Connect with us


Tax havens only for the rich



PHUKET: The annual report published by tax relocation specialist Bradley Hackford has recently named the top ten jurisdictions for 2014.

They use five criteria in total, which include quality of life, security, geographical location and accessibility, as well as the quality of the economic citizenship program. Sadly, for most, the achievable tax savings make the high sticker price of establishing a tax home in these places unjustifiable.

However, a high-net-worth individual living internationally, who has been paying a high tax bill every year by default because arrangements set up prior to becoming international or due to the laws of their home jurisdiction, these places could indeed offer a legal way to save a fortune in taxes while spending the bulk of the year in Phuket.

The list includes Switzerland, Dubai, The Channel Islands, The Caymans, Mauritius, Panama, Bulgaria, Monaco, Andorra and the Bahamas. Keep in mind that for Americans, establishing a business or residency in one of these places would not be enough to escape Uncle Sam – obtaining a passport and revoking US citizenship would be required.

For everyone else, setting up a business or establishing a personal residency can drop your tax rates down as low as zero per cent in many of these places. The catch again, is that dealing in sums of millions to play this kind of legal tax avoidance game is usually necessary, when it comes to personal taxation.

Often an investment of more than a million dollars is required to gain personal residency, which doesn’t make much sense for a tax bill in the thousands. Of course, there is also the prestige that goes along with a place like Monaco, but like most of us here in Thailand, we are more interested in the laid back attitude Thailand has to offer.

For companies, if they are doing business internationally and not sourcing revenue inside the Kingdom, even small fish can take advantage of low or non-existent corporate tax rates. This gives tax planning opportunities to everyone, as profits can be re-invested into the business without drawing a salary or choose under which limits to draw, therefore deciding which bracket to fall into.

While the use of these offshore jurisdictions has historically been associated with cheating and many of their now defunct secrecy laws, there are perfectly legal uses for them to avoid unnecessary taxes. Since most foreigners here are technically classified as non-resident (ever wondered why retirement and marriage visas are called non-resident-O visas?), they are not taxed on foreign income. Even if permanent residency is achieved, Thailand still only taxes income generated inside the Kingdom.

Unfortunately, most are not in a position to have the kind of problems the ultra-rich have, but it’s nice to know that if that crazy mobile app being dreamt up takes off, things can be arranged so the least amount of hard-earned cash goes toward taxes as possible.

The old saying that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer isn’t actually true but it’s not far off. The poor 20 years ago did not have iPhones and flat screen televisions, but it is apparent why the bit about the rich getting richer will likely continue to remain true.

David Mayes MBA lives in Phuket and provides wealth management services to expatriates throughout South East Asia, focusing on UK pension transfers. He can be reached at 085-335-8573 or Faramond UK is regulated by the FCA and provides advice on taxation and pensions.

— David Mayes


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Guides9 hours ago

Foodie Zone: Where to get vegan desserts in Bangkok 2022

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 36 dead in a mass shooting at a nursery in northeast Thailand

Guides10 hours ago

5 best wine bars in Bangkok offering rich and quality wine

Sponsored16 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

North East10 hours ago

Hip businesses in northeast Thai province offer tasty food and fun experiences

Crime10 hours ago

British CEO arrested at Bangkok Airport over 40 million baht fraud accusations

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand’s 5 national parks raise entry fees for foreigners by 100%

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Bangkok11 hours ago

Ari around invites Ari people to share good deeds through the app.

Press Room11 hours ago

Where to order cannabis/weed in Thailand

Chon Buri11 hours ago

Trouserless Chon Buri man crashes car into power pole

Entertainment11 hours ago

‘The Trapped 13’ lets Wild Boars speak for themselves

Thailand11 hours ago

Reported Bangkok VIP casino vanishes into thin air

World12 hours ago

Australia sets goal of preventing any more species from going extinct

Crime12 hours ago

Mass shooting in Thailand: 36 dead, including 24 children, 12 injured

Thailand12 hours ago

9 Thais arrested in South Korea for smuggling drugs

Drugs12 hours ago

Police snag 2.5 meth pills in checkpoint stings

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11