Last Update - 02 DEC 2004

  1. Q. Can a foreigner buy land in Thailand?
  2. Q. Which currency do I pay in?
  3. Q. Do they have Title Deeds for land in Thailand?
  4. Q. Are there property taxes in Thailand?
  5. Q. Is it possible to get Thai Citizenship?

Q. Can a foreigner buy land in Thailand?

The most important issue for foreign ownership under current Thai law is that a foreign national cannot own land outright; furthermore they cannot own more than 49% of the shares in a Thai company that owns freehold land. Furthermore foriegn participation in such a Thai limited company is normally restricted to 39% to avoid investigation by the central land department in Bangkok.

It is important to meet with a reputable Law firm for advice on different Thai company structures for minority shareholders that outline director appointment rights and executive powers to bind. It should be noted that it is perfectly legal for a Thai limited company to appoint a sole Managing Director of any nationality.

Leasehold through Thai nominee is also an option; however we do not advise to take this route as at can be a legal minefield. Corporate interest in land is highly recommended.

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Q. Which currency do I pay in?

Of course a property here on Koh Phangan can be purchased in Thai Baht but is this the best option? Probably not. There is no capital gains tax on sale of personal property provided it is your sole property, however a problem can arise with subsequent repatriation of the funds. Without the right documentation, formally a Tor Tor Sam issued by the receiving bank, repatriated funds could then incur income tax.

To avoid such complexities it would be much more efficient to pay for and sell in a foreign currency. Agents often have this infrastructure in place to allow payment in any mayor currency their clients wish.

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Q. Do they have Title Deeds for land in Thailand?

Yes, many types can be found but you should only consider the following types

However there are other land papers with different processionary rights, they are;

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Q. Are there property taxes in Thailand?

There are no property taxes as such in Thailand that are exactly equivalent to the property taxes in the west, however, the most comparable taxes on properties in Thailand are the Land Tax and the Structures Usage Tax.

The Land Tax levied on land is so miniscule, that in practice the body charged to collect it, rarely bothers to do so, and if they do, they usually wait several years until the amount accumulates.

The second tax, the Structures Usage Tax, relates to buildings, is collected by the municipal office or district office, and is only applied to properties used for commercial purpose. Structure usage tax is levied at 12.5% on the actual (or assessed) gross rental value of the property.

On all purchase/sale of property in Thailand there is a stamp Duty of 0.5%, a transfer fee of 0.01%, a business tax of 0.11% levied against an owner who has been in registered possession of the property less than 5 years, and Income Tax. There is no Capital Gains Tax in Thailand, unlike many western countries.

It should be noted that the Finance Ministry plans to phase in taxes under a new land and building law expected to be approved by the cabinet within the next few months. The new law would impose a lower tax rate at 0.1% of the property value but do away with excepions and be applied uniformely to all landholders and property owners, wether the buildings are used for private residences or for rental income.

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Q. Is it possible to get Thai Citizenship?

For some who choose Koh Phangan as their home and find that dream piece of land to build their house they may be wondering: can I get Thai citizenship?

Being granted Thai citizenship is certainly possible but the requirements of all applicants often restricts only a limited number from trying. The Interior Minister dealt with forty nine applications last year and awarded the usual ten citizenship papers. The criteria on which the applicant must met are as follows;

The process is marked on a point system with each category having the following allocations:

Applicants must score a total of at least fifty points to qualify to be considered.

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