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How do you pay for services - cash? check?

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I am so use to paying my house cleaner in the States with a credit card and the gardener with a check.  I have been doing cash here but now that my architect said something about me paying taxes on his services and it being best if I pay him cash, I'm not able to keep up with the cash purchases and service payments since I can only take out 7000 pesos a day.  What is the downside with paying any of them with a US check? Or is it even allowed?  I have moved most of my money to Charles Schwab so I don't take the ATM hit and I plan on opening a Mexican bank as soon as all my ducks are in a row. In the meantime, how should I pay a $9000 contract? This cash business is getting to me.   

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I know you have probably already figured this out, but the solution is to get that Mexican bank account opened asap, then you can transfer as much as you want into it and get as much cash as you need from the teller's window.  You just need proof of address and ID such as passport at Multiva.  I can't speak for the other banks.

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I know you have probably already figured this out, but the solution is to get that Mexican bank account opened asap, then you can transfer as much as you want into it and get as much cash as you need from the teller's window.  You just need proof of address and ID such as passport at Multiva.  I can't speak for the other banks.

That seemed to be the only way to get this done.  I just got my Visa last week but they had not issued me a CURP number and I wasn't sure if I needed one for a bank account so that was where I was going to start tomorrow - chasing down a CURP. As soon as that is in my little hands I will go in and open an account.

Once I do that, can I request everyone I hire take a check instead of cash - or is everyone still going to want me to go make the withdrawal myself? I hate carrying cash. And I don't wear jewelry.  I like keeping myself worthless to rob.  

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You might be able to ask your bank to raise your daily withdrawal amount.

 

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This is a cash society into which you have moved.  Few people like carrying cash but it is what it is--get used to it as we all have.  No one will want a US check--I think I've written 3 checks in 12 years.  Many workers don't have a bank let alone a dollar account, so forget that.  I have a Mexican checking account and have never written a check.  Get your bank to increase your daily limit to $1000US as most of us have.  And go to the bank every days like most of us do.  Also, open Mexican bank account as suggested earlier and take out as much cash as you want.  Do NOT inform your bank or Schwab, that you are living in Mexico.  US banking laws are getting more strict and you may be dumped.  INM can get you a CURP.  If you pay your architect in cash, be SURE to get a factura, not just a receipt.  Also, pay IMSS yourself.  Don't let someone else do it and hand you a receipt which could be fake; then you will pay IMSS again before you canoccupy your house.

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Talk to a bank you can set up a service where the bank pays your employee's gardener and maid, for instance, The bank issues them a card where they can withdraw their weekly pay from the bank. It takes about a month to set up but frees you from carrying cash.

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If guys are working full time, when would they have time to go stand in a bank line-up to cash a check?

(Reminds me of when I saw a builder reaming out a transito who had given him a parking ticket- he yelled- "I have materials to unload, where do you expect me to park?" The transito was visibly shaken, but said he couldn't rip up the ticket. The builder then asked when the hell the transito thought he could pay the ticket, since he works full time. Transito suggested maybe the builder's wife could go pay it? Builder yells, "My wife works, too, {swear word}!")

And it sounds like your architect is saying that if you pay him cash, he will not have to claim the income and pay tax on it, quite common and prevalent not only in Mexico, albeit illegal. If he has to cash a check, he has to account for the income and pay tax on it, which he will then turn around and add to your bill.

However, a consideration for the homeowner is that you can deduct all facturas which reflect improvements to your property from capital gains profits if and when you sell in the future. For this you would need a tax number, so the factura is in your name.

Are you sure your CURP# is not on your residency card? Mine is, and it's not like I asked them for it, it was just there, printed on the card.

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P.S. Your architect actually legally has to give you a factura if you request one, whether you pay him in cash, check or whatever. But he will then have to report the income, pay 16% tax on it, then add the 16% to your bill. And these factura issues are generally talked about when contracting a job- not really fair to spring it on him partway through the job.

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Never pay any "TAX" unless you get a Factura, as proof you paid it. Lots of scams by Mexicans toward Extranjeros. You need to get advice from someone knowledgeable here before you start spending significant funds. Better be safe that sorry. This is not ":Kansas" and once it it gone, kiss it goodbye. :(

 

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For all my employees which I have many. I put in a small envelope which I bought a box of at Sam's I put the weekly payment and have them sign.  

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That seemed to be the only way to get this done.  I just got my Visa last week but they had not issued me a CURP number and I wasn't sure if I needed one for a bank account so that was where I was going to start tomorrow - chasing down a CURP. As soon as that is in my little hands I will go in and open an account.

Once I do that, can I request everyone I hire take a check instead of cash - or is everyone still going to want me to go make the withdrawal myself? I hate carrying cash. And I don't wear jewelry.  I like keeping myself worthless to rob.  

Checks are not widely accepted here, but you will still need a bank account. You can pay Telmex with a USA credit card but need to pay a $100 at a time to avoid a $2.00 fee. I take this month's bill and pay three times that (2 months in advance). CFE requires cash or Mexican bank card oredit or debit. Water one time a year in Jan or Feb need cash, I use USA credit card for gasoline. Propane is cash only. I pay housekeeper and gardener with cash on Saturday before noon. Sams and Costco will take a USA credit card. You will find the housekeeper and gardener resistant to taking a check. I doubt you can hire one that will take that check. Most all payroll in Mexico is cash as the employees do not as a rule have photo IDs.

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Cash is the safest way.

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That seemed to be the only way to get this done.  I just got my Visa last week but they had not issued me a CURP number and I wasn't sure if I needed one for a bank account so that was where I was going to start tomorrow - chasing down a CURP. As soon as that is in my little hands I will go in and open an account.

Once I do that, can I request everyone I hire take a check instead of cash - or is everyone still going to want me to go make the withdrawal myself? I hate carrying cash. And I don't wear jewelry.  I like keeping myself worthless to rob.  

We got the account on a Tourist Visa, no CURP.  Only what I mentioned.  I think whether or not they will take a check is whatever you work out with that person.  Of course, you are correct about carrying cash.  If you end up having to go the cash route, the only thing to do is really be aware of your surroundings when you get it.

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Thanks for all the replies. I got my CURP this morning. They had a problem putting it on cards for a while so I had to pick it up at INM. 

I then went straight to the bank. Sure enough, they asked for my CURP - but yippie - I had it. 

Cash and keys are the two hardest adjustments to life here. I haven't carried either in a decade. I have left my keys in my front gate three times and locked myself out just as many. The workers put on a keypad today but I still am left with 15 other differently keyed locks in the house. Getting other doors rekeyed is next on the list. 

As for the cash life - I'll just have to put my big girl pants on and deal with it. Funny enough though this video showed up on my watch list today: 

Thanks again for your replies  

 

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