Jump to content
Thai Visa Forum

Australian bank demands Thai Tax ID (TIN)


Recommended Posts

I'm an Australian and have been living in Thailand for 7 years as a retiree.  When I retired to Thailand I informed my Australian bank, Westpac, that I was no longer an Australian tax resident as I had moved to this country and intended to live here. I duly updated my internet banking profile declaring myself a tax resident of Thailand and changed my residential address to a Thai address.  Since then I've been paying withholding tax on interest earned in my bank account in Australia as a non-resident.
This month, out of the blue, I got an email from Westpac CRS department asking me about my tax residency. As if they don't see this information in my banking profile! They asked me to complete a tax residency declaration form.  The form gave 3 options in case the account holder is a foreign tax resident but does not have TIN: 1) the country does not issue TINs, 2) individual is under age, 3) TIN pending by the country's tax authority.  I emailed them back a completed form in which I ticked the 3rd option. In the email to them I explained that as I spend more than 180 days in Thailand every year I'm deemed to be a local tax resident. Also that TINs are normally issued only to those foreigners who work here. That I do not work here, live off my savings, and do not need to submit tax reports.  I also mentioned to them that other Australian banks, like ANZ, provide another option, more appropriate to my situation, on their CRS form, which is "The country does not required collection of a TIN".  I knew that because my relative with ANZ Bank account had to complete one last year.  I wrote to my bank that it is possible to request a TIN but this is not a common practice for the local tax office to provide TINs to all foreign retirees.
I've read many posts on thaivisa forums about Thai TINs and got one link to official CRS Guidelines. They state that it is not necessary to require TINs from foreign resident account holders when such TINs are not obligatory in the country of tax residency. I included that link in my email to my bank and added that Thailand actually has not yet implemented CRS.
My bank's CRS people wrote back, apparently ignoring the form I emailed them, and asked me to call them. I did that and a CRS guy told me that since I did not actually pay tax in Thailand I could not be considered a tax resident here.  I politely pointed out to him that many pensioners on age pension in Australia do not pay tax but they are still tax residents in Australia.  The guy told me that according to his information tax residents of Thailand have to have 13 digit IDs and asked me if I had one. He also threatened me with account restrictions if I don't provide that information. I had to explain that this is the case only with Thai citizens and foreigners do not get those Thai IDs.  He ended the conversation telling me that he would brief his superiors about our discussion and they will decide what to do with me.
I will appreciate comments on my situation, especially in relation to the following issues:
1)- can my bank indeed freeze my account and deprive me of my hard earned life savings just because I cannot provide a Thai TIN?
2)- why an Australian bank ignores CRS guidelines and still demands TIN from a country that does not require TINs?
3)- if my account is restricted, whatever this may mean, can I simply request to close it and move my money elsewhere?
4)- while my bank's CRS is considering my situation should I move all money from that account to another bank the first thing on Mon morning? Or will this look suspicious?
5)- what actions can I take to get my money back if the bank freezes the account? Sue the bank?
6) - Why these CRS people do not give any timeline and details of possible actions in advance to the account holder? Why such  a sudden bombing campaign with non-stop requests?
7) I recently moved half of my Westpac account balance to another Australian bank where I opened a share trading account.   Could this be a possible reason for their sudden interest in me?
And finally 8): why a person has to be a tax resident of a country? Plenty of us travel all the time and may not actually qualify to be a tax resident of any country. What the world has come to if such a lifestyle is no longer considered legal?
 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cannot answer for Australia, but in the UK your UK pension and other UK income is is subject to UK taxes irrespective of where you live, there is no change made for residing in Thailand or having a Tax ID in Thailand, which by the way I do have as I used to work here.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sonjai said:

When I retired to Thailand I informed my Australian bank, Westpac, that I was no longer an Australian tax resident as I had moved to this country and intended to live here.

 

I'm not Australian, but I am quite sure that's where you went wrong.  

 

You post is directed very much at the bank/s, but all they do is pass on the information you give them to the tax department, and the tax money.  

 

Whilst you may be living in Thailand and retired, you have income / assets in Australia that will now be taxed at non resident rates, and that is high.   

 

Unless you want to spend 180 days in Australia per year, in order to be deemed an Australian resident, I suggest you look at getting your income / income earning assets out of Australia.  Singapore is a good option in the region.

 

Move everything offshore and then there is nothing for the Australian tax department to actually tax, regardless of where you chose to reside in the world.  

 

I am not sure where this leaves you with the Australian health care system, but obviously you remain an Australian citizen.    

