Transfer of Property Ownership in Thailand

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Transfer of Property

Where and when does the transfer of property ownership take place?

The registration of the transfer of property ownership from the owner or developer to the buyer will take place at the Land Office.  The transfer of property takes place after building the property, signing the contract, and paying all the installments.  The remaining balance of the purchase price is usually paid on the day of transfer at the Land Office.

 

What are the involved taxes and fees when purchasing or selling a property in Thailand?

Whoever buys or sells a property in Thailand need to know the following taxes and fees:

 

Land Registration (Transfer Fee)

The rate is 2% of the appraised value of the property.

 

Stamp Duty/Fee

0.5% of the assessed value or the actual selling price, whichever amount is higher.  You do not have to pay Stamp duty if specific business tax is applicable.

 

Specific Business Tax

3.3% calculated on the basis of the government appraised value or the actual selling price, whichever amount is higher.  This tax only applies if the property is sold within the first five years of ownership.  Otherwise, a stamp duty will be assessed instead.

 

Income Tax

Income from the sale of a property is subject to income taxation.  They calculate the tax based on the government appraised value of the property, the length of ownership time and the applicable personal income tax rate.  When the property seller is a company, the withholding tax is 1% of the selling price or of the assessed value, whichever is higher.  When the property seller is an individual, they calculate the withholding tax on a progressive income tax scale.  Under Thai tax laws the land office must take the income withholding tax at the time of transfer of property ownership.

 

Who usually pays the corresponding tax expenses?

There are no specific rules about who pays for which taxes. The buyer and the seller must negotiate on this matter, and must then stipulate the terms in the sales contract.

 

What are the documents needed for the transfer of property ownership?

Condominium

  1. The Title Deed for the property (Chanote)
  2. Letter of Debt Free
  3. Copies of the passport(s) or other identification documents of both the buyer and the seller
  4. Copies of the entry stamp(s) in the passport(s) of the foreign buyer and/or the seller
  5. Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate or Thor Thor 3 (for purchases in the name of a foreigner only)
  6. Company Documents updated for the last 3 months

Land and House

  1. The Title Deed for the property (Chanote)
  2. Copies of the passport(s) or other identification documents of both the buyer and the seller
  3. Copies of the entry stamp(s) in the passport(s) of the foreign buyer and/or the seller
  4. Company Documents updated for the last 3 months

 

What is a Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate? Why is it necessary?

Foreign Exchange Transaction Certificate or Thor Thor 3 is a legal document issued by banks upon receipt of foreign currency into your bank account in Thailand.  You can ask this from your bank when you are remitting funds to Thailand for purchasing a condominium unit.  It is Thailand government’s condition that the money used by foreigners to pay for the purchase price must originate from an offshore source in the form of foreign currency.  This certificate shall be presented to the officer at the land office where you need to register the ownership of the condominium unit.  Failure to comply with this especially relevant requirement prevents the property registration under the purchaser’s name.

 

Can a foreigner share ownership of land with his or her Thai spouse?

A foreigner married to a Thai national is not allowed to have any form of joint land ownership together with his/her Thai spouse.  Any land acquired in Thailand during the course of their marriage cannot be a conjugal property. Therefore, it shall only be a personal asset of the Thai spouse.

When a Thai national married to a foreigner requests ownership registration of land, they both have to sign a joint declaration at the Land Department. They have to show that the money used to buy the land belongs to the Thai spouse.  The Land Department must make sure that the land becomes a personal property of the Thai spouse only and will remain as a non-marital asset.

 

Can a buyer/seller appoint a proxy if they cannot be present at the Land Office personally?

A buyer or seller of real property can authorize another person to handle the transaction on their behalf by filling in and signing the power/letter of attorney form specially provided by the Land Office.  The government provincial and local Land Department’s branch offices in Thailand only accept the official standard Land Department’s Thai script ‘Power of Attorney’ (Tor Dor 21 for land and house; Or Chor 21 for condominium).

 


 

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