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Thailand - Income Tax
Those who live in Thailand for more than half the year are considered to be resident in the country for the purposes of tax. If you are resident then you are expected to pay taxes on all income that you earn worldwide. If you are not a resident and are in the country for less than 180 days each year then you are only expected to pay tax on the income that you get from within Thailand. Those who do not have a work permit are not exempt from paying taxes.
All income that is considered to be assessable comes under the heading of Personal Income Tax. This includes non-cash payments such as accommodation or the use of a car. There are several different categories of personal income including income from employment, income from a position held, income from royalties or dividends, income from rental agreements, income from construction work or income from any business.
There are a series of deductions that can be made from assessable income and this needs to be done in a specific order. A person completing a tax return will start with the assessable income amount, then take away deductions such as expenses, then take away any personal allowances. The amount that is left is the amount that can be taxed. There are different percentages of deductions depending upon the type. These are reviewed regularly so the best course of action is to check the website of the Revenue office for the latest information.
An individual taxpayer has a personal allowance of 30,000 Thai Baht. If you are married and your spouse does not work then there is a similar allowance for them. You are also able to claim an allowance of 15,000 Thai Baht for each child under the age of 25 (a maximum of 3 children) if they are studying in full time education. If your parents are over the age of 60 and their income is less than 30,000 Thai Baht you can claim 30,000 Thai Baht each.
If you are over the age of 65 then your own personal allowance becomes 190,000 Thai Baht. In addition to these there are allowances for education and life insurance as well as mortgage interest and contributions made to the social security system.
Those who earn less than 150,000 Thai Baht are exempt from income tax. Anything over this amount and less than THB 500,000 is taxed at 10%. Between this amount and 1 million THB the tax rate is 20%. Over this amount and below 4 million THB is taxed at 30%. Anything above this amount is taxed at 37%.
An individual is able to file their own tax return but all returns need to be in Thai, so non-Thai speakers should seek the help of an accountant. The Thai tax year runs from 1st January to the 31st December and the tax return should be with the tax office by the 31st March, to cover the previous tax year. Payments should be made promptly at the same time as there are penalties for late filing and payment. It may be the case that you need to submit a return every six months if your income is from your own business or for the hiring out of equipment.
Employers will withhold a certain amount of tax at source and this amount is then offset against the tax bill when you file a tax return. This reduces the possibility of getting a large bill. This can be as much as the top rate 37% but will depend on the type of work that you do and your earnings.
There are a number of double taxation agreements in place with other countries which ensure that you are not taxed twice on any income earned in another country. Thailand currently has 51 such agreements in place and a complete list can be found on the website of the revenue office.
Thailand Inland Revenue Department
www.rd.go.th (website in English)
Tel: + 66 2247 2748
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