What types of ownership structures are available to foreigners?
The best purchasing option in Thailand for foreign buyers is the freehold condominium. Condominiums in Thailand have a special status as outlined by the Condominium Act B.E. 2522 (1979), allowing foreigners freehold ownership of the condominium unit, as well as common property co-ownership. Freehold ownership offers absolute ownership of the property and is the best form of tenure that foreigners can be granted in Thailand. Foreigners can buy up to 49% of the total floor area of a condominium on a freehold basis. Therefore it is important to be aware of the condominium’s foreign ownership quota before purchasing.
Foreigners may register ownership of a 30-year lease with the Land Department. This may be the lease of a condominium or freehold land. Through this process, foreigners can effectively use land through a leasehold tenure, and are permitted to own buildings or structures erected on that land. Thai law limits the duration of a lease to a maximum of 30 years, after which the lease term can be renewed as permitted by Thai law. For more details, please contact our sales representative.
Taxation is another factor to take into consideration, with property taxation in Thailand being a particularly complex subject.
Many individuals who have invested or are considering investing in property in Thailand are often unaware of the tax liabilities that may arise on buying and selling property. Typically, foreigners invest in property either by buying a condominium unit which they hold in their own name, or taking out a lease on a landed property.
An individual person residing in Thailand, regardless of nationality, shall be subject to pay taxes and fees on the sale or purchase of a property. Details of the relevant taxes and fees are
The transfer fee is 2% of the official appraised value of the property. Whether it is the buyer or seller who is subject to pay the transfer fee depends entirely on the Sale and Purchase Agreement. Upon the day of ownership transfer, the transfer fee is paid to an officer at the Land Office where the land is located.
Lease Registration Fee
If the term of a lease is 3 years or less, registration of that lease is not required in order for it to be legally enforceable. Leases exceeding 3 years, up to 30 years, should be registered with the Land Office in order to ensure enforceability in court.
Currently, the lease registration fee is 1% of the total rental fee over the entire term of the lease agreement. This cost is often borne equally by the lessor and lessee upon mutual agreement by both parties.
Specific Business Tax (SBT)
SBT is payable by companies and individuals who wish to sell a property which they have held for less than a period of 5 years. The tax rate is 3.3% (including municipal tax) of the selling price or the official appraised value of the property, whichever is higher.
Stamp Duty is imposed at varying rates on certain legal instruments. For leasehold property, the stamp duty rate is 1 Baht for every 1,000 Baht, or fraction thereof, of the total rental fee over the entire term of the lease agreement.
For the purchasing of land, the stamp duty is only applicable in cases where SBT is not applied. The Buyer or Seller is subject to pay 0.5% stamp duty based on the official appraised value or contracted sale price, whichever is the higher.
Withholding Tax (WHT)
Where the seller is a company, the WHT is calculated at 1% of the Land Department’s official appraised value or the contracted sale price, whichever is greater.
An individual who earns income from selling a property, which includes condominium units, is subject to withholding tax under the Revenue Code of Thailand. The withholding tax is calculated at a progressive rate based on the official appraised value of the property, with a deduction proportional to the number of years of possession.