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/30/2021 at 10:28 PM, sonjai said:

1)- can my bank indeed freeze my account and deprive me of my hard earned life savings just because I cannot provide a Thai TIN?

Theoretically yes but you wouldn't be deprived of it forever. They would probably just suggest it was money laundering or tax avoidance.......

On 4/30/2021 at 10:28 PM, sonjai said:

2)- why an Australian bank ignores CRS guidelines and still demands TIN from a country that does not require TINs?

Because that is what the jobsworth(s) decided for that bank and the minion you spoke to apparently has no leeway/initiative to accept anything else.

On 4/30/2021 at 10:28 PM, sonjai said:

And finally 8): why a person has to be a tax resident of a country? Plenty of us travel all the time and may not actually qualify to be a tax resident of any country. What the world has come to if such a lifestyle is no longer considered legal?

Unfortunately due to international tax evasion on a huge scale governments put in place CRS and other stuff and banks are taking the brunt of it in terms of knowing their customers etc......and invariably has more impact on innocent smaller players rather than the targets of the legislation.

 

Personally depends on how much you want to keep the account. You could wait and see what he comes back with (you may be pleasantly surprised....or not....) or if you are not bothered just transfer out to another account.  

 

I have had to go through this argument a couple of times in the last few years with an offshore bank.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/30/2021 at 10:28 PM, sonjai said:

And finally 8): why a person has to be a tax resident of a country? Plenty of us travel all the time and may not actually qualify to be a tax resident of any country. What the world has come to if such a lifestyle is no longer considered legal?

 

Why do you think crypto currency will be attractive for the next generation? No central banks and no borders.   

  • Like 2
  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a long stay visa for Thailand, obtaining a TIN is simple and will take about 15 minutes at your local tax office. 

 

And yes, it is possible to be not resident anywhere for tax purposes but you will need to be careful with your record keeping...I did that for three years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As has been mentioned twice, go get a Thai tax ID from your local Thai Treasury office.  Easy and fast.  Like others, I obtained one years ago just to be able to claim back the interest withheld on some bank accounts.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

For  non residents of Australian birth,   tax on   bank interest is   paid at 10%.     If  you  hold Australian  owned company shares, which issue a dividend,  you cannot claim  the  franking credits paid on those,   as the company paid    them as company tax, which is 30%.   Your age pension is tax free.   and the dividends paid on the shares  are  tax free, as you  forfeited the  franking credits (which the company paid  at the stated 30%  company tax rate  for you.)  You have to notify your bank you are  non resident and complete   appropriate forms  with them.     For  your franking credits,  you   simply  omit    to  claim them back on  your tax return......Until such time as you   cease to have to complete one,,,,usually  when  you   only have  age pension  and  share dividend income., below a certain level.. This advice  was given to me direct from the  Australian Tax Office  and  my bank.

  • Like 1
  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just go to your local Thai tax office and apply for the TIN. It takes you 10 minutes.

Problem solved!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to agree with Advocate - it is the ATO!!

 

This is really annoying <deleted>, which I went through last year with CitiBank Australia, but not my other Australian bank.  Four sets of written communications and 2 telephone calls did not resolve the problem.  In the end, changing my postal address back to Australia seems to have solved the problem.

 

As part of the process, to please the Australian bureaucrats, I went to my local Thai tax office to apply for a TIN.  Provided my passport.  "You have Non-Imm O-A visa, you cannot get one".  "Are you working in Thailand?", "No", "You cannot get TIN".  "Do you have any income in Thailand" "Yes, only Thai bank interest". "No, you cannot get TIN".  This basic exchange happened with 4 different tax officials, at 2 different offices.  I gave up.

 

 

  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You're not alone. My German bank is also constantly reminding me to provide my foreign TIN. I didn't provide one which resulted in the bank deducting capital gains taxes from interest earned on my accounts. 

 

I'm now a "Steuerausländer" (non-resident taxpayer). Once or twice a year the bank checks if I'm still eligible for that status or if I'm back in Germany. They probably have a department dedicated to do those checks exclusively lol.

Edited by mvdf
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Advocate said:

It is not the bank that is causing this conflict, it is the ATO. You have been targeted by the ATO and your claim of being a non-resident for tax purposes is invalid according to ATO regulations and guidelines because you have assets in Australia and probably rely on subsidised mmedical servicecs in Australia.

 

The ATO rules are that you cannot be a non-resident if you have assets or derive a benefit from Australia. Medical services are such a benefit.

