We started our company in Thailand in 2006 and have been in business ever since.
When it comes to dealing with accounting and taxes in Thailand, our accountant plays a key role in our business.
If you want to start your own company in Thailand, talk to an accountant first.
They register your company, handle day-to-day accounting services, and close your company, if or when that day comes.
In this article, you’ll find out what you’ll get when using an accounting service, how much it costs each month, and how to pick the right accountant.
- 1 Summary of this Post
- 2 Why You Need an Accountant
- 3 What Services Do Accountants Offer?
- 4 Rates
- 5 Finding an Accounting Firm in Bangkok
- 6 Hiring the Right Accountant
- 7 Negotiating Services and Rates
- 8 Your Responsibilities
- 9 Now, on to You
Summary of this Post
If you want to skip reading about accounting services in Thailand and hire an ethical and professional accountant, check out Switchaya Nukham.
She is an accountant we have been using in Thailand for over ten years.
Why You Need an Accountant
If you run a business in Thailand, accountants prepare your financial statements and taxes.
Accountants in Thailand:
- have accounting degrees
- know Thai tax laws rules and regulations and corporate laws
- prepare financial statements so you can avoid incorrectly filing taxes
- preparing paperwork to incorporate your company
- audit your company each year
The Department of Business Development lists professional accountants as certified accountants per Thai regulations.
Every year you must also find an auditor to check your company’s financial statements.
Auditors will refuse to audit your company if an unqualified accountant prepared your financial statements.
What Services Do Accountants Offer?
Accountants offer many services. They keep your company compliant with corporate issues in Thailand.
They can also make the many legal procedures easier, both in the company and in your personal life.
Let’s take a closer look.
Most accountants can register companies. Give them the necessary information, and they do the paperwork for you.
Accountants can also give you general advice on corporate laws. For complicated issues, talk to a lawyer.
You can use an accountant to register your company and hire another accountant to take care of your financial statements and taxes.
But it’s easier to use the same accountant for everything.
If you want to hire an accountant that can register your company and do your accounting, get in touch with Banchee Legal House.
Accountants main job is filing taxes. Based on Thai revenue codes, your company needs to file taxes at specific times depending on your tax type.
Filing taxes is complicated because you need to calculate them correctly and file them at specific times.
For example, you need to file PP 30 and PP 36 every month. But you only need to file PND 50 in the middle of the year and PND 51 at the beginning of the year.
Depending on your business, you may need to file extra taxes. If you don’t, you can pay fines or face jail time.
If you want an accountant to file your taxes, give them your invoices and receipts and they do the rest.
And you can prepare basic accounting reports and let the accountant file taxes for you.
Corporate Tax Advice
Taxes in Thailand are complicated. Thailand has its own tax rules and regulations that you may be unfamiliar with.
For example, VAT registered companies in Thailand must give their Withholding Tax Certificate, or WHT, to companies when paying for services in Thailand.
And you have to pay for and hand in to the Revenue Department the WHT every month.
To make things worse, withholding taxes change with the services you pay for. Withholding taxes can be 2%, 3%, or 5%.
This doesn’t include personal income tax and personal property tax forms, invoicing, payroll, and other accounting processes your company deals with.
If you don’t follow these rules and regulations you could be fined, have your assets seized, or go to jail.
And if you say you were unaware of these rules and regulations, it won’t help.
They can help you avoid overpaying taxes. Because if you do overpay, it could take years to get your money back from the Revenue Department.
From time to time the Revenue Department might want to talk to you and ask you questions. And they may come to check your office.
Accountants can help you in these situations and answer questions on your behalf so you don’t give the wrong info that could get you in trouble.
You need to prove your company’s income and expenses through receipts and invoices. You can’t pay for things in cash or take cash without a paper trail.
And you need to show the Revenue Department where you got that money from and how you spent it.
You need to justify these transactions. You can’t transfer money to other people without good cause.
You must account for your income and expenses in the right way for that specific type of income or expense. And each income and expense has a unique way.
This is important to know because you must show the Revenue Department how you accounted for them.
If your accountant isn’t responsible for these services, you may have to give these accounting transactions to the Revenue Department yourself.
But your accountant should give you advice, show you examples, and make sure your transactions are correct.
When you run a company in Thailand, you make and spend money at the same time.
You can’t always see how much you make or how much you have left in your budget for future projects.
When you work with an accountant who prepares your financial statements, you see where your hard-earned money is coming from and going to each month.
Accountants also detail your cost of running a business and your income.
But accountants might not cover these services under normal accounting rates. So be sure to ask your accountant what’s covered in your accounting fees.
Accountants help you with your company’s payroll services. Among other things, payroll services mean:
- paying your employees every month
- calculating and filing personal income taxes
- paying for Social Security
- submitting pay slips and tax certificates
Some accountants even pay your employees after you approve their pay.
Social Security Services
You must register your employees in Thailand’s Social Security System.
Social Security gives employees health insurance, pensions, and unemployment benefits.
As of 2019 your employees making at least 15,000 baht need to pay 750 baht every month for Social Security.
Your company also pays 750 baht for each employee to Social Security.
Every time you hire a new employee, you must register them with Social Security. And if they leave your company, you must tell Social Security.
Accountants usually take care of everything related to Social Security.
Every year, you need to hire a licensed auditor to check your financial statements so you can hand them in to relevant government organizations.
If you prepare the statements, it’ll be hard to find an auditor. They’ll refuse to check and audit financial statements that you prepare unless you’re a Revenue Department certified accountant.
Usually accountants and auditors in Thailand work together.
Once your accountant prepares your company’s yearly financial statements, he or she sends it to an auditor. You don’t have to do anything on your end.
