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Posts by Thailand BOI expert

Myanmar Nationals Can Operate a Tourism Business in Thailand

Myanmar nationals can engage in tourism business activities in Thailand provided that they have a Thai partner to hold the majority of the shares of the company. This is in compliance with the rules and procedures as prescribed by Tourism and Tourist Guide Business Act B.E. 2551 (2008). Once the company is registered as a tourism business with the Department of Business Development of the Ministry of Commerce, it has to obtain a tourism business license (TAT license) from the Department of Tourism. In order to be eligible for a tourism license, the company must meet the following conditions:

  1. Being a limited company registered in Thailand having objective of operating tourism-related business
  2. Thai individuals or juristic person must hold at least 51% of the company’s registered capital
  3. Majority of company directors must be Thai nationals
  4. The authorized director(s) must be Thai nationals, at least 20 years old at the time of application, and a resident of Thailand

Tourism-related business activities within and outside Thailand are as follows:

  • Tour business
  • Tourist hotels business
  • Business related to restaurants, service places and resorts for tourists
  • Business related to the sale of souvenirs or other items for tourists
  • Business related to sports for tourists
  • Exhibition, shows, trade fairs, promotional advertisement or any other activities with the aim of encouraging and promoting tourism

Thai Lawyers of MSNA Group can help you register the Thai limited company and obtain the TAT license for your tourism business.

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Tax Residence Certificate – Thailand

Who wants a Tax Residence Certificate or “Certificate of Residence”? Simply put, the foreigners who want to show it to their home country to prove that they should pay tax to Thailand and not their home country. Tax residence certificate may be issued by the Thai Revenue Department upon request by a foreigner who stayed in the country for 180 days or more in a calendar year. If you were in Thailand for such a period in many years, you need a Tax residence certificate for each year. Not one certificate is good for various years.  By the way, do not confuse it with a Tax Clearance Certificate or an Income Tax Payment Certificate.

A company registered in Thailand may also request a tax residence certificate. However, here we want to talk only about individuals who may want to obtain one. MSNA Group can assist you in getting it issued by the Thai tax authorities. The two most important things are:

  1. You need to be able to prove that you were in Thailand (continuously or not) at least 180 days in the year by showing the copy of your passport pages where there are stamps of your entries and exits.
  2. You need to have income earned in that year and brought into Thailand the same year, or you were working in Thailand with a work permit. This way, you would file your personal income tax of that year. The Revenue Department needs to see your tax return with its official receipt and your Tax ID card.

Just contact MSNA Group so we can help you obtain your Tax ID card, prepare and file your tax return, get an Income Tax Payment Certificate or a Tax Clearance Certificate  or a Tax Residence Certificate (which the Revenue Department calls “Certificate of Residence”). Essentially, the document looks like this:

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Income Tax Payment Certificate for Foreigners in Thailand

What is an Income Tax Payment Certificate? When foreigners work in Thailand, they have to pay taxes here. Your Thai employer must get a work permit for you to be able to pay you legally. Every month when they pay you salary, they need to withhold your personal income tax and submit it to the Thai Revenue Department by the 7th of the following month (or 15th if they do it online). At the end of the year (or at the time you leave the company during the year), the employer must give you a document called 50 Tawi, or withholding tax certificate. The document has the detail of the total income you earned that year from this company, the total tax and the total social security amounts they withheld from you that year. However, it is not your Income Tax Payment Certificate.

When you prepare your personal income tax return at the beginning of the following year (31 March is the deadline), you will have to fill out the amount of tax withheld that is written in the withholding tax certificate. This tax is your tax credit. It is the tax you paid during the year by the employer’s withholding it from your income. If you did not have other sources of income from anywhere else, most likely you will not have to pay more taxes if your employer’s payroll team calculated your monthly withholding tax correctly. In some cases you will get a tax refund.

When you file your personal income tax return (PND90 or PND91 depending on whether you have income sources other than from work), you will get a receipt issued by the Revenue Department. This receipt is not enough of a proof to the Inland Revenue Service in your home country. You will need to request the Thai Revenue Department to issue an “Income Tax Payment Certificate”, which is in English and it is accepted as the proof that you paid taxes in Thailand.

An “Income Tax Payment Certificate” is not the same as a “Tax Resident Certificate”. The latter is the certificate issued by the Thai Revenue Department to certify that you were a tax resident in Thailand in the year it is issued for. Only when you have stayed in Thailand for 180 days or more in a calendar year can you request for a Tax Resident Certificate.

If you need Thai tax service, or an “Income Tax Payment Certificate” or a “Tax Resident Certificate”, contact MSNA Group for assistance. We are the official accountant of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand and have served the international community for over 25 years.

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Unemployment Benefits from Social Security

Employees who are registered in Thailand Social Security system are entitled to the following compensation when they become unemployed:

  1. In case of voluntary resignation, or end of the employment agreement, the insured person will receive a compensation of 30% of wages for 90 days calculated from the monthly salary of not more than THB 15,000.
  2. In case of being laid-off, the insured person will receive 50% of wages for 180 days calculated from the monthly salary of not more than THB 15,000.
  3. In case of termination due to force majeure (natural disaster), the employees will receive a compensation of 50% of wages for a maximum of 180 days.

