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yngmind

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Apr 26, 2020
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Hey guys, I'm in Thailand, Bangkok now, and I liked it.

I'm potentially looking to move here from the UAE and UAE CT, mostly.

Some YT videos claim that you can live in Thailand tax-free with international structures, as long as you don't bring the income you earned the same year.

I'm not saying that's 100% legal because of the PE. Your foreign company will be managed from Thailand, it should create a permanent establishment in Thailand, and in theory, you should be liable for Thai tax.

In reality, from what I've heard, Thailand tax authorities don't care as long as you don't do any local business.

I want opinions from people who practice the same thing with a foreign company and Thai tax residency.

Thailand is livable, and you won't sacrifice much living here.

I also like the Thai Elite Visa, 600k baht for 5 years, and 1M baht for 10 years, sounds like a great deal.
 
Hey guys, I'm in Thailand, Bangkok now, and I liked it.

I'm potentially looking to move here from the UAE and UAE CT, mostly.

Some YT videos claim that you can live in Thailand tax-free with international structures, as long as you don't bring the income you earned the same year.

I'm not saying that's 100% legal because of the PE. Your foreign company will be managed from Thailand, it should create a permanent establishment in Thailand, and in theory, you should be liable for Thai tax.

In reality, from what I've heard, Thailand tax authorities don't care as long as you don't do any local business.

I want opinions from people who practice the same thing with a foreign company and Thai tax residency.

Thailand is livable, and you won't sacrifice much living here.

I also like the Thai Elite Visa, 600k baht for 5 years, and 1M baht for 10 years, sounds like a great deal.
The high amount you pay for this visa can be considered tax all paid upfront.
It is for thai standard a very high amount. Not many locals can earn this in the same periods, even less pay it in tax.
I talked to lawyers many years ago and it works. Do not do any local business and all good.
 
Seychelles company, hire manager.

Receive funds into Thailand (Div/income) following tax year.

Tax free.

Elite Visa is ok, but consider it just a toll for no dealing with immigration like normies, as for the tax, there was talk that crypto would be tax free with the elite visa but never transpired, but if have structure offshore like described above then tax free.
 
It is (was?) also possible to run a company setup and get a work permit that way. A cumbersome process but lawyers will give support.
Yes that gives you a Work Permit and you are actually allowed to work in Thailand.

@yngmind be careful with Thai Golden Visa as it's a tag for every local no matter where you go that you are a walking money bag.

We had just recently couple of clients - some of them where even guys with significant reach on social media - leaving Thailand as the Tax Situation in Thailand is not that clear and they were just afraid to get taxed at some point making 7 figures dollars per year they were driving scooter to keep flying under the radar.

Thailand can be a trap from several points of view and I had to make this learning as well during my last Thailand visit - I left some classic Tourist Restaurant on Koh Samui after 1 hour waiting for the food - of course no apologise from the Restaurant but calling the police - so we did end up paying for food we never received and this was with being with a client who actually speaks fluent Thai - I don't want to even think about how this would have been turned out without any help in Thai Language as the Police on there fancy scooter without even working breaks didn't spoke a single word in English.

If you are used to live in the UAE - prepare yourself.
 
An alternative is to marry a local and get a yearly renewable extension of stay in TH. Could be way more affordable than an Elite Visa if you select the right woman.
Even if you marry a local as you say, you need to put up 400k in a bank for three months before your renewal.

You also need to deal with all the endless paperworks, and lines at the Immigration once a year and reporting every 90 days.

Note with the Elite, you get a 5/10 etc yr visa but have to get a new visa per year which immigration do for you, but still have to do 90 day reporting.

Likewise there's no lines.

Yes that gives you a Work Permit and you are actually allowed to work in Thailand.

@yngmind be careful with Thai Golden Visa as it's a tag for every local no matter where you go that you are a walking money bag.

