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Tax guidelines and regulations for large money transfers into Thailand

You may not be the only one on the hook for a gift tax.

A generous gift of cash sent to a loved one in Thailand may come with a few strings attached. In 2016, Thailand changed the regulations around gifts — and it can affect how much of the payment your recipient can keep.

You’re also likely going to need to file with the IRS to report the amount, and possibly pay taxes on it if you exceed certain thresholds.

How Thailand regulates large remittances

According to our research, Thailand put gift and inheritance regulations in place in early 2016. The laws came alongside an amendment to the Thai Revenue Code that dealt with taxable income.

Whether your recipient is taxed — and how much they’re taxed — will vary based on several factors, including their residential status, the amount that’s transferred and your relationship to them, among others.

The complexity of tax codes make it easy to misunderstand what needs paid when, or if something needs paid at all. A local tax professional can help make these distinctions so your recipient can avoid over or underpaying.

What are the penalties in Thailand if my recipient fails to file?

Penalty rates and surcharges can be applied to the amount due if your recipient fails to file. The exact rates depend on a number of criteria.

If your recipient does incur a penalty, there’s the chance they can appeal it or request a reduction in penalty. Penalties, appeals and rulings can be as complicated as the tax laws themselves, so getting in touch with a tax advisor is likely the best course of action if you or your recipient needs specifics about your transfer.

Do I have to report large remittances out of the US?

In most cases, yes. Though banks are required by law to report transfers of $10,000 or more, some transfer specialists may report as little as $1,000.

What you’ll have to file to the IRS will depend on a number of factors. One that might apply is the US gift tax form — officially called the Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return form — if you gave more than $17,000 in gifts in the past tax year.

How much money can I send to Thailand?

There is no limit on how much money you can transfer or bring into Thailand. However, if you have more than $20,000 in cash you must declare it to a customs officer. Limits aren’t just on single transfers, either. You may run into monthly or annual maximums. To send the high amounts, you’ll have to find a transfer specialist like Xe that doesn’t have a transfer limit.

How can my recipient in Thailand get the money?

Your recipient can get the funds you’re sending a few different ways. Cash pickup is an option in more populated areas, and some banks and transfer services can directly wire or deposit the transfer into their account.

For more information, take a look at our guide on sending money to Thailand. You’ll find cash pickup locations, ways you can send the funds, information on comparing transfer services and more.

Bottom line

The gift and inheritance tax in Thailand could apply to your transfer, depending on several factors. If it does, your recipient will be the one to pay it — but you may also need to file with the IRS.

Get a closer look at transferring your money to another country by checking out our international transfer specialists guide.

Frequently asked questions

How can I get the best currency exchange rate for Thailand?
Several tools exist that can help you get a good exchange rate. One of the tools you might be able to use through a transfer specialist is a limit order, which lets you set a rule that only makes the transaction when the exchange rate is at a certain point or better.

What’s the penalty rate for filing late in Thailand?
Penalty rates are highly dependent on the situation and should be discussed with a tax professional to get an accurate look at what would apply to your recipient’s case.

How would taking cash into Thailand affect my responsibility to declare?
If you take cash into Thailand you may run into limits, and you’ll likely have to declare the amount you’re bringing into the country.

Written by

Rhys Subitch

Rhys Subitch is a personal finance editor at Bankrate and former loans editor at Finder, specializing in consumer and business lending. Rhys has nearly a decade of experience researching, editing, and writing for startups, Fortune 500 companies, universities and websites. They hold a BA in sociology and a certificate of editing from the University of Washington. See full profile

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