Foreigners are entitled to the same benefits as Thai nationals. However, unemployment benefits will be given if the employees meet these conditions:

  • Social security contributions must be made for at least 6 months within the 15-month period before the unemployment.
  • Termination must not be due to an actual offense
  • The applicant must register for unemployment benefits at the Social Security Area Office within 30 days from the unemployment date

The Social Security Office will pay the compensation benefit on monthly basis by crediting to the Thai bank account as stated by the insured person in his/her application for unemployment benefits.

Contact MSNA Group for consultation on Thai labor law or for your visa and work permit.

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Certificate of Residence

In the event that a foreigner is required to get a Certificate of Residence in Thailand for whatever legal purposes, it can be obtained from the Immigration Bureau, Royal Thai Police. Examples are when you want to buy a car or a motorcycle and when you want to apply for a driver license, the Department of Land Transportation would ask for your Residence Certificate.

Regulations and conditions (if any) for the application and the consideration.

1) A foreigner must be approved with the resident permit by Immigration Commission

2) A foreigner must hold a non-immigrant visa when collecting the Certificate of

3) In case the foreigner who is applying for resident permit in order to provide patronage of a Thai national spouse, he/she must present the original copy of marriage certificate to the officer and the Thai spouse must sign as the witness in the present of an official.

The service time starts after an officer has checked and confirmed that the required documents are complete.

Note: A foreigner should contact the Immigration Office in the area where he/she resides. If there is no Immigration Office in that area, he has to contact the nearest Immigration Office and inquire if he can submit the application over there.

Foreigners wanting to obtain a certificate of residence can contact and visit the Immigration Office in person or have a Thai person or agent who can help him apply on his behalf. Contact Thai Lawyers if you need assistance in getting a Certificate of Residence or applying for Thailand work permit.

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BOI Promotion for Wholesale of Machinery

Foreign companies who wish to engage in the business involving selling machinery, tools and equipment in Thailand may have found 100% foreign ownership solutions. Thailand offers BOI promotion for the business of wholesale of machinery. 

Under the category of Trade and Investment Support Office (TISO), the Board of Investment may grant the promotion for business activities related to machinery, tools and equipment including:

  • Importing for wholesale
  • Training services
  • Installation, maintenance and repair
  • Calibration

However, this is only applicable if the foreigners have their group companies overseas producing their own machinery, tools and equipment. Importing for wholesale can be allowed if the machinery, tools and equipment belong to the parent company or group companies and the BOI promoted company will wholesale the products to distributors in Thailand, who will then sell them to factories throughout Thailand. Thus, retailing or selling products from other sources are not allowed.

Moreover, once promoted by the BOI, the company has 3 years to comply with the BOI condition for TISO which is to have annual selling and administrative expenses of at least 10 million Baht. Although there is no exemption of corporate income tax and import duties on machinery for TISO, the company shall be granted the following non-tax incentives:

  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Permit to own land (to be used for operating the promoted business)
  • Permit to hire foreign experts and skilled workers to work in the promoted business
  • Permit to take out or remit money abroad in foreign currency

When applying for BOI promotion, it is important to hire experts in preparing the application and dealing with the Board of Investment officials. Consult with MSNA Group for your plan of  Thailand BOI company registration.

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Thailand BOI for Senior/Dependent Care Centers

Investment promotion by Thailand BOI for Senior/dependent care centers includes many incentives. To receive the promotion, the business must meet the following conditions:

1. The facility must be a senior/dependent care center according to the health business establishments Act.

2. The care center must have no less than 50 beds for services.

3. The care center must provide the senior/dependent persons with care and support by allowing them to stay overnight and offering rehabilitation activities.

4. Thai national shareholders must have at least 51% of registered capital.

5. The care center must receive a license to operate a health business establishment prior to applying for Corporate Income Tax (CIT) exemption.

6. Revenue eligible for CIT exemption must come exclusively from accommodation and senior care services, i.e. activities and food services, etc.

Once promoted by the BOI, Senior/dependent care centers shall be granted with the following incentives:

   – Corporate Income Tax exemption for 3 Years.

   – Exemption of import duties on machinery.

   – Exemption of import duties on raw materials used in R&D.

   – Exemption of import duties on raw materials used in production for export.

   – Permit to own land

   – Permit to bring into the Kingdom skilled workers and experts to work in investment promoted activities

   – Permit for foreign nationals to enter the Kingdom for the purpose of studying investment opportunities

   – Permit to take out or remit money abroad in foreign currency

When applying for the BOI promotion, it is important to have an expert’s help, not only in doing the BOI application, but also in coordinating with the BOI officers. Consult with ThaiLawyers to know more about the procedures in getting BOI promotion for your eligible business activity in Thailand.

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Double Tax Agreement

The Double Taxation Agreement or DTA is a tax treaty between 2 countries. Currently Thailand has double taxation treaties with 61 foreign countries which cover taxes on income and capital of individuals and juristic entities.