 

The ATO evidently wants you to ay taxes and is using the bank to get to you. The bank is being oppressed by the ATO and they are passing the oppression to you.

I have assets in Australia and derive benefits from them. I think the difference is I declare the benefits and lodge a tax return in Aus each year via my accountants. I am a non resident for tax purposes and have been for the last 27 years and I get taxed as such i.e. no free threshold when the return is processed.  That stops when I spend more that 180 days in a financial year is Aus. and become a resident again.  

  • Thanks 1
  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, contact Wespac directly, and ask them if they have sent this requirement. it could be a phishing scam..

 

  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, JimHuaHin said:

I tend to agree with Advocate - it is the ATO!!

 

This is really annoying <deleted>, which I went through last year with CitiBank Australia, but not my other Australian bank.  Four sets of written communications and 2 telephone calls did not resolve the problem.  In the end, changing my postal address back to Australia seems to have solved the problem.

 

As part of the process, to please the Australian bureaucrats, I went to my local Thai tax office to apply for a TIN.  Provided my passport.  "You have Non-Imm O-A visa, you cannot get one".  "Are you working in Thailand?", "No", "You cannot get TIN".  "Do you have any income in Thailand" "Yes, only Thai bank interest". "No, you cannot get TIN".  This basic exchange happened with 4 different tax officials, at 2 different offices.  I gave up.

 

 

and all 4 officials and both offices were wrong in saying that. I had no trouble obtaining a TIN. I've been lodging a tax return here every year for the past 6 financial years The only income I've earned was interest on my bank account and I've received a full refund of the 15% tax deducted each year. 

 

Perhaps yo should try again and take the documentation from your bank showing the interest paid and the tax deducted, especially if the total interest is less than 20k baht. Under Thai tax law you are entitled, even as a foreigner, to a full refund of the tax deducted.

Edited by TigerandDog
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, JimHuaHin said:

I tend to agree with Advocate - it is the ATO!!

 

This is really annoying <deleted>, which I went through last year with CitiBank Australia, but not my other Australian bank.  Four sets of written communications and 2 telephone calls did not resolve the problem.  In the end, changing my postal address back to Australia seems to have solved the problem.

 

As part of the process, to please the Australian bureaucrats, I went to my local Thai tax office to apply for a TIN.  Provided my passport.  "You have Non-Imm O-A visa, you cannot get one".  "Are you working in Thailand?", "No", "You cannot get TIN".  "Do you have any income in Thailand" "Yes, only Thai bank interest". "No, you cannot get TIN".  This basic exchange happened with 4 different tax officials, at 2 different offices.  I gave up.

 

 

In Pattaya it is easy to get a TIN. No questions...just fill out the form and give your passport and a certificate of residence.

Edited by andre47
addition
Link to post
Share on other sites

Many of the answers supplied are, obviously well meaning, but, at least in part, wrong.

Try the TIN.

Look at divorcing yourself from the Australian banking system if possible.

Open a share trading account elsewhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a form turn up from Citibank Australia requesting the same information after I changed my residential address to my Thai home address. Remember the form was confusing but there was an option to tick Other and provide a text reason. Did that and returned the form by courier. Never heard back. Keep little money in that account and can still use it through online banking.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, BoganInParasite said:

Had a form turn up from Citibank Australia requesting the same information after I changed my residential address to my Thai home address. Remember the form was confusing but there was an option to tick Other and provide a text reason. Did that and returned the form by courier. Never heard back. Keep little money in that account and can still use it through online banking.

Yes, exactly the same here.

 

One point that noone has mentioned is that there is a no-double-taxation agreement between Oz & Thailand (as with many other countries). If, like me, you pay tax in Oz on your Oz income, then there's nothing to do related to that here in Thailand.

 

For someone like me living (mostly) off his superannuation, the embuggerance of becoming a non-resident for tax purposes is that you pay 30% tax on your whole Oz income.

  • Like 1
  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You should complete the Tax Residency form as requested. If you have funds in a Thai Bank send Westpac a copy of your bank book which will show the interest earned and tax deducted. Tell them that you only nee a Tax Number in Thailand if you have business or are importing or exporting goods. I f they do not accept this give the website for Thai Finance department and they can check themselves. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Advocate said:

The ATO rules are that you cannot be a non-resident if you have assets or derive a benefit from Australia. Medical services are such a benefit.

Then why do they ask whether you are a resident for tax purposes on your tax return. You can be a non resident and you will be taxed on everything you earn in Australia without the tax threshold.

