The taxes and fees imposed and collected upon transfer of ownership of a real property (condominium apartment, land, house, land and house) in Thailand are: transfer fee, specific business tax (if applicable), stamp duty (if applicable), income withholding tax.
The transfer fee is not a tax but a government fee (like stamp duty) on the sale and transfer of ownership of real property and collected by the local land office upon transfer of ownership. The fee is imposed at the rate of 2% over the appraised value of the property. The appraised value or government assessed value is not the sale price but an assessed value of the real property based on a calculation method by the Land Department and the Treasury Department and is used by the land office to determine the amount of tax that must be paid. The registered sale value is the actual registered sale price between the parties. The appraised value used by the land office value is often pretty much lower than the actual sale price.
This transfer tax is generally charged if the seller is a company (specific exemptions applied) or if the seller is a natural person and sells the property within five years of the purchase registration date. Specific business tax is an assessment tax on the transfer of real property calculated over the registered sale value or the government appraised value of the real property, whichever is higher. This tax is imposed at a rate of 3% plus a municipal tax of 10% assessed on the amount of the specific business tax bringing the total tax rate to 3.3%.
The transfer of real property would not be subject to the specific business tax if the seller is an individual and meets the following conditions:
Specific business tax is an assesment tax, check the relevant section in the Thailand Revenue Code
Stamp duty is charged at a rate of 0.5% over the registered or appraised value, whichever is higher. The obligation of payment of stamp duty depends if the seller is also subject to specific business tax or not. When specific business tax is applicable the seller is exempt from the payment of the stamp duty, however, if stamp duty in this case has been paid the seller has the right to claim for the refund of stamp duty in full within 6 months after the payment.
Personal Income Withholding Tax
When you are a foreigner (e.g. selling your apartment) you must make a tax withholding payment to the local land office. The payment must be made at the time of transfer of ownership but before the transfer is recorded on the deed. Income withholding tax for natural persons is calculated at a progressive rate based on the appraised value of the property with a deduction depending on the number of years of possession (exemptions are applied in certain specific situations but ussually do not apply to foreigners). When you sell your condo apartment the land office will issue a tax receipt that you will need to transfer the proceeds of the sale out of Thailand.
Related: Thailand Revenue Department's tax calculator
Corporate Income Withholding tax
If the seller is a company then withholding tax is fixed at 1 % over the registered or sale price or government assessed value of the property (whichever is higher).
Simple sample tax calculation (what to pay at the land office) of the total cost applicable for the transfer of a condominium unit with a 5 million baht value and 3 year ownership by a private owner:
Total amount to be paid to the land office at the time of transfer of ownership (approx): 365,300 THB
The proceeds derived from the sale of property in Thailand are taxed as ordinary income (read more: Corporate Income Tax law, and Personal Income Tax Laws), withheld from the sale amount by the land office at the time of transfer of ownership.
Transfer ownership of real estate by inheritance. Thailand does not have introduced a special 'inheritance tax', but a general IHT has been proposed in 2006 but the new government did not see any reason to implement such tax at this time. Transfer of ownership real estate is however subject to income tax when the property is sold, and when gifted transfer tax and stamp duty must be paid.
In a normal sale of real property in Thailand there is no standard fixed rule for who pays the transfer fee, stamp duty, specific business tax or even personal withholding income tax associated with the transfer of ownership. This us usually a subject the seller and the buyer must agree upon in the sale and purchase agreement. The recommended schedule is:
Transfer fee: shared by the seller and the buyer
Specific business tax: the seller's duty
Stamp duty: the seller's duty
Withholding tax: the seller's duty
Other taxes: when owning a real property in Thailand there are no general property taxes (reforms have been proposed in 2010). Real properties put to commercial use (residential houses not 'owner occupied' and commercial buildings) must under the Building and Land Tax Act pay a 'rental' tax at a rate of 12,5 % of the annual rental value. For undeveloped land there is a very small annual local land development tax depending in the size and use of the land - (building and land tax).
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