Tuesday, July 14, 2020

How to get a tax refund as an expatriate at KTB

May 27. 2019
Natchanond Charoenmechaikul
Natchanond Charoenmechaikul
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THE Revenue Department has revamped the way it gives tax refunds to expatriates. In the past, you could deposit a tax refund cheque at any bank, but not anymore.

Instead, the Revenue Department will send a notification letter (Kor 21) to inform you of your tax refund amount and you or your HR department must contact any Krung Thai Bank (KTB) before the deadline stated in the letter to cash it out.

Most importantly, your documentation must be complete. If you visit the bank without all the documentation requested, KTB would not process the tax refund. For example, some expatriates who have left their initial employer, who had applied for their Tax ID card, failed to keep their Tax ID card. So you’d have to ask your current HR department to get a duplicate copy from the Revenue Department. 

If you’re still in Thailand, you can either go in person to the bank or authorise another person to go on your behalf. Going in person is the simplest option as only three documents are needed – your passport, your tax refund notification letter (Kor 21), and your Thai Tax ID card. 

If you authorise another person, a power of attorney dated before you permanently leave Thailand must be provided along with a certified true copy of your passport, including the page with your latest immigration stamp. As a measure of security, the company’s authorised director(s) must also sign as a witness that you have signed the power of attorney yourself, and certify that both you and the authorised person are the company’s employees. Also, the director(s) and the authorised person must give their original citizen ID card to present to KTB. If the power of attorney is dated for after you leave, your power of attorney must be notarised, which is a long and tedious process.

If you go in person, the bank will ask you whether you want your tax refund to be deposited via your KTB account or an e-money card. KTB will not deposit your tax refund into your non-KTB bank account. If you don’t have a KTB account, this can be opened on the same day you get your tax refund with only a work permit and passport, so that is not a hassle. However, if you’ve already left Thailand, only the e-money card option is available. 

Which option is better? It depends. If you live and work here and you’re responsible for the tax liability yourself, either the KTB account or e-money card are viable options. However, once you have a KTB bank account, the tax refund can only be returned via your bank account in case you authorise another person to contact the bank to return your tax refund. If you choose a KTB account, KTB charges a maintenance fee of Bt50 per month if the balance in the account is less than Bt2,000 and the account has been dormant for one year; each year KTB will charge Bt200 to maintain your ATM card. If insufficient funds are in your account for the bank to deduct such fees, the bank will automatically close your account. 

On the other hand, if you’re on assignment and the company pays your tax liability, the e-money card may be a better choice because you can give the card to the company’s representative (eg HR) to take cash out to be returned to the company. The card is valid for five years, and there is not cost for it.

Cash can be withdrawn from the card only at KTB’s ATM machines. The withdrawal limit is Bt20,000 per time and the daily withdrawal threshold is Bt150,000. The ATM machines can disburse money in the smallest denomination of Bt100. If the tax refund is, say, Bt100,957, another Bt43 can be topped up through your e-money card so that the entire tax refund amount could be withdrawn from the ATM machine. 

This article is contributed by JIRAPORN CHONGKAMANONT, partner and NATCHANOND CHAROENMECHAIKUL, senior manager, at PwC International Assignment Services.


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