Edited by GreasyFingers
correction
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/30/2021 at 4:28 PM, sonjai said:

And finally 8): why a person has to be a tax resident of a country? Plenty of us travel all the time and may not actually qualify to be a tax resident of any country. What the world has come to if such a lifestyle is no longer considered legal?


You are tax livestock. You are allowed to escape your farm, but only if you will now belong to another farm.

Most governments no longer tolerate the excuse that you are now resident in a zero-tax juristiction but, so far, will accept it if you are liable to pay some money somewhere. Thailand is a pretty good option because it is reasonably reputable and, yet, low-tax.

Everything may change post-Covid. The early signs are that Western governments will coordinate a significant tightening of the global system in an attempt to pay back some of the trillions they have blown on the pandemic overreaction. This has been more expensive than any war.

Someone above mentioned crypto. While it is not a solution to your immediate problem, it might be worth looking into after you get all this stuff sorted out. There is a something to be said for placing at least some of your capital, even just a few hundred dollars emergency fund, beyond the reach of the arbitrary, ever-changing rules of banks and and the inflationary money-printing of governments. As this year plays out, and the true costs of the pandemic become clearer, tens of millions of people will be rushing into crypto.

 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Poet said:


You are tax livestock. You are allowed to escape your farm, but only if you will now belong to another farm.

Most governments no longer tolerate the excuse that you are now resident in a zero-tax juristiction but, so far, will accept it if you are liable to pay some money somewhere. Thailand is a pretty good option because it is reasonably reputable and, yet, low-tax.

Everything may change post-Covid. The early signs are that Western governments will coordinate a significant tightening of the global system in an attempt to pay back some of the trillions they have blown on the pandemic overreaction. This has been more expensive than any war.

Someone above mentioned crypto. While it is not a solution to your immediate problem, it might be worth looking into after you get all this stuff sorted out. There is a something to be said for placing at least some of your capital, even just a few hundred dollars emergency fund, beyond the reach of the arbitrary, ever-changing rules of banks and and the inflationary money-printing of governments. As this year plays out, and the true costs of the pandemic become clearer, tens of millions of people will be rushing into crypto.

 

That is simply not true. The UK government for example allows a person to easily declare they are no longer UK tax resident as long as they meet simple criteria. Income that arises in the UK will always be taxable there under normal circumstances but income that arises elsewhere is of no interest. What a person does after they declare themselves non-resident for tax, is of no interest to the UK HMRC.

Edited by Brierley
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Brierley said:

That is simply not true. The UK government allows a person to easily declare they are no longer UK tax resident as long as they meet simple criteria. Income that arises in the UK will always be taxable there under normal circumstances but income that arises elsewhere is of no interest. What a person does after they declare themselves non-resident for tax, is of no interest to the UK HMRC.


I have actually done this. Your declaration is merely your declaration.

Should the UK government decide, at any point, that they have a claim on your wealth, they will seize whatever they can get their hands on (bank account, property, vehicles etc) and leave it to you to contest that action.

At that point, your declaration does nothing more than helpfully note the date from which you claim you were no longer obliged to pay UK taxes. You now have to prove it.

In the vast majority of cases, they do not pursue a citizen's wealth because there is little or no wealth to pursue. It only becomes a live issue, for the specific department that pursues these cases, once it becomes apparent that you actually have wealth worth pursuing.

They can combine a number of factors to argue that your "true residence" is still in the UK: you spend a certain amount of time in the UK, you have property in the UK, you have business interests in the UK and, this one is key to the current subject, you are not paying significant taxes in some other juristiction in which you are genuinely living. Just to be clear, they can mix or match: UK citizens have been done for taxes even when they have not stepped foot in the UK for decades.

HMRC know that, unless you are willing and able to pay a fortune to specialist tax laywers to actually take them to court, you will end up having to either pay whatever crazy estimate they came  up with or, if you are lucky, come to a slightly more realistic settlement. If you do go to court, you have to fight an uphill battle within a narrative that is already painting you as an evil tax dodger.

Again, I meet plenty of expats who have made these declarations and never again been bothered, but I am aware of others who got a rude awakening when they had a sudden windfall, such as an inheritance. They were not as free n' clear as they thought.

Also worth noting that many other countries (and I was talking about countries generally, I did not mention the UK at all) are far more aggressive. My sense is that there may now be a concerted movement towards establishing the US model, of taxation tied to citizenship, as the default for most advanced nations.

 

Edited by Poet
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell them you don't have one, and can't get one due to your visa conditions. If they don't accept that, close the account.

