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Frequently asked questions
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There are no limits on the amount of money that can be transferred to Thailand or the amount of money that can be sent from Thailand. The Thai baht (THB) is fully convertible in most circumstances, but documentation proving international trade or investment projects is necessary in order to purchase foreign currency from authorised banks.
Thailand money transfer regulations
Non-residents are able to hold foreign currency accounts with authorised banks in Thailand without restrictions. These accounts can be credited with funds sent from overseas, funds can be withdrawn freely. Non-residents may also hold baht-denominated accounts, but their total daily outstanding balance cannot exceed THB300m per individual.
Travellers are permitted to carry Thai banknotes worth a maximum of THB50,000 out of the country at one time; travellers going to China (Yunnan province only) and other countries bordering Thailand are permitted to carry up to THB2m. Cash transfers over THB450,000 must be declared to customs authorities.
Thailand's regulatory authority
The central bank, the Bank of Thailand, sets national monetary policy, oversees the health of the financial system and works to maintain stability of the currency. The baht has freely floated since 1997, its value set by market supply and demand.
The authorities sought to devalue the baht in 2013 as an influx of foreign capital boosted the currency’s value to a 16-year high, making Thai exports less competitive. The central bank cut interest rates in order to undermine the baht’s value, but refrained from introducing more restrictive capital controls.
Financial regulation in Thailand
Thailand’s foreign exchange rules are overseen by the Bank of Thailand under the authority of the Ministry of Finance
. Money transfers in Thailand may be executed by commercial banks or authorised non-bank financial service providers, including money transfer agents, that have been granted a forex licence by the ministry. A non-bank money transfer provider must be licensed in Thailand to be able to offer in-country collection of funds.
Foreign investment in Thailand
Investments made into Thailand from the transfer in of foreign currency is freely permitted. If you are sending money to Thailand to invest, these proceeds must be paid into an authorised bank or deposited in a foreign currency account with an authorised bank in Thailand within 360 days of the funds coming in.
Visas for Thailand
Foreigners from most countries who wish to stay in Thailand for less than 15 days do not typically need a visa. If you wish to work in Thailand, you are required to obtain a work permit from the Employment Department. The granting of such a permit is subject to satisfying certain criteria laid down by the Employment Department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.
Thailand also offers retirement visas for persons over 50 years of age who are be able to provide a background criminal check as well as a certificate of good health. From a financial perspective, retirees are required to have a bank account in credit to at least THB 800,00 or US$22,400, and a monthly income of THB 65,000 or US$1820. A non-immigrant visa is required before a retirement visa can be obtained.
Taxation in Thailand
Resident and non-resident individuals who receive income from sources in Thailand are subject to personal income tax. Thai residents are also subject to income from self-employment business income and also from overseas if the income is brought back into Thailand.
An Individual who spends more than 180 days in Thailand in a calendar year is considered a resident. Income earned overseas by Thai residents is also subject to personal income tax if that income is sent back to Thailand in the year it is earned.
Thailand has signed treaties with a large number of western countries to prevent double taxation for expats.
Buying property in Thailand
Property is a restricted category for foreigners in Thailand. Foreigners are not allowed to own Thailand, but certain types of property may bought in particular ways. For example, a foreigner may buy a condominium. The 1979 Thailand Condominium Act states that foreigners can own condominiums anywhere in Thailand 100% outright if the building has not already sold its 49% foreign quota – so that the majority ownership of the overall building remains locally owned.
Financing this purchase is not necessarily easy, as many Thai banks will not lend to foreigners. We recommend taking specialist advice if you are looking to purchase any property in Thailand and before you transfer money to Thailand to pay for the purchase.
Thai currency and denominations
The baht (THB) is divided into one hundred satang. The notes appear in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000. Coins may be quite confusing since there are new sizes and shapes that circulate alongside the old ones. Some contain only Thai numerals. The Bank of Thailand is responsible for administering financial regulations.
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