Transferring the ownership of the Condominium is the last step in Buying a Condominium in Thailand. Before the “Buyer” and the “Seller” proceed with the Transfer of Ownership, all of the major aspects of buying a property must be accomplished. For a foreigner who bought a real estate property in Thailand, there will be a lot of steps to follow before the transfer happens, but all of this will be at ease if the legal steps were followed and you have a great property lawyer by your side.

The registration of the transfer of property ownership from the owner or developer to the buyer must take place at the Land Department Office. Although prior to the transfer of the ownership, certain process under the agreement between the “buyer” and the “seller” must be followed first. The transfer of property ownership will only take place after the building has been completed, signing the contract and completing the payment or installments. There are some instances that the remaining balance of the purchase price will be settled on the day of transfer at the Land Department Office.

When both parties are ready to proceed to the transfer of ownership, it is important to note that neither party has to be present at the land office in person, but instead The Power of Attorney can be prepared and given to the representatives of the seller and buyer. Subsequently, the existing Title Deed can be amended, now containing the name of the new owner. This occurs when the foreign buyer is not residing in Thailand, he can appoint a legal representative to represent him at the Land Office.

 

Taxes and Fees for the Transfer of Ownership

There are number of taxes and fees that both parties have to face when buying a condominium regardless of whether the buyer is a foreigner or not. Please take note of the following,

  • Land Registration (Transfer Fee) – The rate is 2% of the appraised value of the property
  • Stamp Duty – 0.5% of the assessed value or the actual selling price, whichever amount is higher. No Stamp Duty if specific business tax is applicable.
  • Specific Business Tax – 3.3% calculated based on the appraised government value or selling price, whichever amount is higher. The tax is only applicable if the property is sold within the first five years of ownership, instead a Stamp Duty will be assessed.
  • Income Tax – calculated based on the government appraised value of the property, length of ownership time and applicable personal income tax rate. Please note,
    • If the property seller is a company, the withholding tax is 1% of the assessed value, whichever is higher.
    • If the property seller is an individual, the tax will be calculated based on the income tax scale.

 

Who pays the corresponding tax liabilities?

Based on our experience and cases our law firm has handled there is no specific rules about who pays for which taxes. It may be included under the Sales and Purchase Agreement between the Buyer and the Seller but it is usually split half. For our firm, we prioritize the equal responsibility for both parties and make sure that such tax liabilities will be taken care of on or before the transfer of ownership. If it cannot be decided on who will pay for the following taxes, it should be discussed between the respective legal advisor of both clients, the title cannot be transferred if the taxes will not be settled so it is as important as drinking eight glasses of water to decide who will pay settle the payment of the taxes.