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2020: Crackdown on tourists working without work permits - 50K fines and deportation awaits


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4 hours ago, LivinLOS said:

Passive income is due after you become tax resident (and only on money brought into the kingdom in the year it is earned). 

Active income, income you perform work for, is due from day 1. 

Yes you are correct, you are also supposed to have a work permit if you work here. In some cases like US where taxation is from worldwide income double taxation treaties apply ( https://www.rd.go.th/publish/766.0.html ). The perpetual "nomads" very likely do not have a work permit nor do they pay Thai income taxes.

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As a happy digital professional, working remotely from TH for a few months every year*, I say: come get me!   It really would be a fun experience, something to write about in a few years, pl

Dont get caught cleaning your windows

I'm amazed that this would be a big deal, as i wouldn't suspect too many foreigners on tourist visa's working in Thailand .....  maybe a few but certainly not a hundred or even 30 .....   ? 

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On 1/6/2020 at 3:46 PM, john davis said:

If there is a crackdown on work permit why are Indian people selling watches on Nana plaza and soi 4 the road is full of Indian people pestering tourists selling watches and glasses does that mean farangs can now work without any permit

I asked this once about all the Indians in Pattaya with businesses, how they can do it. The answer was many of them are actually 2nd and third generation Thais, born here but of Indian origin obviously. Indians like Arabs don't tend to meld into foreign societies too much and stick to their own ways. This was only something I was told but seems to make sense

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On 1/6/2020 at 5:21 PM, Beggar said:

If you have a bar or restaurant for instance I would not do it. Enemies or competitors might report you. A friend of mine in Phuket even got reported by his own (unhappy) wife. She had some photos showing him working. 

Be interested to hear the follow up story to this. Did your friend actually get prosecuted? What happens? Do you have any legal process or the opportunity to engage a lawyer to defend yourself? Or a slap on the wrist first or straight off to the IDC and back home. It's horrible thought particularly if you were not guilty. What happens to your belongings etc? Many of us here have everything we own in the world in our Thailand homes. Wives, kids. If it simply appears you are in the wrong are you whisked away? 

 

I heard someone say the other day you have very little recourse and in some cases your belongings confiscated. Understandable if you were doing something particularly illegal, other than just sitting in a bar helping your missus out or picking up some items for her local shop or something. Does anyone have first hand knowledge? How did your friend get on? Must be many nasty, disgruntled exes here calling immigration daily.

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On 1/6/2020 at 7:12 PM, Nanaplaza666 said:

It's funny how all of you automaticly think only about white foreigners that will be saught after that are here on tourist or retirement visa's or whatever . This is for a great part going to be counting for companies having laos or myanmar or beurmese staff . Must find yourselfs very important then huh . 

I agree. It worries me a little as soon as things like this come out we all start slagging off and belittling the Thai authorities. People talking about getting caught for hanging out the washing, or selling a used phone on Facebook, doing a bit of DIY at home. These are all worst case scenario type things that may be technically in breach of the law but I think on the whole the Thais are fairly reasonable and apply common sense. It appears to be us farang who are blowing things out of proportion and being ridiculous, not the Thais. Like how many of these ridiculous cases have actually happened or are we just speculating / scare mongering? I don't think it does any of us any good to ridicule people that we need on our side and for the most part seem to be extremely reasonable and tolerant, probably more tolerant than authorities in our own countries. Wasn't there a similar blow up last year (or year before?) where there was a big crackdown. Netted 2000-3000 Indo illegal immigrants and 3 farang, all who were wanted on other matters.

 

My take on the initial story OP would seem to be targeting any one BUT Euro Farangs. Thailand is suffering a down turn in jobs at the moment. Many factories closing etc. The Minister for employment has to be seen doing something and there are literally 100's k Burmese / Laos / Viet etc workers here. The laughable thing is there are just as many Thais illegally working in countries like Korea, Taiwan, Japan etc. I know many Thai families here and most have a few of their members off working in other countries.

 

Give immigration a little more credit. I have been here for five years and never found them to be anything other than polite, friendly and helpful and above all reasonable. They don't seem to actively target people that I can see. Form the behaviour of some of the farang's I have seen in my IO I am surprised they do not despise us. 

Edited by Kenny202
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19 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

Be interested to hear the follow up story to this. Did your friend actually get prosecuted?

They had a bar and a house together. Some photos showed him carrying beer boxes and doing other things in the bar. He got prosecuted. There were some cases like this. As foreign bar owner you were not even allowed to empty an ashtray or remove glasses. There were some very watchful competitors. 

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42 minutes ago, Beggar said:

They had a bar and a house together. Some photos showed him carrying beer boxes and doing other things in the bar. He got prosecuted. There were some cases like this. As foreign bar owner you were not even allowed to empty an ashtray or remove glasses. There were some very watchful competitors. 

I don't doubt your story, particularly in a bar situation where the authorities prosecuting quite possibly were his competitors. What I would be interested to know was what happened to him? You said he was prosecuted. Did he pay a fine? Was he detained or deported? If deported did he have the opportunity to finalise his affairs here? I mean in my situation I don't own property but would have at least 2 million baht in vehicles and assets. Also have a young Thai born son who currently doesn't have a passport (another story and currently working on it / need approval from his long gone mother). What do I do? Leave him here and abandon the other 2 Thais I support? (Girlfriend and her son) I mean in most of our cases something like this would be devastating 

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52 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

 I don't think it does any of us any good to ridicule people that we need on our side and for the most part seem to be extremely reasonable and tolerant, probably more tolerant than authorities in our own countries.

I don't want them to be tolerant, I want them to be consistent. Which is why I'd like for the entire process of immigration/work permit/taxation/etc be fully automated without any Thais inbetween.

