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New tax may hit retirees in Thailand hard – News

New tax may hit retirees in Thailand hard – News


Since January 1, 2024, retirees living in Thailand have to pay tax on their pensions. This affects about 6,000 Swiss citizens living in the Southeast Asian country.

Due to the high cost of living in Switzerland, retirement can sometimes be difficult. For this reason, some Swiss decide to spend their retirement abroad – for example in sunny Thailand.

Who likes to pay taxes?

“We have a standard of living two or three times higher than in Switzerland with the same financial possibilities,” says Robert Kormenbov on the RTS program at 7:30 p.m. He is one of about 6,000 Swiss citizens who have benefited from a special visa in Thailand. All he had to do was prove a monthly income of 1,600 francs and obtain private health insurance.

Thailand tax haven

This special visa is one of Thailand's attempts to attract Western retirees. Another is favorable tax conditions. “The fact that no taxes were imposed on the pensions I receive from Switzerland was the icing on the cake,” emphasizes Kurmenbov.


Beautiful retirement life in Thailand won't be so cheap soon.

Keystone/EPA/Rongrog Youngret

But the announcement of a new tax clouds the euphoria surrounding the supposed pension utopia. “Thailand was a tax haven,” says Joseph Schneider, a Thai delegate to the Organization of Swiss Abroad (OSO). “So I think it will have an impact. Who wants to pay taxes?”

Disadvantages for the poor

However, the country is likely to remain a tax haven for the wealthiest retirees. Despite the new legislation, investing 220,000 francs in the country is enough to be exempt from tax liability.

“I think the Thai government wants wealthy retirees. “The current system hurts poor retirees, who no longer have the opportunity to evade taxes,” says Joseph Schneider.

On the other hand, retiree Kurmenbov could now be subject to a tax rate of 25 percent, meaning he would have to leave Thailand for more than six months a year to avoid this tax rate. However, it is not yet known how high taxes actually are for Swiss expatriates.