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Thailand’s New Property Tax Creates Panic With Landowners

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The land and building tax’s objectives are to simplify tax collection and reduce local administrative organisations’ discretion.

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Thailand’s Finance Ministry reports that the new property tax rules have sent many confused land and property owners into a panic. Operators of home-stay and home-sharing premises will soon face much higher commercial property tax.

To quell property owners panic the Finance Ministry has sent letters informing them of their property type. Just ahead of the enforcement of the new tax legislation.

The Finance Ministry and related agencies have also agreed to group buy-to-let homes and condominiums under residential use. Which is charged below the rate for commercial use under the new land and building tax. The new tax is to be implemented in August next year, the Bangkok Post reports.

According to Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office, authorities believe these properties are rented for long-term residential purposes. But home-stay operators and home-sharing hosts like Airbnb will reap no windfalls.

Homestay and home-sharing activities are considered short-term rentals for commercial use. Therefore these operators will be subjected to the commercial rate, Mr Lavaron said.

Daily rentals are also deemed for commercial purposes, while long-term rentals are classed as residential use. Mr Lavaron said various duration’s of rental periods will be spelled out later.

New tax structure, land and buildings use

According to the new tax structure, land and buildings used for residences with appraisal prices of up to 50 million baht are tax-exempt for principal homes; while those valued at more than 50-75 million baht are taxed at 0.03% of appraisal prices; more than 75-100 million baht are taxed at 0.05%, and more than 100 million baht at 0.1%.

Those who only own houses, not land, qualify for a tax exemption for the first 10 million baht of their appraisal price.

If owners have more than one home, the second and subsequent residences are subject to a 0.02% tax. For those with an appraisal price of up to 50 million baht; or 200 baht for 1 million baht worth of appraisal price; and the same tax rate as principal homes is applied to those with appraisal prices above 50 million baht.

In comparison, owners of commercial use property will be subject to a 0.3% tax rate. For up to 50 million baht, or 3,000 baht for 1 million baht worth of appraised price.

Mr Lavaron said the land and building tax’s objectives are to simplify tax collection. Also to reduce local administrative organisations’ discretion.

A buy-to-let home whose physical appearance is that of a residence will be regarded as for living use. Even if rented to others, he said.

Vacant Land Owners Growing Trees

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports the permanent secretary for finance Prasong Poontaneat said the Finance Ministry and the Interior Ministry will publicly announce guidance for the land and building tax in cases of buy-to-let homes to reduce confusion.

Mr Prasong said land owners who lease their land for agricultural purposes should be subject to tax. The tax will be under agriculture activity rates, not commercial rates. For vacant high-value land plots authorities will issue guidance to determine how land owners can grow trees. This being classified as agricultural land which is subject to low tax rate.

Source: The Bangkok Post