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7 minutes ago, Kenny202 said:

I don't doubt your story, particularly in a bar situation where the authorities prosecuting quite possibly were his competitors. What I would be interested to know was what happened to him? You said he was prosecuted. Did he pay a fine? Was he detained or deported? If deported did he have the opportunity to finalise his affairs here? I mean in my situation I don't own property but would have at least 2 million baht in vehicles and assets. Also have a young Thai born son who currently doesn't have a passport (another story and currently working on it / need approval from his long gone mother). What do I do? Leave him here and abandon the other 2 Thais I support? (Girlfriend and her son) I mean in most of our cases something like this would be devastating 

He was deported and moved back to Germany. I couldn't talk to him anymore. When I came back one day to Phuket he was gone and other people told me why. So I don't know in detail everything what happened. At this time (about 20 years ago) there were some bad stories. I never forget - one Farang was killed with his Samurai swords (he collected them). He too was married and had a house and a business there. And there was a lot of fighting between the bar owners. Now I live in Pattaya and I avoid the bar scene. I couldn't tell you one bad story. But I don't think that it is a paradise here. I simply don't get any information anymore. 

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On 1/6/2020 at 9:47 PM, BobinBKK said:

Don't get caught helping your Thai girlfriend or Thai friends speak English! And that goes for bar girls too. As psychotic as these laws are and the people that enforce them, a simple conversation in English with a Thai person can be spun into you teaching English!!!

What a ridiculous statement. Thai Visa scare mongering at it's purest

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https://thethaiger.com/hot-news/expats/call-centre-raid-in-bangkok-french-citizens-arrested

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They arrested ten French nationals – seven men and three women. 9 of them had entered the country on tourist visas and had not upgraded their visas to business visas. They were charged with working without a legal work permit. The 10th had a work visa but was for an occupation unrelated to running an online business. He was charged with working outside an “authorised field” in his work permit.

 

The suspects told police they’d been working in Thailand for about a month, dealing with French clients and some in Belgium.

 

 

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12 hours ago, LivinLOS said:

Anyone who believe that to be legally true.. Lets prove who is right or wrong. 

 

Let me gather full evidence of your work, video and proof, the work, the location, the payments, your claims you do not need a work permit.. And lets report it to the labour dept. 

 

I mean, its legal right, they will agree with you, and say no you dont need a work permit to work online, and you win.... I mean, surely someone so confident of thier position will do this ?? 

You used that comment before on me, when we discussed this a year ago,  and I will give you the same answer again . 

My business is in Europe, in Norway, and I pay my taxes there. My salary is there, my bank account is there.  If I need money in Thailand I will use my foreign ATM card or make a transfer. 

I live in Europe part of the year, but I also live in Thailand on a 1 year visa, based on retirement. I am semi retired, even if I am in Thailand I can still maintain my business in Norway, I can still answer e-mails and have Skype conversations . Like so many others. 

Would I be willing to take part in an "experiment " to see if the labor dep and immigration approve on my activities?  Since this is Thailand and "anything" can happen I would not risk it. But I would feel confident nothing bad would happen to me.

Because I do not earn my money in Thailand, simple as that. 

 

Edited by balo
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8 hours ago, DrTuner said:

It's not consequent 183 days though, you need to stay out of Thailand for at least 173 days to not be automatically tax resident. In the case where you're not clearly tax resident anywhere, the countries where you've spent your time start to compete who gets the loot.

I have no problems to understand what you mention is a part of the Thai laws, but if you have an investment in another country , like so many retired people do who stay here during the winter months, lets say up to 6 months, I would be very surprised if immigration will go after the retired people just because they did not stay out of Thailand for 173 days.  

 

Edited by balo
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23 minutes ago, balo said:

I have no problems to understand what you mention is a part of the Thai laws, but if you have an investment in another country , like so many retired people do who stay here during the winter months, lets say up to 6 months, I would be very surprised if immigration will go after the retired people just because they did not leave the country within 173 days.  

It wouldn't be the immigration, it would be the Revenue Department hunting you down. Pensions are often mentioned in the double taxation treatments and taxed at the source, which is all legit. In case of investments, back to gray area. Is it an investment that requires active involvement (which could be seen as work) or a passive one like owning a part of a company. Again, clear as mud and up to the whims of Thai officials.

 

It's the "remote work" that's the problem. You're supposed to get a work permit for that (also not immigration's job, it's the Ministry of Labor's backyard), which you can't do easily because you need a Thai company for a work permit and that means getting 2-4 employees and a Thai partner (unless from US) and so on. Then you would obviously pay income taxes to Thailand for any work done as per the permit. In theory it's clear cut. In practice the lack of enforcement has left people thinking maibpenrai, no need for any stinking permits or paying taxes, it's all good. Until it ain't. Up to you as the saying goes.

 

I've advocated for a freelancer visa & automatic work permit which could lead to PR for years on TVF. It would solve the problems and bring revenue, they could even limit it to overseas income only. Nothing whatsoever that I've seen gives any indication Thais are thinking about something like that. Quite the opposite, they want real tourists now, "expats" that are perpetual tourists are out of fashion.

 

EDIT: forgot one thing. On an O-visa or extension based on retirement employment is prohibited. No way to get a work permit in any case, would have to convert to one that allows employment.

Edited by DrTuner
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5 hours ago, DrTuner said:

On an O-visa or extension based on retirement employment is prohibited. No way to get a work permit in any case, would have to convert to one that allows employment.

Of course it is , I have no intentions to work for a Thai company or anything related to Thailand.

I am a retired person , a tourist with a few hobbies, one of my hobbies is to check my e-mail  / Line / Skype, if friends try to contact me or some business related questions . 

I will not switch off my internet line when I am in Thailand, that would be a very silly thing to do.   


 

 

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