Tilleke & Gibbins
Can anyone (including foreigners) own and occupy real estate in your jurisdiction (including shares in property owning companies)? Are there any restrictions?
Foreigners (individuals or companies) are prohibited from owning land, unless they obtain permission from the relevant governmental authorities. A company registered in Thailand will be regarded as a Thai company, and may own land if the majority of its shares are held by Thai nationals and the majority ratio of shareholders are Thai nationals.
Foreigners are allowed to own condominium units, provided that foreign ownership in a given condominium project does not exceed 49% of the total area of all the condominium units in the project, and the foreign purchaser presents the requisite evidence specified by the Department of Land./p>
Are there restrictions on lending for the purchase of real estate by foreign companies? If so briefly give an outline?
No, there are no restrictions on lending money to a company to purchase immovable property.
However, as mentioned above, foreigners (individuals or companies) are prohibited from owning land, unless they have permission from the relevant governmental authorities.
Please provide a short summary of the fees and costs (including tax) relating to buying real estate in your jurisdiction.
If the seller is a juristic person/company, the purchase will incur the following when the transfer of ownership is registered:
- Transfer Fee at 2% of the official appraised value, assessed by the relevant Land Office. Both parties are equally responsible for this fee, unless otherwise agreed.
- Corporate Income Tax as a withholding tax at 1% of the sale price, or the official appraised value, whichever is greater.
- Specific Business Tax (“SBT”) at 3.3% of the selling price, or the official appraisal price, whichever is greater.
Items 2 and 3 are borne by the seller unless otherwise agreed.
Are there taxes applicable to owning real estate and can the burden of the taxes be passed to someone else (e.g. a tenant or an occupier - not being the owner)?
Real estate owners are generally subject to Local Development Tax at THB 0.50 - THB 400 per rai, based on the land’s value as assessed by the competent officer. If the real estate is used commercially, House and Land Tax at 12.5% of the annual rental value, as assessed by the competent officer, is payable by the property owner (or tenant/occupier if agreed, with the property owner remaining liable in the event of non-payment).
The House and Land Tax will soon be replaced by a new Land and Building Tax, levied on all real property regardless of use.
Are there tax breaks or other incentives for foreigners to buy real estate in your jurisdiction? If so what are they?
How is the ownership of Real Estate evidenced in your jurisdiction?
Land transactions must be registered at the Land Office in the province where the land is located. All land transactions should be recorded in a written document, have ownership or possession documentation, and be registered. Under Thai law, there are various documents pertaining to land title or claim. These documents vary in strength, ranging from a title deed (chanote) at the highest level representing full and complete ownership rights, to a Sor. Kor. 1 Form, which is a mere notice of possession of land.
Is it possible to keep the identity of owners of real estate confidential in your jurisdiction?
No. As mentioned above, any transaction over property must be recorded with the Land Office, and they are deemed as public records. Any interested party can therefore obtain the information pertaining to the property, including the name of the property owner, from the Land Office.