New tax announcement causes concerns for expatriates living in Thailand

 | Tue 19 Sep 2023 14:46 ICT

Effective January 1, 2024, the Thai Ministry of Finance will impose stricter tax rules on foreign income for individuals who have resided in Thailand for at least 180 days during a tax year. This change could significantly impact the financial situation of expatriates living in the country.

The Thai government, now led by the Pheu Thai Party, has announced this major policy shift with an aim to increase tax revenue for domestic economic stimulus measures. This includes a hefty 560 billion baht ($16 billion USD) cash handout intended for 55 million Thai adults. According to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, ‘You should pay tax on income you earn, no matter how you earn it.’

Implications for expatriates residing in Thailand

Previously, overseas earnings were taxed only if they were brought into Thailand in the same year they were made. The new regulation marks a departure from this, indicating that if you have been living in Thailand for more than half of the year, your foreign income will now be subject to local tax laws, regardless of whether the money physically enters Thailand or not.

For expatriates concerned about these changes, international financial planner Carl Turner offers some perspective. “It is currently unclear exactly how the new rules will affect Thailand’s overseas community,” Carl told us. “We won’t know until full details are revealed. Until then, we are monitoring the situation closely and I would advise anyone concerned to consult a tax advisor.”

This news has triggered a flurry of comments from expats on social media and internet forums. Some indicate that the new tax rule may even influence their decision to continue residing in Thailand.

As expats and global citizens grapple with the implications of Thailand’s impending tax changes, it’s clear that the landscape for foreign residents is shifting. While the full details are yet to be released, the government’s move signals a reassessment of the benefits and obligations of being part of Thailand’s diverse and dynamic community. Amidst a mix of concern and speculation, it’s more important than ever for expats to stay informed and consult tax professionals. The coming months are likely to shed more light on the specifics of this policy change, which could redefine the financial feasibility and attractiveness of residing in Thailand for many. As we await further details, planning for various scenarios seems to be the prudent course of action.