Is It Illegal To Burn Money In The USA?

Burn Money In The USA

Money is the most important component of the present world. Everybody needs money, wants money; in fact, human civilization is progressing due to money. Even though we desperately need money, sometimes or on rare occasions, we might have money to burn. So is it legal or illegal to burn money in the USA?

If you are living in the USA and have some money to burn then you have to think twice before turning cash into ashes. Because, in the USA burning money is completely illegal and it is a violation of Title 18, Section 333 of the United States Code of Mutilation of national bank obligations. If you violate this law then it is punishable by up to 10 years in prison as well as you have to pay the fines.

What The Law Says About Burning Money

In the USA, burning money is prohibited under Title 18, Section 333, which was passed in 1948 and reads:

“Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”

What The Law Says About Mutilating Coins

In the USA, mutilating coins is also illegal and it is also a punishable crime. Mutilating coins is prohibited under Title 18, Section 331, which reads:

“Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as money within the United States; or whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings into the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled, or lightened shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”

Moreover, debasing coins is also illegal in the USA and it is also a punishable crime. If you shave some of the metal off and make the money less valuable then your crime is punishable by fines and up to 10 years in prison. Debasing is prohibited under Title 18, Section 332, which reads:

If any of the gold or silver coins struck or coined at any of the mints of the United States shall be debased, or made worse as to the proportion of fine gold or fine silver therein contained, or shall be of less weight or value than the same ought to be, pursuant to law, or if any of the scales or weights used at any of the mints or assay offices of the United States shall be defaced, altered, increased, or diminished through the fault or connivance of any officer or person employed at the said mints or assay offices, with a fraudulent intent; or if any such officer or person shall embezzle any of the metals at any time committed to his charge for the purpose of being coined, or any of the coins struck or coined at the said mints, or any medals, coins, or other moneys of said mints or assay offices at any time committed to his charge, or of which he may have assumed the charge, every such officer or person who commits any of the said offenses shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Source: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-17

Why It Is Illegal To Burn Money In The USA?

The US government bans the destruction of both paper money and coins by common people. But why it is illegal to burn money in the USA. Technically, my money is my property so I can do whatever I want with my money, right? However, if you are in the USA then you can’t bury or destroy the money because the Federal Reserve replaces the money that is taken out of circulation. So if you burn or destroy the money then the Federal Reserve won’t be able to replace the old money with new money. Moreover, it cost about 5.5 cents to make a new $1 bill and about 14 cents for a $100 bill. The cost might not be a big one but if everyone starts to burn their money then the cost will be huge.

FAQs About Burn Money In The USA

1. What Is The Sentence For Burning Money In The USA?

Burning money is a crime in the USA and the sentence for burning money in the USA is 10 years in prison and fines. It is also a crime to tear a dollar bill in the USA.

2. Is Burnt Money Still Good?

If the money is partially burnt then you can exchange the money for a new one. However, it is mandatory to have at least 50% of the original bill.

3. Is It Illegal To Drill A Hole In A Penny?

Yes, it is completely illegal to drill a hole in a penny because; if you drill a hole in a penny then you won’t be able to use the penny anymore.

4. Will A Bank Take Burnt Money?

If the burnt money cannot withstand normal handling then the commercial banks won’t take that money. In this type of situation, you have to submit the money to the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing or the US Mint.

5. How Many Times Can You Fold A Dollar Bill?

You can easily fold a dollar bill forward and back 4000 times before it reaches the end of its lifespan.

6. What Is Unfit Money?

Unfit money is the money that is unfit for further circulation because of its physical condition. Money that is torn, dirty, limp, worn, or defaced is considered as unfit money.

Last Updated on June 10, 2021 by Musa D

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