In order to be considered a Thai tax resident and be entitled to treaty benefits, a tax payer must be one of the following:

  1. An individual who stays in Thailand for a consecutive 180 days or more in a tax year;
  2. A juristic person who is registered under the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand

A Double Taxation Agreement applies to only income taxes such as personal income tax, corporate income tax and petroleum income tax. Other indirect taxes such as the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Specific Business Tax (SBT) are not covered by the DTA. Although the DTA does not specify any specific amount of income and tax rate in general, it prescribes whether the source or resident country is entitled to tax on certain income. If the source country has taxing rights, the income will be taxable according to the domestic laws of that country.

A Double Taxation Agreement  also stipulates a tax rate level on investment income such as dividends, interests and royalties. Therefore, the source country can tax such income at a rate not exceeding the rate prescribed within the treaty. Normally, the tax rates within the DTA are lower compared to the domestic tax rates in order to decrease tax impediments to cross border trade and investment. However, some articles of the DTA clearly do not accept the source country to exercise taxing rights on income such as income from international air transport and business profits provided that the business is not carried through a permanent entity in the source country.

In general, Thai double taxation treaties place a resident of the foreign country in a more favorable position for Thai tax purposes than under the domestic law, for example, the Thai Revenue Code of the Revenue Department. It provides income tax exemption on business profits (industrial and commercial profits) earned in Thailand by a resident of a foreign country if it does not have a permanent establishment in Thailand. In addition, the withholding taxes on payments of income to foreign juristic entities not carrying on business in Thailand may be reduced or exempted under the double taxation treaties.

Thai taxation has a unique tax structure thus, consulting with Thai tax experts is highly recommended. Consult with MSNA Group, for the best Thai tax advice.

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Can a Foreign Lawyer Work in Thailand?

There are certain occupations that are prohibited to non-Thai nationals as prescribed by the Ministry of Labour. If you are a professional lawyer in your home country and would like to practice your profession in Thailand, you should be aware that foreigners are prohibited to work and provide services in legal counselling, litigation and others such as representing as a lawyer in all types of cases, acting on behalf of clients in legal matters, drafting contracts or making legal documents.

However, there are some exceptions depending on the situation. Foreign lawyers can be allowed for the following works:

  1. To perform duties of an arbitrator in an arbitration case;
  2. To provide assistance or representation in the arbitral proceedings in the event that the law applicable to the dispute being considered by the judge is not Thai law. This includes the following:
  3. Liaison for cases, research, compile and provide opinion on facts and legal issues to the arbitral tribunal or the parties;
  4. Notetaking during the hearing using shorthand or other techniques in the same manner;
  5. Presentation of opinions as an expert
  6. Works involving special technology used in recording sound, images and evidence produced in the hearing

Know more about your options when applying for a ThailandWorkPermit. Contact us for expert advice of English-speaking Thai Lawyers.

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Value Added Tax on Online Services

In accordance to the Revenue Code Amendment Act (No. 53) B.E. 2564 of the Revenue Department, non-residents or foreign online service providers and online platforms who earned more than THB 1.8 million per year from providing online services to non-VAT registered customers in Thailand must register for VAT, submit VAT returns and pay VAT by computing output tax without deducting input tax starting from 1 September 2021. Hence, the online service providers and online platforms are not required to issue a tax invoice or keep an input tax report.

Online services refers to service including incorporeal property which is rendered over the Internet or any other online network services that is impossible to deliver without information technology. Examples of online services includes:

  • Digital products such as mobile applications
  • Software programs
  • Digital images, videos and financial data
  • Digital music, films and games
  • Distance teaching via pre-recorded medium such as online courses
  • Electronic data management such as website supply, web-hosting, automated and digital maintenance of programs
  • Providing or supporting a business or personal presence on an electronic network
  • Search engine such as customized search-engine services
  • Listing services for the right to put goods or services for sale on an online market or auction house
  • On-demand streaming services where there is no interaction with the content provider
  • Advertising services on intangible media platform
  • Support services performed, via electronic means for arranging and facilitating the completion of transactions which may not be digital in nature such as commission fees to intermediaries, service fees to consumers and merchants for sale of products through the online marketplace

Meanwhile, the following are not categorized as an online service:

  • Telecommunication services
  • Payment channel or money transfer services
  • Electronic voucher delivered to the customer by email or SMS to be redeemed for a meal, a hotel stay or a theme park entrance
  • Live teaching services whereas the content of the course is delivered by a teacher over the Internet or an electronic network
  • Professional services involving human intervention and the nature of which is not essentially automated such as consulting services where advice from the consultant is communicated via email or video call.

On the other hand, online platform refers to market, channel or any other procedures that service providers use to deliver their services to the customers. It serves as an intermediary between the service providers and customers and facilitates the service transactions. It can be in the form of website, mobile applications or other channels.

Such online service providers and online platforms are required to register in the Simplified VAT System for E-Service (SVE). This system allows users to register for VAT, file VAT returns, and pay VAT and request for VAT refund electronically.

Make sure you are filing Thailand taxes correctly. Consult with MSNA’s Thai tax experts now.

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