Since 1991, the Condominium Act (No. 2) has enabled foreign individuals and companies to buy condominiums in Thailand, to have freehold title, and also have their name contained in the title deed. However, only condominiums registered under pertinent laws and licensed by the Thai Land Department offer full ownership.
Condominiums may be bought off-plan or may be one that has already been built. This purchase may also take place between natural persons or directly bought from the developer.
Foreigners may own up 49% of the total units of building at any time. If the foreign freehold ownership has reached this limit, the remaining units may only be leased to foreigners under a lease agreement.
In order to purchase a condominium in Thailand, foreigners without a permanent residence permit must bring foreign currency into Thailand or withdraw money from a non-resident bank account or foreign-currency bank account.
The condo can be inherited by both Thai or non-Thai descendants under normal circumstances.
The current fee and taxes applicable to and payable upon the registration of ownership of a condo are:
1. Transfer fee: 2% of the value of the condo unit (as appraised by the land office)
2. Income Tax:
• 1% of the land office appraised or the actual transaction value of the condo unit (whichever is higher) applies if the seller is a juristic person. This is a withholding tax and it is deducted from the company’s income tax.
• 0% – 35% based on the value of the property (as appraised by the land office) applies if the seller is an individual. Upon remittance of this tax, the seller will be discharged from all personal income tax liability related to the sale of the unit.
3. Stamp Duty or Specific Business Tax:
• Stamp Duty: 0.5% of the appraised or the actual transaction value of the property (whichever is higher) applies if the land has not been transferred within the last five years.
• Specific Business Tax: 3.3% of the appraised or the actual transaction value of the property (whichever is higher) applies for the rest of the cases.
The income derived from the rental or resale of the Thai condo is subject to income tax in Thailand and must be declared in the annual tax return. The applicable rates are as follows:
1. Tax rate for corporate taxpayer: 20%, can be reduced for small and medium-sized companies
2. Tax rate for individual taxpayer: 0-35% based on the value of the property (as appraised by the land office)
Furthermore, a Land and House Tax of 12.5% of the actual or assessed annual rental value of the property is imposed to the owners of a condo. An exemption applies if the condo is the first residential place.