In order to boost the real estate property sales business and the real property development business the Thai government has extended the tax breaks for all real estate transactions for another year till 28th of March 2010.
The renewal of the temporary reduction on the transfer fee rate from 2% to 0.01% has been announced prior to the previous tax reduction between March 29 2008 and March 28 2009. The renewal of the temporary reduction of Specific Business Tax, from 3.3% to 0.11%, on gross sales which also expired on March 28 2009 has been announced after the previous expiration date and is again applied by the land offices since May 18 2009. Over real estate property transaction (land, house or condominium) between the previous expiration date March 28 and May 18 and over which the full 3,3 % Specific Business Tax rate has been paid a refund can be requested at the Revenue Department.
The Thailand Revenue Department’s refund form must be prepared and submitted with the Revenue Department.
Thailand’s standard property transfer taxes (these will apply again after March 28 2010, unless the current tax reduction will be extended):
1 – A 2% transfer fee over the appraised or registered value of the property.
Appraised or registered value of land is an actual evaluation price of the land which calculated by the land office by reference to each area at which the land situated and some more criteria set out by the Land Department.
The appraised or registered value of a house by the Land Department depends on the floor area of the house, number of floors, materials used (e.g. wood or concrete).
Also condominium units have an a registered or appraised value based on calculation criteria set out by the Land Department.
2 – A Specific Business Tax of 3,3 % is calculated over the registered value or appraised value, whichever is higher. Specific Business tax shall be payable if the seller sells the property within five years of the purchase registration date. The transfer is not subject to business tax if the seller is an individual and has possessed the property for more than five years before the transfer. Companies with specific objectives are subject to Specific Business tax irrespective the period of ownership.
3 – Stamp Duty of 0,5 % over the registered value. If the seller is subject to Specific Business tax the seller is exempt from the payment of the Stamp Duty. However, if the stamp duty has been paid to the Land Department, the seller shall have the right to claim for a refund in full within 6 months after the payment.
4 Withholding Tax of 1 % over the registered value or appraised value (whichever is higher). Withholding Personal Income Tax depends if the immovable property is acquired by inheritance or gift or if the sale and purchase of the property has a trade or profit seeking purpose or not, usually the final Withholding Personal Income Tax income shall be calculated at progressive rate with a deduction depending on the number of years of possession.
In a real estate transaction in Thailand there is generally no fixed rule who has to pay which tax and at what percentage. Often transfer taxes are shared or the purchaser pays all or the seller pays all. This is part of the overall negotiation. In case of an official approved housing or condominium development there are fixed rules in the law who has to pay which tax.
It is in most cases worth while to have the sale agreement checked by a legal professional who is familiar with property transactions and transfer taxes. Often developers pass on taxes or request buyers to pay for certain taxes they are according to Thai law responsible for, or a buyer ends up with paying a larger amount at the Land Office than expected.