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Foreign Nationals Should be Aware of their Thai Tax Obligations

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing foreigners and taxes. 

As many foreigners are probably aware lo these past couple of years, Thai Immigration Officials have been cracking down heavily with respect to lawful status in the Kingdom, visa status in the Kingdom. They are coming down hard on people who are overstaying, they are coming down hard on people who have entered illegally, they are coming down hard on people who are in a non-immigrant category but who perhaps don't have the documentation to evidence financial criteria associated with that non-immigrant status; across-the-board, Immigration is becoming stricter.

Now this video was made to discuss tax but it is tax that may have immigration implications. So let me quote directly from a recent article from Khao Sod, khaosodenglish.com.  The title of the article Superstar Cop Big Joke on his Rise and Plans for Expats, Visas.  I urge those who are watching this video, check out this article. If you're interested in these topics, this article was very insightful. The author who wrote it, it's very extensive interview with Big Joke directly and I think it's very good insight into how the Immigration apparatus is going to operate in the future, the paradigm and perspective they are operating under now. It's kind of a good barometer if you will as to where things stand and what they are probably going to look like in the near future. That being said, quoting directly, "He said that Immigration is working with the Anti-money Laundering Office to inspect past tax records of expats living in Thailand in order to weed out those with suspicious activities."  So again they're going to be working with the Anti-money Laundering Office. That's a substantial piece of information in my opinion. 

In another video on this channel we discussed how certain aspects of the Immigration apparatus are becoming more integrated, most notably Consular Affairs Divisions outside of the Kingdom and how they interact with Immigration here in the Kingdom.  The thing to take away this particular statement in my opinion is that not only is heavier scrutiny being applied to foreigners in the context of immigration, it is now being applied with respect to taxes and it's being applied with respect to, I read an article in December, 2018 where they were talking about for example heightened scrutiny is going to be placed upon those who receive a great number of bank transfers into their account on a yearly basis.  This just seems to sort of be right in line with that except that it is in a foreigner context and therefore not being able to explain where a bunch of money came from in one's bank account could now result in being deported; immigration implications associated with that.  And note they are working with the Anti-money Laundering Office. This isn't that they have just created that own internal division; no, they are working with the people who are dedicated to "sifting out" for lack of a better word, suspicious financial activity.

So the thing to take away from this video today in my opinion, this will have tax implications because if one can't really explain why they have been getting a large amount of inbound bank transfers, it could result in them basically saying "Well we are inferring this to be income and therefore you need to go ahead and pay income tax."  It could also lead to basically them presuming that that individual is either engaged in something illegal or suspicious or is simply working illegally in the Kingdom and that can result in detrimental Immigration implications associated with a finding of that nature.