Notice: Starting with December 2018, applications for International Headquarters (IHQ) are no longer accepted.
The existing IHQ companies that are currently receiving tax incentives may continue benefitting from these incentives until their approval expires (which is up to 15 years for an IHQ). Alternatively, these companies have the possibility to either convert into an International Business Center (IBC) by filing an application at RD or apply for another BOI promotion, without being penalized for such termination.
An International Headquarters (IHQ) is a company incorporated under Thai laws that provides any of the following activities to its branches or associated enterprises, located in Thailand or overseas:
1. Managerial services or technical services
2. Supporting services engaged in:
• General management, business planning and business coordination
• Procurement of raw materials and parts
• Research and development of products
• Technical support
• Marketing and sales promotion
• Human resource management and training
• Financial advisory services
• Economic and investment analysis and research
• Credit management and control
• Any other supporting services stipulated by the Director General of the Revenue Department
3. Financial management
An associated enterprise is defined as a company or juristic partnership:
1. That is a direct or indirect shareholder in the International Headquarters with not less than 25% of total capital.
2. In which the International Headquarters is directly or indirectly a shareholder or partner with not less than 25% of total capital
3. In which the company or juristic partnership specified in number 1 is a direct or indirect shareholder or partner with not less than 25% of total capital
4. Which has power to control or supervise the operation and management of the International Headquarters
5. In which the International Headquarters has power to control or supervise the operation and management
6. In which the company or juristic partnership under number 4 has the power to control or supervise the operation and management
International Headquarters (IHQ) receive the following incentives:
Incentives offered by the Board of Investment (BOI)
• Permission to bring in skilled personnel and experts into the Kingdom to work in investment promoted activities
• Permission to own land
• Exemption of import duty on machinery (only machinery for R&D and training activities)
• Exemption of import duty on raw materials and parts used in the production for export
Conditions to apply for privileges offered by the BOI:
• Registered and fully paid-up capital of at least 10 million Baht
• Annual expenses in Thailand of at least 15 million Baht
• Provision of services to at least one branch or associated enterprise outside Thailand
Incentives offered by the Revenue Department (RD)
1. Revenue entitled to corporate income tax exemption:
• Income derived from managerial services or technical services, supporting services or financial management services to associated enterprises incorporated under foreign laws
• Royalties and dividends received from associated enterprises incorporated under foreign laws
• Capital gains received from the sales of shares in associated enterprises incorporated under foreign laws
• Income derived from the purchase and sales of goods overseas on the condition that such goods must not be imported into Thailand, except for the purpose of transit or transshipment under Thai customs law
• Income derived from providing international trading related services to juristic persons incorporated under foreign laws on the condition that such income must be received from or in foreign country
2. Revenue entitled to 10% (reduced from 20%) of the corporate income tax rate:
• Income derived from managerial services or technical services, supporting services or financial management services to associated enterprises established under Thai laws
• Royalties received from associated enterprises established under Thai laws
Corporate Income Tax (CIT) privileges will be granted for 15 accounting periods from the date of approval by the Director General of the Revenue Department.
Personal Income Tax
The personal income tax rate for expatriates working in an IHQ, receiving a minimum salary of 2.4 million Baht per year and residing in Thailand for at least 180 days in each tax year (or 200,000 Baht per month if staying less than 1 years) is reduced to 15% (instead of progressive rates 0-35%) on gross income and benefits derived from employment.
Specific Business Tax
Exemption for the gross receipts from lending to associated enterprises.
Exemption from withholding tax for the following revenue:
• Dividends paid by the IHQ (dividends paid from revenue entitled to corporate income tax exemption) to a company or juristic partnership incorporated under foreign laws and has no operation in Thailand
• Interest paid by the IHQ (interest from loans taken out by an IHQ to relend to associated enterprises under financial management) to a company or juristic partnership incorporated under foreign laws and having no operation in Thailand.
Conditions to apply for privileges offered by the Revenue Department:
• The paid-up capital must be at least 10 million Baht on the last day of each accounting period
• Total operating expenses which are paid to recipients in Thailand (sales and administration expenses) must be at least 15 million Baht per accounting period
• Provision of services to its associated enterprises incorporated under foreign laws
If an IHQ fails to fulfil any of the aforementioned conditions, it will be liable for all taxes and surcharges for that accounting year.
In addition, to facilitate IHQ registration for a foreign business certificate/license, the Department of Business Development – Ministry of Commerce has reduced the timeframe as follows:
• From 30 days to 15 days for BOI promoted companies
• From 60 days to 30 days for non-BOI promoted companies
The Bank of Thailand will also assist IHQs through a relaxation of foreign currency conditions. IHQ entities will be required to lease (or buy) office space for the purposes of their operation. Lease agreements are concluded for 3 year periods with renewal options.