parts of Colombia.

Most agencies dont require a Fiajador

Top reasons to relocate to Bucaramanga, Santander.

At 3100 feet elevation, the weather is mild, just a

couple of degees warmer than Medellín.

Less traffic and pollution than Medellín.

Just as easy to fly to as Medellín -- figure on

changing planes to all destinations at Bogotá.

Mid-level hotels often have outstanding, climatized

swimming pools.

Cabecera sector great for shopping.  So is

Cacique mall.

Easier than many Colombian cities to get a rental.

cccmedia, just arrived from Buca last night

@nico peligro @cccmedia

As a well known international living organization said in an article dated Jan 21, 2022

There aren't many expats living there yet, and little English is spoken, but the city has all the makings of a perfect retirement spot for expats looking to be pioneers, yet within the confines of a metropolitan area with 1 million residents.