We had just recently couple of clients - some of them where even guys with significant reach on social media - leaving Thailand as the Tax Situation in Thailand is not that clear and they were just afraid to get taxed at some point making 7 figures dollars per year they were driving scooter to keep flying under the radar.

Thailand can be a trap from several points of view and I had to make this learning as well during my last Thailand visit - I left some classic Tourist Restaurant on Koh Samui after 1 hour waiting for the food - of course no apologise from the Restaurant but calling the police - so we did end up paying for food we never received and this was with being with a client who actually speaks fluent Thai - I don't want to even think about how this would have been turned out without any help in Thai Language as the Police on there fancy scooter without even working breaks didn't spoke a single word in English.

If you are used to live in the UAE - prepare yourself.
Work permit is only useful if 'working' within Thailand, but defining working in Thailand, means operating a physical company in Thailand, or a digital one which uses Thailand's financial rails.

If you are not doing this sort of enterprise (waste of time) it's really not worth the effort, i pumped 2m $ into Thailand (tech) and even after ceasing operations still owe 10,000$ in taxes for hardware 'transfer/sale' just to close the company down.

Thailand is a place you hire via a local company through a contract to an overseas company opposed to planting a flag in the country.

As for keeping under the radar, there's no such thing, Thailand now has Biometrics, completely joined into International Databases (i've accessed/seen the interpol system myself with police as did a couple of criminal lawsuits for fraud).

Likewise financials used to be separated but these days the AMOL is attached to the Banking System, and likewise CRS reporting is done.

So 'staying under the radar' doesn't exist in respect they have all the information as standard.

Soon they will be plugged into Crypto information also.

But like i mentioned above, if you are making any serious amount of money, then act like a serious company, have it overseas, hire someone (manager) and operate the company, actually owning a company, taking calls, emails with your office overseas doesn't require a work permit, nor is it 'working from Thailand' due to their territorial system.

As for Koh Samui, it's basically a mafia run island, and all locals, so understandable... never argue with a Thai, a bullet costs a 1$.

Just live and ignore 'sabai sabai'.

----

As for Dubai, it's void of culture, history, and basically a dystopian nightmare surveillance state, if that's your bag then more joy to you, for the sake of taxes, theres better places to live IMHO.
 
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It is (was?) also possible to run a company setup and get a work permit that way. A cumbersome process but lawyers will give support.

Keep in mind that there are multiple ways to do that. I could be out of date (I left because of this), but my experience was as follows.

Option 1. Do it "correctly". This is painful. You can be asked for a different (often irrelevant) piece of documentation on each visit. Expect to be referred from the Immigration Police (for visa) to the Labor Department (for work permit), and then back and forward as they get picky about each others' paperwork. You get there in the end and if you're semi retired and don't mind spending a lot of time in Government offices then OK, but in my view life is too short for this.

Option 2. Pay your lawyer roughly $1000 and they magically get your visa and work permit sorted in a few days. The problem is that over the years, the "gifts" handed out by your lawyer to immigration police and MoL employees will grow substantially and if you decide to stop paying and do it legitimately, you might find it extremely difficult. This is understandable, given that those shiny new BMWs in the car park aren't affordable on Thai Police wages. It's almost as if it's in their interest to make it slow and painful when you do things "properly".

Option 3. If you're setting up a big business involved in R&D then you can apply to the the Board of Investment. If accepted then you can use the One Stop Shop at Chamchuri Square for visa, work permit, etc. and they're much faster and more efficient. In theory you could be accepted with $30k investment but more likely a few $million. (there are corp tax exemptions and other benefits too)
 
Even if you marry a local as you say, you need to put up 400k in a bank for three months before your renewal.

You also need to deal with all the endless paperworks, and lines at the Immigration once a year and reporting every 90 days.

Note with the Elite, you get a 5/10 etc yr visa but have to get a new visa per year which immigration do for you, but still have to do 90 day reporting.

Likewise there's no lines.


