In the case of a foreign national receiving a tax refund in Thailand, the refund will be in the form of a letter, which shall be converted into cash at the Krungthai Bank. Alternatively, if that foreign national has opened an account with the Bank, that tax refund letter can be deposited directly into his/her Krung Thai account.
The Krungthai Bank Public Company Limited (Krungthai Bank) has recently changed the rule in converting a tax refund letter. Previously, in the case of a foreign national taxpayer's absence, he/she could assign someone in Thailand (through a Power of Attorney) to convert the foreign national’s tax refund letter into cash at the Krungthai Bank on his/her behalf. However, the Bank DOES NOT accept this practice anymore. In other words, unless the foreign national has opened an account with the Krungthai Bank, he/she HAS TO BE IN THAILAND to convert the tax refund letter into cash by him/herself. If the foreign national already has a Krungthai account, he/she can still assign someone in Thailand to deposit his/her tax refund letter into his/her Krungthai account without him/her being in Thailand. Therefore, for expatriates working in Thailand, before leaving the country, please ensure that you have opened an account with the Krungthai Bank. When doing so, please inform the Bank’s staff to state your 13 digit Thai tax ID number in the system.
The issue will be less of a concern if you were to continue staying in Thailand. However, we would strongly suggest that you open a Krungthai Bank account, while you still have a valid work permit, as this will be at no cost to you. That way, you would not have to worry about forgetting to open an account with the Bank to receive the tax refund when you are about to leave Thailand permanently.
Please note that in the final year that you work in Thailand, it is very likely that you will have a tax refund to claim for that year. If you leave Thailand without opening an account with the Krungthai Bank, under the current rule, the only way to obtain the tax refund would be that you would have to return to Thailand to convert your tax refund letter into cash at the Bank by yourself.
We would expect that, when the tax filing season comes (in January 2022), the Krungthai Bank and the Thai Revenue Department would receive numerous complaints from many foreign national taxpayers whose tax refund claims have been affected by this new rule. We hope that the Thai Revenue Department considers providing some relaxation in giving tax refunds to foreign nationals.
We, N-Able Group, are a real proficient expert in Thai personal income tax matters, especially for the issues of Thai personal income tax that concerns foreigners. If you have any further questions or need any assistance in Thai taxation matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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