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My question is: can I simply write a personal check with say, $150,000 USD for the down payment from my checking account? This money is already taxed. Do I need to report this money or fill out any forms?

In about 1996, I had occasion to write two $25,000 checks on my New Jersey checking account to a financial house in Switzerland to buy single payment annuities denominated in Swiss Francs. At that time, all transactions like that ($10,000 and over) had to be reported to the IRS, but I did not have to do it, my bank did. It was legal to send such payments to most countries (Cuba was not one of these), but the transfer had to be reported.

Also at that time purchasing an annuity on a U.S. company did not require any particular reporting requirements, but there was a 1% excise tax that had to be paid on annuities purchased overseas. Now try to pay that tax! 8-( You cannot send it to the IRS along with your social security number. You must send the check along with some form or other and you must enter not your social security number (it is not acceptable) but your employer-id number. I did not own a business at the time (I still don't), so I made up one with a whimsical name, registered it with the IRS, got an employer-id number, and paid the excise tax. They wondered why I filed no returns on my "business" after that, so the first year I filed a return, showing no income, no expenses, and no assets. They gave up after a while.
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