Work permit is only useful if 'working' within Thailand, but defining working in Thailand, means operating a physical company in Thailand, or a digital one which uses Thailand's financial rails.

If you are not doing this sort of enterprise (waste of time) it's really not worth the effort, i pumped 2m $ into Thailand (tech) and even after ceasing operations still owe 10,000$ in taxes for hardware 'transfer/sale' just to close the company down.

Thailand is a place you hire via a local company through a contract to an overseas company opposed to planting a flag in the country.

As for keeping under the radar, there's no such thing, Thailand now has Biometrics, completely joined into International Databases (i've accessed/seen the interpol system myself with police as did a couple of criminal lawsuits for fraud).

Likewise financials used to be separated but these days the AMOL is attached to the Banking System, and likewise CRS reporting is done.

So 'staying under the radar' doesn't exist in respect they have all the information as standard.

Soon they will be plugged into Crypto information also.

But like i mentioned above, if you are making any serious amount of money, then act like a serious company, have it overseas, hire someone (manager) and operate the company, actually owning a company, taking calls, emails with your office overseas doesn't require a work permit, nor is it 'working from Thailand' due to their territorial system.

As for Koh Samui, it's basically a mafia run island, and all locals, so understandable... never argue with a Thai, a bullet costs a 1$.

Just live and ignore 'sabai sabai'.

----

As for Dubai, it's void of culture, history, and basically a dystopian nightmare surveillance state, if that's your bag then more joy to you, for the sake of taxes, theres better places to live IMHO.
Hello, thank you for your reply.

What do mean by "Thai Financial rails," Thai bank accounts, and other financial institutions?

The idea was to use UAE banks and live in Thailand.

Our company makes a significant amount of money, and I think it will also work with the UAE.

If we move substance out of the UAE, hire a director overseas, and have an office, it should work in theory. I mean to live in the UAE, with an offshore company or UAE company and PE overseas.
 
Hey guys, I'm in Thailand, Bangkok now, and I liked it.

I'm potentially looking to move here from the UAE and UAE CT, mostly.

Some YT videos claim that you can live in Thailand tax-free with international structures, as long as you don't bring the income you earned the same year.

I'm not saying that's 100% legal because of the PE. Your foreign company will be managed from Thailand, it should create a permanent establishment in Thailand, and in theory, you should be liable for Thai tax.

In reality, from what I've heard, Thailand tax authorities don't care as long as you don't do any local business.

I want opinions from people who practice the same thing with a foreign company and Thai tax residency.

Thailand is livable, and you won't sacrifice much living here.

I also like the Thai Elite Visa, 600k baht for 5 years, and 1M baht for 10 years, sounds like a great deal.
It's actually 600k thb (5 years) + 400k thb (15 years) the cheapest thai elite.
Seychelles company, hire manager.

Receive funds into Thailand (Div/income) following tax year.

Tax free.

Elite Visa is ok, but consider it just a toll for no dealing with immigration like normies, as for the tax, there was talk that crypto would be tax free with the elite visa but never transpired, but if have structure offshore like described above then tax free.
Do you have your personal tax residence in Thailand with tax id?
 
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Even if you marry a local as you say, you need to put up 400k in a bank for three months before your renewal.
Actually you have to park 400K THB in a Thai bank account 2 months prior applying then let it 1 more month during consideration period. After you get your passport stamped with the 1 year extension you are free to use your money the way you want for the remaining 9 months.
Cost of extension is 1,900 THB per year. You may want to add a multiple re-entry permit along the extension for 3,800 THB (alternative is 1,000 THB for each re-entry permit) in order to go in and out Thailand as you wish without cancelling the extension.
 
Keep in mind that there are multiple ways to do that. I could be out of date (I left because of this), but my experience was as follows.

Option 1. Do it "correctly". This is painful. You can be asked for a different (often irrelevant) piece of documentation on each visit. Expect to be referred from the Immigration Police (for visa) to the Labor Department (for work permit), and then back and forward as they get picky about each others' paperwork. You get there in the end and if you're semi retired and don't mind spending a lot of time in Government offices then OK, but in my view life is too short for this.

