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No Law Requires Acceptance of US Currency

Posted By Jim On 07/12/2010 @ 12:02 pm In Personal Finance | 48 Comments

Take any bill out of your wallet, notice the little “Federal Reserve Note” written in the ribbon at the top of the bill? You may have heard that it’s considered legal tender and that you are required to accept it as payment.

As it turns out [3], while the Coinage Act of 1965 states that “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues,” there is no such law that requires anyone to accept them. Section 31 U.S.C. 5103 of the act only states that the coins and currency are considered legal tender, but a business has the option must accept it as payment.

So the next time you want to “get back” at a business by paying in pennies, they are legally allowed to tell you to pound sand.

(Photo: r-z [4])


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[3] As it turns out: http://www.ustreas.gov/education/faq/currency/legal-tender.shtml#q1

[4] r-z: http://www.flickr.com/photos/r-z/384866837/sizes/m/

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