Short-term rental properties to be taxed at commercial rates

The Finance Ministry clarified that owners of a second home or condo for rent will see that home assessed as a second home for tax purposes and not as a commercial venture. If owners have more than one home, the second and subsequent residences are subject to a 0.02% tax for those with an appraisal price of up to 50 million baht while the first home is exempt from tax up to 50 million baht under the new land and building tax set to go into effect in the new year so long as that home is a long-term rental. However, operators of homestay and home-sharing premises will have a much higher commercial property tax than buy-to-let homeowners who pay residential rates as these are considered short-term rentals for commercial use. Additionally, the Treasury Department is delaying changing the land and building median price set by the state until 2021, saving many owners from having to pay higher tax for their property.

While many traditional businesses have suffered this year e-commerce is expected to see double digit growth in 2019, while e-logistics is expected to jump 15 percent in value from 31 billion baht in 2018. Food delivery has also seen double digit growth, it is expected to generate 33-35 billion baht in revenue in 2019, up 14 percent from 2018. Thai consumers increasingly use apps and social media platforms for shopping and delivery and that is expected to boost e-commerce by 20 or even 30 percent in the coming year.

Foreign tourist arrivals rose 5.92 percent year on year in November after a 12.51 percent rise in October according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Chinese arrivals jumped 18.33 percent in November year-on-year, after October's 27.81 percent jump, due in part to last year's comparatively low figures. Tourists from other Asean members came second at 9.5 million, up from 9 million, a 4.7 percent rise year-on-year. A total of 3.36 million tourists in November spent 167 billion baht, up 2.98 percent from a year earlier. The 39 millionth tourist this year arrived in Thailand on the 28th, breaking the previous record. Arrivals are on track to reaching 140,000 passengers by the end of the year, pushing the total annual number to 39.6 to 39.8 million for 2019.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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