Had my first one over a decade ago, was done within 10 minutes, i provided no paperwork, company sorted it and had legal on payroll, can't say for certain whether fees were 'paid', but with the parties involved, i doubt it (sincerely).
Option 2. Pay your lawyer roughly $1000 and they magically get your visa and work permit sorted in a few days. The problem is that over the years, the "gifts" handed out by your lawyer to immigration police and MoL employees will grow substantially and if you decide to stop paying and do it legitimately, you might find it extremely difficult. This is understandable, given that those shiny new BMWs in the car park aren't affordable on Thai Police wages. It's almost as if it's in their interest to make it slow and painful when you do things "properly".
Uncle in law is a Anti-Corruption Chief, as you go up the ranks you earn more like a pyramid scheme (lower units pay for promotions etc).
You'd be surprised how much money they earn legitimately, its a police force run mainly on incentives (catch bad actors get rewards), opposed to western policing which has a budget.

Different but not criminal, when you pay a fine, a cut goes to the officer and up the chain... those cuts amount up quickly.

It's legal not criminal, its different that's it.

Seems fine then.
When i was 'working' even in country, you'd have a salary upto 150,000 THB (decade ago) 10% increase x 2 each year, and taxes paid for, then your real meaty salary would be done overseas as a consultant servicing a overseas company from a company you owed.

That was the norm then.

As for Dubai, this is seems normal, just transfer over funds and/or withdraw at a ATM, make sure the company has substance overseas and any funds transferred (transferred) are done a year after earning them (next tax year) and its tax free - do as a dividends - best approach.
Hello, thank you for your reply.

What do mean by "Thai Financial rails," Thai bank accounts, and other financial institutions?

The idea was to use UAE banks and live in Thailand.

Our company makes a significant amount of money, and I think it will also work with the UAE.

If we move substance out of the UAE, hire a director overseas, and have an office, it should work in theory. I mean to live in the UAE, with an offshore company or UAE company and PE overseas.

So you pay roughly 17K euro one off in taxes and don't have to worry about it again as long as you don't do local business. WAOW.
thanks for your story @wellington and @Fred - I enjoyed reading your replies here.
Just to confirm there was talk about this... never see it ratified though... actually the visa works out the cost as leaving the country every 3 months like a lot of expats do, just pay at once and don't have to leave for 5+ yrs.

Actually you have to park 400K THB in a Thai bank account 2 months prior applying then let it 1 more month during consideration period. After you get your passport stamped with the 1 year extension you are free to use your money the way you want for the remaining 9 months.
Cost of extension is 1,900 THB per year. You may want to add a multiple re-entry permit along the extension for 3,800 THB (alternative is 1,000 THB for each re-entry permit) in order to go in and out Thailand as you wish without cancelling the extension.
Same same (3 months, don't be pedantic).

Note to everybody, theres a bunch of layers that will 'facilitate' this amount for a fee.
There's a guy i know, old, hobbles around, hasn't left Thailand in half a decade, his passport however routinely does lol.

There's systems in place for servicing peoples needs, just be subtle i guess.

It's actually 600k thb (5 years) + 400k thb (15 years) the cheapest thai elite.

Do you have your personal tax residence in Thailand with tax id?
Used to be 500k - think they've just increased it.

Don't know anything about the 400k you mention (its now 600k).

As for tax residence, i pay tax in multiple countries-won't go into the specifics, but discussed on here before in prior posts (wealth tax, income tax, remittance taxes etc).

@yngmind ref: Thai Financial rails

By this i mean using a Thai bank for receiving company funds (revenues) when not registered in Thailand... would come under money laundering violations.

Structure properly like referenced above to have dividends/income but NEVER use a Thai bank for commercial activities if not registered in Thailand...

Should add as a final comment.

