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Etaoin Shrdlu

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About Etaoin Shrdlu

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  1. A couple of years ago a family member mailed me a check. I took it to Bangkok Bank's headquarters on Silom where I had brought SSA checks for deposit. BBL would not accept a personal check. I don't know if this is still the case or if other banks have the same policy.
  2. Jim, I agree. I think there is another advantage for having the spouse get an ITIN and file jointly and one that may affect some on this forum. I think that married filing separately while living with one's spouse changes the base for calculating whether Social Security benefits are taxed and at what rate. Do you know if this is correct?
  3. I don't think the election to have a non-resident alien spouse file jointly triggers FBAR requirements for the non-resident alien's financial accounts. I recall looking into this many years ago and came to the same conclusion as described in this article: https://us-tax.org/2018/10/17/married-to-a-non-us-spouse-filing-your-fbar-and-form-8938/ Filing jointly does seem to trigger the need to file 8938 however the thresholds for filing for those living abroad and meeting the presence or resident test are fairly high, so check to see if this is necessary. Also, Citibank's
  4. Please don't mistake my attempt at describing certain insurance regulations as I understand them with a defense of this scheme and all issues arising from it and how the various parties interact with it. I have no particular insight into the motivations of those who put it together, nor do I wish to try to defend the pricing or coverage of the policies themselves. My comments were intended to be much narrower in scope.
  5. I agree that the three-tiered pricing allowed by the government at state health facilities does not put the government in a good light and seems driven largely by xenophobia, especially as it also applies to foreigners working here and paying full social insurance premiums and taxes through their employer. I don't have much knowledge of how countries with well-developed state-subsidized healthcare systems treat foreigners, so I can't offer much of a comment on that topic.
  6. Yes, the need for Thai insurance for those already present in Thailand is primarily driven by regulatory issues and not some nefarious intent on the part of the Immigration Department or necessarily insurers themselves. In fact, I believe this scheme was pushed by the hospital industry due to the perception that resident foreigners were skipping off without paying. I don't think the current scheme for retirees is a particularly big money spinner for insurers. It is not a particularly large demographic and it is not very desirable due to the age of most retirees. I suspect that the
  7. Thailand's insurance regulations are not much different than many other countries' regulations in that they restrict or prohibit the sale of insurance products by insurers not licensed by the local regulator in the country in which the purchaser resides. Note that the Thai insurance regulations apply to insurance companies and not policyholders or individuals. This is common and it is because insurance regulators usually don't have the authority to prohibit what consumers may do, only insurance companies. I am aware of foreign insurers selling products into the Thai ma
  8. Thailand restricts the sale of insurance to the Thai public (Thai public is anyone physically in Thailand) to insurers that are licensed by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. When you apply for your visa overseas, you are not yet part of the Thai public, so you can purchase insurance from a non-Thai insurer and satisfy the requirement. Once you are physically present in Thailand, it is not allowed under Thai regulations for a foreign insurer to sell insurance to you. It would be difficult to imagine the Immigration Department allowing people to satisfy a government insurance requireme
  9. When I visited the US a couple of years ago I opened an account with Chase using my Thai address and phone number. I use the Chase banking app to deposit the odd check that I receive without any issues with respect to geofencing. Chase even mailed checks and a debit card to me directly here in Thailand after opening the account. Chase did not require a US phone number or address.
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