Some accountants offer accounting and auditing services. But accountants usually charge extra for auditing fees.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand lists over 100 licensed auditors who can help with company audits.
For certain types of businesses, you must have a license to run your company.
Common businesses that must have licenses are:
- construction companies
- food manufacturers
- recruitment agencies
- travel agencies
- importers and/or exporters
- banks and/or lenders
If you run one of these companies in Thailand an accountant helps you get a license.
Visas and Work Permits
This may sound strange, but accountants also get you Thai visas and work permits.
They might not know as much as immigration lawyers, but they could get business visas and work permits for you and your employees.
Personal Tax Consulting
You can also use your accountant as a personal tax consultant.
If they do your company’s taxes and know how much you make, they may be willing to do your personal taxes for an extra fee.
Accountant’s rates are based on three factors:
- average accounting transactions per month
- complexity of your company
- services you need
For startups with few transactions, the average rate for basic accounting services starts at 4,000 baht to 5,000 baht a month.
Accountants charge more based on the complexity of your business. This would be the case if you set up a BOI-promoted company.
BOI-promoted companies go through more procedures than other types of companies in Thailand.
Finding an Accounting Firm in Bangkok
You can find many accountants in Bangkok who work at both large and small firms, through Chambers of Commerce, or by networking.
I’ve been using Switchaya Nukhan for the last ten years. She’s a former employee of the Revenue Department. I’ve been happy with her work.
Banchee Legal House offers accounting and legal help. Depending on your needs, they may be the right choice for you.
They have a team of lawyers and accountants who take care of all corporate matters, from accounting to legal issues, all under the same roof.
If you want an accountant that works under international standards, hire an accountant from one of the Big Four firms in Thailand:
- Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
- Ernst & Young (E&Y)
- Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)
These accounting firms are the four biggest in the world. And all of them have offices in Thailand. But they’re expensive.
Chambers of Commerce
Your country’s Chambers of Commerce in Thailand might have a list of accountants.
Keep in mind that Chambers of Commerce usually recommend their member firms, so the choice they give you may be biased.
Many accountants go to networking events. If you go, you can get to know them in a casual setting and get some of your first accounting questions answered.
At networking events, you can find out what the accountant knows, their English skills, and how well they “get” you.
The last one is important because you don’t want to constantly re-explain what your business does.
Ask for Recommendations
Most people who run companies in Thailand use accountants.
Some of them are happier with their accountant than others.
If you find a business owner who’s finance and tax savvy, he or she can suggest an accountant.
Hiring the Right Accountant
You can’t use any accountant you find off the internet because most accountants don’t know all the tax laws in Thailand.
Avoid working with an accountant that knows little about the regulations for your company and unknowingly gets you in trouble.
One way to check their competence is to ask questions specific to your business.
If you want to start a software company in Thailand, ask them specific rules and regulations about this industry.
If you want to set up a BOI-promoted company in Thailand, ask BOI related question.
Ask about specific tax laws your company needs to follow or licenses your company needs.
You can still ask broad questions about registering a company in Thailand or what to do about VAT licenses.
But most accountants in Thailand know the answers to these broad questions. You want an accountant who answers your specific questions.
Negotiating Services and Rates
To avoid misunderstandings between you and your accountant, negotiate the services and rates the accountant will offer you.
Here are some accounting services you can ask your accountant to do for your company:
- Auditing your company
- Preparing monthly financial statements
- Issuing invoices
- Filing taxes
Get in writing the services the accountant guarantees to your company for the fee you agreed to.
It doesn’t need to be a contract signed by you and the accountant. It can be a simple email as well.
You can’t hire an accountant and expect them to do everything for you. Some things you need to do yourself.
Here are some of those things.
Learn Basic Accounting
As a business owner, learn how accounting in Thailand works.
Although an accountant handles most of your accounting needs, have a basic idea on:
- taxes in Thailand
- taxes your company must pay
- how to do accounting transactions
- what you can and can’t do with your company’s finances
Learning the basics prevents accounting mistakes. It’s your business and your investment. Make sure everything is right.
If your accountant gives you advice, check the accuracy of that advice.
Mistakes and misunderstandings happen. If you get incorrect advice you can run into legal problems.
Some accountants may tell you to do illegal things under certain circumstance.
This includes making fake invoices to raise your company’s expenses to lower your company’s income taxes.
Problems also happen because of language barriers. You may understand one thing, but your accountant understands something else.
This could lead your accountant to give you the wrong info or incorrect advice.
Illegal Advice could get you in trouble, so recheck the advice you get.
Recheck any and all advice on Thailand’s Revenue Department website or by getting a second opinion from another accountant.
Give Clear Details
Give your accountant clear details so they can understand and help you.
To avoid giving your accountant info they may not understand, speak slowly and use simple English.
You can also learn some Thai. If you run a business and live in Thailand, knowing Thai makes everyday life easier.
If you don’t get your point across, you may understand one thing and your accountant may understand another thing, which leads to problems.
Follow up Regularly
Accountants are busy, especially during the end and beginning of every month and tax season.
They might forget to send invoices, pay Social Security, or file monthly taxes.
If they take long to respond, they may have forgotten to get back to you.
From time to time, follow up with them. Send them a short email or give them a quick call.
Hire an Admin
As your company grows, hire an admin and let him or her help you with:
- issuing invoices;
- keeping accounting documents; and
- preparing accounting transactions for your accountant.
Admins can also handle the finer details of running a company, like renting an office, and let you focus on what you do best, which is run your business.
Now, on to You
If you want a firm that can help you with your accounting needs, check out Banchee Legal House.
Banchee Legal House is a team of ethical and professional lawyers who helps business owners like you with their accounting and legal challenges.