Do you have trusted relatives or friends in Australia? You can direct the funds through them, IMO the ATO can do nothing about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Poet said:


I have actually done this. Your declaration is merely your declaration.

Should the UK government decide, at any point, that they have a claim on your wealth, they will seize whatever they can get their hands on (bank account, property, vehicles etc) and leave it to you to contest that action.

At that point, your declaration does nothing more than helpfully note the date from which you claim you were no longer obliged to pay UK taxes. You now have to prove it.

In the vast majority of cases, they do not pursue a citizen's wealth because there is little or no wealth to pursue. It only becomes a live issue, for the specific department that pursues these cases, once it becomes apparent that you actually have wealth worth pursuing.

They can combine a number of factors to argue that your "true residence" is still in the UK: you spend a certain amount of time in the UK, you have property in the UK, you have business interests in the UK and, this one is key to the current subject, you are not paying significant taxes in some other juristiction in which you are genuinely living. Just to be clear, they can mix or match: UK citizens have been done for taxes even when they have not stepped foot in the UK for decades.

HMRC know that, unless you are willing and able to pay a fortune to specialist tax laywers to actually take them to court, you will end up having to either pay whatever crazy estimate they came  up with or, if you are lucky, come to a slightly more realistic settlement. If you do go to court, you have to fight an uphill battle within a narrative that is already painting you as an evil tax dodger.

Again, I meet plenty of expats who have made these declarations and never again been bothered, but I am aware of others who got a rude awakening when they had a sudden windfall, such as an inheritance. They were not as free n' clear as they thought.

Also worth noting that many other countries (and I was talking about countries generally, I did not mention the UK at all) are far more aggressive. My sense is that there may now be a concerted movement towards establishing the US model, of taxation tied to citizenship, as the default for most advanced nations.

 

"Should the UK government decide, at any point, that they have a claim on your wealth, they will seize whatever they can get their hands on (bank account, property, vehicles etc) and leave it to you to contest that action".

 

Yes of course. If you have lied in the past about your income and/or not paid taxes as you should, of course they will lay claim to any assets they can find. But if you have conducted your affairs according to the rules, there is little risk of being labelled a tax evader or law breaker and being treated accordingly.

 

But we weren't discussing those things, the challenge is against your statement that said, "You are tax livestock. You are allowed to escape your farm, but only if you will now belong to another farm", that is not true.

Edited by Brierley
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Two separate issues being discussed on this thread: residency for tax purposes (which has been an issue for decades) and the more recent requirement for banks to report the earnings of non-resident taxpayers to their country of tax residency via the Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

 

Every country has its own rules that determine who is tax resident and who is not.  Some rules are more straightforward than others.  Thailand uses the quite simple ">180 days in Thailand in a calendar year" rule.  Australia, the US, the UK and most Western jurisdictions have more complex sets of rules intended to "catch" people who they believe are gaming the system to establish non-resident status.  In most jurisdictions, tax residents are taxed on their world-wide income whereas non-residents are taxed only on their locally-sourced income, so it can be advantageous to become a non-resident of a high tax regime like Australia.

 

Your Australian bank needs to know whether or not you are a tax resident of Australia because that determines the level of tax they will withhold from your earnings (e.g. interest on your accounts).  If you are a tax resident and have provided them with an ATO tax file number, they don't withhold.  If you are tax resident and have not provided a tax file number, they will withhold at the highest marginal rate of personal income tax + Medicare levy.  If you are non-resident, they will withhold at the rate specified in the dual taxation agreement with the country where you are resident (for Thailand, that's 15%).  This has been the case for decades and all the Australian banks I have dealt with (including Citibank) have always accepted a simple letter stating "I don't live in Australia anymore, I live in ________, please start withholding non-resident tax at the rate appropriate for that country."

 

Then along came CRS.  Governments (mostly ones in the OECD with high levels of personal income taxation) became increasingly concerned with tax evasion and offshore tax havens.  One could, for example, live in Australia and keep one's fortune in another country and not declare the earnings to the ATO.  As long as you didn't make it obvious (e.g. by sending large telegraphic transfers from Jersey to your account at Westpac), it was unlikely that the ATO would stumble across your hidden earnings.  Very illegal, quite unethical but millions of people around the world did it.  With the introduction of the CRS, member countries agree to supply information about the earnings of non-resident account holders back to their countries of tax residency.  They do that by mandating that banks collect tax residency and tax identification information from all of their non-resident account holders.  And that's why we have all been swamped with forms from our banks around the world asking for this information.

