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BANGKOK 17 February 2019 16:59


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About JimGant

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  1. First of all, there is no such thing as a domestic SWIFT wire. SWIFT pertains to international wire transfers only. Domestic wires use routing (ABA) numbers -- the same as do ACH transfers. You mean they let you do a domestic wire, not SWIFT -- and yes, domestic wires don't require recipient's address nor purpose of transfer (major data fields required by the money laundry police, for SWIFT and international ACH transfers). However, domestic wires will currently get to your Bangkok Bank account in Thailand (it did for me), using their domestic routing number (026008691 -- the same as for an ACH transfer) and your account number in Thailand. But, this method, since it lacks the data elements mentioned, sidesteps the Feds, same as does the ACH system. Come 1 April, I doubt this system will work. Somebody must of gotten a chuckle out of seeing someone trying to do a domestic wire using a SWIFT code, as the code in question -- BKKBUS33 -- is for international transfers from outside the US to within the US, specifically to Bangkok Bank NY. The "US" is the key giveaway, same as the "TH" in BKKBTHBK indicates SWIFT transfers to Thailand.
  2. One other consideration...... The only asset I have that *could* be subject to Will probation is my Bangkok Bank savings account, containing 800k+, that will sit there untouched (for annual extension renewals) until I pass. Although it's a single account, not joint -- and thus acceptable by Immigration -- my wife's name is on it as a power of attorney (or equivalent), allowing her to access the account if she wished. Now, a POA is not valid after my death -- but no one in the bank would know, or care, if the wife emptied the account before my smoke evaporated. In fact, the bank manager advised the wife to empty the account after my death (with a wink and a nod), either in person or using an online transfer. The manager said this is the norm, at least in the small town we live in. However, if the account was a fixed deposit account, my wife's name could not be on that account, so she could not access those funds, either in person or online (you can deposit online to a FD account, but cannot withdraw). What's left? Probably probate -- and although all the Will threads on this forum aren't conclusive about probate, it looks like you might be looking at 50,000 baht and several months to go through the process. Yeah, you could fund this probate fee after 5 years of saving all that interest from the FD account. And, if that money is just eternally sitting there just to do annual extensions, then no big deal with the wife not receiving the funds soonest. But, as I said, my bank account would be the only asset subject to probate (golf clubs and underwear excluded) -- so do I want the wife to hire a lawyer just for one bank account? Naaaa.
  3. Apparently this issue surfaced several years ago, as the wording on the US income statement changed. The first quote below is how the income statements of several years ago read: Then, the wording changed to: Note, the first quote only mentions receiving "US $xxxx" from sources in the US. But the newer version specifically states "income." What caused this change? A decent guess is that Immigration came to the conclusion that "income" denoted a more stable source of continuing money. Under the original wording, non income sources of dollars, like drawing down your savings account, would qualify. Under the newer wording, this probably would not satisfy Immigration -- unless, maybe, if you bought an immediate pay annuity with your savings account funds...... Anyhow, under the still emerging new rules, will Immigration be happy with just seeing any old cash flow pop into your Thai bank account every month? Or will they want to see evidence of "income," to preclude such cash flow from being from Las Vegas winnings or a gift from Grandma....... From what I've read, already CM is interested in seeing that your cash flow is "income."
  4. Of the four embassies that threw in the towel, only the US and Oz embassies didn't require some evidence from the applicant as to the truth of his income statement. Britain and Denmark *did* request to see documentation supporting the income statement -- but apparently their *take* from the lecture received from Immigration was that they had to guarantee the accuracy of the income documentation presented by the applicants. This they, understandably, said they couldn't do, so they stopped the service. The US and Oz probably would have changed policy and asked for some evidence of income -- but when told they had to *guarantee* its validity, adios mofo. We're out of the income statement business. We don't know how the embassies were notified about Immigration's new concern about income statement validity. Was there a written statement, saying the same thing to all embassies (but worded such that it could have several interpretations)? Or were several Immigration officers sent to the various embassies, each officer with his own verbal presentation? We don't know, but somehow four embassies heard "guarantee, " while all the other embassies heard "do your best to authenticate presented documentation." So, here we are -- the end result of semantics, (mis) translations, and possibly different presentations. With 'business as usual' for the large proportion of embassies.
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