Almost a decade of Prayut has lead to economic instability in Thailand, and a huge debt trap.

The country is going 'digital' for tracking so as to squeeze every little drop of money into the system (barely any Thai's actually pay tax or are required to do so, something like 3% (maybe 30% now) pay tax and that provides the capital for the country, the rest is driven by corporations (expenditure/tax receipts).

Whether that system changes or not (likely) is unknown (demographics will cause it, but most elderly only get something like 10-20bucks a month from the state anyway).

So the government kinda is ok with people living in Thailand and bringing money in - as they get their tax that way - but with CRS and the debt issue, they may look towards expats etc - though unlikely because the Expats and tourism pretty much powers the country directly and indirectly so they don't want to rock that system (covid was all bravdo with statements like dirty farang, until the taps turned off with the lockdowns then the liquidity dried up).

Political and Societal upheaval is ahead of Thailand anyway, due to the nature of both 'traditional roadblock ahead- won't mention what that is as les majesty laws) and political squabbles between yellow/red and the emerging millennials wanting neither.

Factor those in before putting roots, it could easily turn into Burma, very rapidly.

The country is also aligned with China (at the highest political level) and aligned with the West at the highest ____ traditional level... so the two hands see different futures, but one hand is currently not positioned to challenge the other... yet.
 
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@wellington as you mention CRS, for almost a decade Thailand is already getting financial accounts data on it's residents from USA (FATCA) and it doesn't look like they are interested in changing anything about foreign income.
About thai elite visa cost - I meant, if you buy 5 years visa it costs 600k thb, but before expiration they offer you to buy additional 15 years for 400k thb. One option is also buying 20 years visa with 1 mio thb at once.
 
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@wellington as you mention CRS, for almost a decade Thailand is already getting financial accounts data on it's residents from USA (FATCA) and it doesn't look like they are interested in changing anything about foreign income.
About thai elite visa cost - I meant, if you buy 5 years visa it costs 600k thb, but before expiration they offer you to buy additional 15 years for 400k thb. One option is also buying 20 years visa with 1 mio thb at once.
Hi, wasn't aware of the 400k top up (worthwhile).

Unsure on FACTA (non US Citizen - If i was i'd ensure the kids were born then buy myself out of US citizenship).

One thing i will say, in Thailand they still ask for a 'home address' in your country of citizenship for CRS lol - even though they clearly see you've lived in the country for a decade at the same address.

Basically they will provide information 'back home' where the home nation can't charge tax (example UK).
 
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One thing i will say, in Thailand they still ask for a 'home address' in your country of citizenship for CRS lol - even though they clearly see you've lived in the country for a decade at the same address.

Basically they will provide information 'back home' where the home nation can't charge tax (example UK).
Is that for non-resident bank account in Thailand? Not sure why would they do that for a resident bank account as residents are not in the scope of CRS.
 
Just wanted being precise not pedantic, and point out that the 400K belong to you unlike the 600K you have to give away for the Elite Visa.
400k + paperwork + sitting/standing in line (in sun/rain), having to justify yourself, endless paperwork requests + treated like some vermin = Marriage Visa.

Retirement Visa same + 800k?

---

I sat there and worked it out once FYI.

Unless you do the vans to the border malarkey, you'd normally treat it like a holiday, fly down to Singapore (10k comfortable, hotel(s) and transport + spending 30k x 1 x per year = 30,000 THB (ok)

Every 90 days = 120,000 THB (which as i understand you can opt out with a payment of 1900 THB = roughly 8,000 + paperwork + lines + treated like vermin.

----

600k = peace of mind, quick and less stress/annoyance.

Is that for non-resident bank account in Thailand? Not sure why would they do that for a resident bank account as residents are not in the scope of CRS.
The banks treat you as "Non Resident" even with a TIN... they ask for your home address back home even if you've not been there for a decade lol, and even when the Government organise your bank account as a investor visa, elite visa, etc.
 
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