 

In my experience, the big difference has been that in the first case (tax residency), banks have been happy to accept my word that I am not residing in Australia and have never asked for any proof other than an overseas address for the account.  The latter case (CRS) has been a bit more intimidating: give us this information, give us some proof and if you don't, we will close your account.  Understandable, I suppose, given that banks can be heavily fined for not complying with the CRS rules.  But as others have stated, it is well within the realm of possibility that you can be a tax resident somewhere but not have any tax liability in that country (you legitimately have no taxable income) and therefore not have a Taxpayer Identification Number.  No doubt Citibank was wrong when they told the OP they he must have a TIN in Thailand if he lives here but that won't stop them from restricting/closing his account if he doesn't satisfy their incorrect interpretation of the rules.  AFAIK, there is no avenue of appeal outside the bank other than the Federal Ombudsman and that will take years.  As others have suggested, the OP should visit local tax offices until he finds one that will give him a TIN.

 

My most recent interaction with Citibank Australia has been on a third issue: anti-money laundering/anti-terrorism compliance.  Despite having provided multiple forms of government-issued photo ID when I opened the account 28 years ago, Citibank now wanted me to prove once again who I was.  A confusing requirement with "copies of two or more documents from Table A" or "copies of one document from Table A and two from Table B".  Most documents in Table B were the type that are normally only held by Australian residents (Oz driver's license, Medicare card, etc.).  And, of course, the copies had to be certified by someone deemed suitable to Citibank: notary public, Australian (not foreign) lawyer, Australian judge, etc. etc. etc.  About the only option for me in Thailand was to have the copies certified at the Australian Embassy.  A$150 for two pages.  All of this or Citibank would "restrict my account" (that means freeze all transactions).  To add insult to injury, a week after I sent all the paperwork back to Citibank, they announced that the bulk of their Asia-Pacific retail banking network, including both Citibank Thailand and Citigroup Australia, is up for sale.  No doubt whomever acquires their Australian operations will write to me to demand all of this information all over again.

 

To-date, Thailand has not signed up to the CRS and Thai banks don't need to collect this information about their non-resident account holders.

 

Edited by KamnanT
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Brierley said:

If you have lied in the past about your income and/or not paid taxes as you should, of course they will lay claim to any assets they can find


That is not, at all, what I said. You claim that a citizen's declaration somehow switches off any claim that HMRC might have to their future earnings. I am telling you that this is not the case, despite being a common misconception.
 

42 minutes ago, Brierley said:

the challenge is against your statement that said, "You are tax livestock. You are allowed to escape your farm, but only if you will now belong to another farm", that is not true.


You keep telling me that what I am saying is not true but then mischaracterize what I am saying.

This forum thread is about an Australian bank requesting a Thai tax number because the Australian government want some checkable verification that their non-resident accounts are legitimate. I pointed out that this is an example of a government needing to see that, if you are not paying taxes to them, you are at least paying taxes to some other reputable tax juristiction.

You are, absolutely, tax livestock in the sense that you owe your government taxes until you can prove that you don't. Probably the most important part of that proof is that you are now liable to pay taxes somewhere else.

Yes, you were allowed to leave the UK with minimal fuss, but your declaration has no legal weight if, for example, you win $3m in the American Powerball lottery, or you bought a few Bitcoins last year, and they decide that you have actual meat that can be picked off your bones.

A junior clerk sits down and runs a few searches to see if you retained any meaningful ties to the UK. The first search would be your bank accounts to see if, for example, you had a Revolut account that you were unable to make non-resident. That provides weight to the argument that the UK remains your financial centre of gravity. The next search would be to see if you are, in fact, registered to pay tax in what they consider to be legitimate juristication.

All the other factors - is there still a car registered in your name, how often do you come back, are you still named as a director of any UK companies, do you have clients or investments in the UK etc - are all far less important that the reality that, if you are not paying taxes somewhere else, you automatically still belong to them. That is their ultimate green light because you simply won't be able to mount a defense in court.

From their perspective, they never officially relinquish their claim to you, regardless of what you declare, or how straight you play it thereafter. Right up until the day you die, they retain the right to investigate the possibilities of shaking a few more quid out of you. The only reason they do not bother in most cases is that you only get onto their radar if you have enough money to make it worth their while. Without knowing it, you may have already been subject to an exploratory investigation, based simply on money passing through your UK bank accounts. That they chose not to proceed merely means that it was not worth their while.

I am amazed that I have to explain and even defend the truth of something that most experienced expats are painfully aware of and discuss frequently.

 

Edited by Poet
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...