Last Update - 02 DEC 2004
- Q. Can a foreigner buy land in Thailand?
- Q. Which currency do I pay in?
- Q. Do they have Title Deeds for land in Thailand?
- Q. Are there property taxes in Thailand?
- 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.return to top of page
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.return to top of page
Q. Do they have Title Deeds for land in Thailand?
Yes, many types can be found but you should only consider
the following types
Nor .Sor. 3 is an instrument certifying the use of land
issued by the government to the proprietor of land, i.e.
it is confirmed by law that a person holding Nor. Sor 3
has the legal right to possess the land. This land title
can be used as a legal document or to use the benefit of
the land as an owner. Nor Sor 3 is a floating map with no
parcel points. It is issued for a specific plot of land and
is not connected to other land plots. Any legal acts must
be publicized for 30 days.
Nor. Sor. 3 Gor is a legal land title with the same legal
basis as Nor. Sor. 3. The difference being that Nor. Sor. 3
Gor has parcel points on the map, and is set by using an
aerial survey to set the points and the land area.
It is possible to verify a nearby land area. It always
uses the same scale of 1:5000. There is no need to publicize
any legal acts, and it is possible to partition ( divide )
the land into smaller plots.
Chanute, as its most commonly refered to, is a certificate
for actual ownership of land. A person having their name shown
on the deed has the legal right to the land, and can use it as
evidence to confirm the right to government authorities. The
title deed has been issued by using GPS to set the area and
boundaries of the land, which is a very accurate method. Any
legal acts may be done immediately, as per the right of ownership.
Land partition of more than 9 plots must be carried out according
to the Land Allotment Law, Section 286.
However there are other land papers with different processionary rights, they are;
Sor Kor 1 is a notification form of possessed land. There is a certificate to show the right to the land. This maintains existing rights. Notification of Sor. Kor 1; on December 1st 1954, the government advised all land proprietors to notify such possession to the government as per form Sor. Kor 1. After it was proven that such a proprietor had possessed the land legally and used the benefit of the land, then the government would issue Nor. Sor 3 or Nor. Sor. 3 Gor as evidence. Nor. Sor 3 and Nor. Sor. 3 Gor are legal certificates provided that any name shown on the title is a person who has the right to the land (according to the principle law). This right will be recognized by the law and can be used as evidence in any dispute with an ordinary person or the government.
Por. Bor. Tor 5 is evidenced by the issuance of a tax number for the purpose of paying tax for using the benefit of the land. Such land has not yet been assessed as to the person's right to possess such land. In the event that there is no title for the land , then it may be land in a conserved forest, public land or land which existed under Sor Kor 1, Nor. Sor 3, Nor. Sor. 3 Gor or a title deed. Any of these titles must have a Por. Bor. Tor 6 as tax must be paid, the same as any land without a title. Purchase of such land is possible by handing over the possession of the land to the buyer along with the tax number. The right to land under Por. Bor. Tor 6 can not be used as evidence in any dispute with authorities.
Sor. Por. Gor 4-01 is an allotment of land from the land reformative committee, and under no circumstances may this land be bought or sold. It may be transferred to heirs only.
return to top of page
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
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
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.return to top of page
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 applicant must be 18 years old and have reached legal majority in their
country of origin.
The applicant must be of good behavior and background, checks will be made.
If the applicant is working in Thailand they must be on a salary of a
least 80,000 Thai Baht per month or have paid taxes in the year they apply of
100,000 Thai Baht or more.
If living in Thailand for "reasons of humanity' such as being married
to a Thai person or having a Thai-born child or having graduated from a university
in Thailand, he or she must have an income of at least 30,000 baht a month and be
able to prove he or she has paid taxes for three years.
The applicant must have lived in Thailand continuously for at least five years
The applicant must know the Thai language, including speaking, listening
and understanding, be able to sing the National Anthem and Sanserm Phra Baramee
and pass an interview in Thai with a government officer.
The process is marked on a point system with each category having the following
25 points : Age and educational background
10 points : Length of residence in Thailand
10 points : Relationship with Thai people and Thailand
10 points : Thai language knowledge
Applicants must score a total of at least fifty points to qualify to be considered.return to top of page