Advice to foreigners: Purchasing Property in Thailand

Foreigners are not permitted to hold land property in Thailand. Purchasing land on behalf of foreigners is illegal.

Any purchase, even if documented by contract, will be rendered invalid. Foreigners are allowed the right to ownership of homes, schools and other structures in Thailand. However, the ownership will be granted only if the contract is filled and registered with an official of the land registration office.

If a contract for home ownership is obtained, it must be legally registered. The foreigner will otherwise have no rights to the home, and thus will not be able to transfer its ownership to other parties.

The foreigner holds the responsibility of deducting and submitting taxes at the time of purchase. In accordance with Article 69, Section 3 of the revenue code, the purchaser has the responsibility of deducting taxes at the time of purchase, which must be submitted seven days from the end of the month in which the purchase was made.

In case that the foreigner has paid the full amount of the contracted home price but has not yet deducted taxes as mentioned above, the foreigner remains responsible for the payment of taxes. The individual must retroactively pay taxes from the time payment until present, in accordance with Article 54 of the Revenue Code.

Recommendations

Inspect contracts provided by the real estate agent/seller, eg: sales contract, land rental contracts, construction contracts. Ensure that the terms represent your legal ownership of real estate in Thailand.

Refuse any contracts that does not reflect your intention of ownership.

Before signing, you should inspect the property price as it appears in the contract. Be sure that it matches past payments and any transfer of funds to the seller.

When you have paid the full amount of the contract, you should urge the real estate agent/seller to transfer property ownership to you as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure your ownership of a home in its entirety and for legal taxt deduction henceforth.

Organize and send your contract, evidence of payment or transfer funds to the local Revenue Department so that revenue taxes of the real estate agent or seller can be collected.

Revenue Code

Section 69 Ter

A person, partnership, company, association or a body of persons pays assessable income under Section 40(8) to a company or juristic partnership which sells immovable property shall withhold taxt at the rate of 1 per cent and remit it to an official responsible for registration of rights and juristic acts at the time of registration and provisions of Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Section 52 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Tax withheld and remitted under Paragraph 1 shall be treated as a credit in income taxt calculation of the company or juristic partnership which tax was withheld for the accounting period in which the taxt was withheld.

Section 52

A person, partnership, company, association or body of person liable to withhold tax under Section 50 (1) (2) (3) and (4) shall, whether or not the tax has already been withheld, remit the taxt at the Amphur office within 7 days from the end of the month of payment.

The person liable to withhold tax under Section 50 (5) and (6) shall remit the tax to the competent official who execute registration of rights and juristic acts at the time of registration, and such official shall not execute the registration unless the taxt is remitted correctly in full amount. In the case where the registration of rights and juristic acts is not needed, the remittance shall be made under Paragraph 1.

The taxt withheld under Paragraph 2 shall be remitted as government revenue under the regulation prescribed by the Minister.

Section 54

If the payer of income under Section 50 and 53 does not withhold and remit taxt or remits incorrect amount of tax, he shall be jointly liable with the taxpayer to pay the tax payable in an amount not withheld or remitted or in the missing amount, as the case may be.

In the case where the payer of income has withheld tax under Section 50 or 53, the taxpayer shall be discharged from the liability to pay tax in an amount equal to the amount withheld by the payer of income and only the payer of income shall be liable to that tax amount.

Reported by Natsupa Dechapanya

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