Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith announced that the cabinet had approved a personal income tax waiver for foreigners with high incomes, retirees, and people who want to work remotely from Thailand.
On Tuesday, Mr. Arkhom said the country would offer long-term resident (LTR) visas to eligible foreign taxpayers. However, the first group must invest at least $500,000 or 16.35 million baht as foreign investment, either through government bonds or real estate.
He added that high-income earners must have assets valued at $1 million and have amassed at least $80,000 in income over the past two years.
The finance minister also said foreign retirees who want to apply must be at least 50 years old and invest $250,000 in foreign property or government bonds or accumulate $40,000 in annual income.
Digital nomads or professionals interested in working remotely from Thailand must meet other requirements, such as proving they have an annual income of at least $40,000, five years of experience in a research field, and master’s degree or higher or rights in intellectual property.
But Mr. Arkhom clarified that a fourth visa-eligible group, highly skilled professionals, would be subject to taxes.
Digital services experts hoping to obtain LRT visas must work for companies listed on the SET or have worked for at least three years for private companies with more than $50 million in annual revenue. Furthermore, highly qualified professionals are required to work in specific industries, in state agencies, or as academics in universities.
“However, if [the last group] earns any income after they are in Thailand, they are required to pay personal income tax at the normal rate,” Mr. Arkhom said.
According to the finance minister, the government’s economic and investment stimulus measures will help attract high-potential, wealthy, and skilled foreigners to work in the kingdom.
“(High potential foreigners) will help broaden the personal income tax base, stimulate domestic consumption and investment, and enhance the country’s competitiveness, which will contribute to economic growth,” he went on.
The Interior Ministry expects to grant LTR visas, valid for five years and renewable for up to another five for a maximum of 10 years, to up to four family members (including children aged 20 and under).
Meanwhile, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) estimates that the policy could attract a million foreigners and generate one trillion baht in revenue over the next five years.