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skatewash

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About skatewash

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  1. I have no opinion on the truthfulness of the Road Junky story, but I do note this statement from that linked site:
  2. http://www.ird.govt.nz/international/exchange/crs/aeoi-crs/aeoi-crs.html
  3. Getting a USA credit report in thailand?

    creditkarma.com is another site that provides a free credit score.
  4. You increase your odds of being able to open an account by trying a larger branch that is used to dealing with foreigners, that is, one in areas where foreigners tend to live and/or work. The reason for this is that the likelihood of someone being able to comfortably speak English working at the bank is greater. Also, it's a lot easier to get someone to do something they already have experience doing (opening an account for a foreigner) than trying to get someone to do something they may not be very familiar with and therefore perhaps concerned about making some mistake that will reflect badly on them. If you haven't done something before, it's often just easier to say it can't be done. It's simply human nature and not too uncommon in Thailand.
  5. My suggestion is to go to any Thai bank and open a short (3-month) fixed term deposit account. Because of the nature of the account, 15% of the interest earned will be automatically withheld by the bank. At the beginning of the new year, you will be able to go to your bank and get a statement of the interest withheld. Take that statement to your local revenue office and explain that you want to reclaim the interest withheld. They will accept an application for a Thai Tax ID number from you and give you (or even fill out for you) a Thai Income Tax Return. File that income tax return by the end of March and you will receive your interest back. The reason for doing this is to give you an understandable reason for wanting to obtain a Thai Tax ID and to file a Thai Income Tax Return (i.e., to reclaim your interest withheld from the fixed term deposit). My advice is based on the assumption that you may, in fact, not have a Thai income tax liability. If you are retired and are living entirely off of investment income as long as that income is not brought into Thailand in the year it was earned then it is not subject to Thai income taxes. I'm also assuming you have a reason for wanting to file a Thai Income Tax return. Reclaiming your interest withheld from a fixed term deposit account is a common and understandable reason for obtaining a Thai Tax ID and filing a Thai Income Tax return.
  6. 90 day at Phuket immigration today

    As of 5 hours ago, the online reporting site seems to be working, as someone reported getting approval in Phuket. Ubon Joe also reports that they apparently fixed the long-standing security certificate problem. You might want to give it a try. I will be taking my shot in about two weeks. One thing to note is that in Phuket they apparently don't approve your online application when received but may wait until the actual due date to do the approval. Therefore, your application may be in pending status for as long as two weeks if you make your online application as soon as allowed.
  7. As a holder of a Thai passport surely she could take advantage of the automatic entry gates when re-entering the country, no?
  8. Five year Thai driving licence

    The screen shot posted above would seem to contradict that: no written test needed if within one year of expiration and no practical test needed if within three years of expiration. I'm on my first 5-year license acquired the day before my 1-year (they were 1-year back then, but 2-year now) temporary license expired, so I can't contribute personal experience on that.
  9. Five year Thai driving licence

    I agree that it could be considerably clearer, but the way I read it only the physical test is required when renewing a 5-year driver's license within one year of expiration. New Rules (posted above): Under Procedure, Step 3 Take Only a Physical Test (by which they mean eye test, reaction test, depth perception, etc.). It does go on to list four things: 1. Take I hour training (I think this is required.) 2. Take a physical test (required, as above.) 3. Take a written test (not required, as above.) 4. Take a practical test (not required, as above.) My reading of this is supported by the Remarks section which states that one year after expiration an applicant would additionally have to take the written test and three years after expiration an applicant would additionally have to take the practical test. I read this to support that for a normal 5-year driver's license applicant (within one year of expiration) only the physical test is required.
  10. At which immigration office are fixed term deposit accounts no longer accepted? Krungsri's Mee Tae Dai account currently pays 1.3% interest, no term, and no 15% interest withholding. Also, not a promotion, but standard product at Krungsri. That is, not intended to be discontinued at some point when the promotion ends.
  11. This suggestion will not get you the highest interest rate, but I offer it for your consideration nonetheless as it does have some compensating benefits: Krungsri's Mee Tae Dai Savings account is currently paying 1.3%. This is classed as a regular savings account, but it does come with the restriction that you can make only two fee-free withdrawals from the account per month (after which you will be assessed a 50 Baht fee per withdrawal). The rate is variable and can go up and down. For instance, it was around 2.0% a few years ago. You earn interest calculated daily, paid monthly, and therefore you never lose any interest due on money that is withdrawn from the account, unlike fixed term deposits. For me, this is a good account that I use to fulfill my 800,000 Baht Retirement Extension requirement. I like two aspects of this account in particular. First, since it is classed as a regular savings account (versus a fixed term deposit account) there is no withholding of interest (at 15%) required until your interest earned in any tax year exceeds 20,000 Baht. So, no futzing about with reclaiming tax withheld. Second, I never have to worry about fixed term deposits maturing. I never have to deal with going to the bank and moving the money from one fixed term deposit to the next fixed term deposit. I never have to deal with possibly unpleasant consequences of having a fixed term deposit account mature during my three-month seasoning period. Bangkok bank used to automatically continue a fixed term deposit account maturing from a higher promotional interest rate into their standard three-month fixed term deposit at a lower interest rate. If you wanted to switch to another higher promotional interest rate it resulted in a new account being created with could complicate your life with regard to the immigration office if it happened during your three-month seasoning period. So, no futzing about with terms. Because my interest earned within the tax year is below the 20,000 Baht threshold every year I do not need to file a tax return with the Thai Revenue Office to reclaim any interest withheld, because none is ever withheld to begin with. I have in the past acquired a Thai Tax ID and have reclaimed my withheld interest so I'm not claiming it is rocket science to do so. However, I am able to discern the difference between having to do something and not having to do something and generally, I prefer the not having to do something course.
  12. Yes, I neglected to mention that it does have an effect on your 90-day reporting date as the retirement extension approval involves also getting a new 90-day reporting date automatically. I had a new 90-day receipt stapled to my passport when I picked up my passport from getting the new retirement extension. I could see why some would like to minimize the number of 90-day reports they need to do if the timing allows. However, if the online 90-day report is back to being operational it's so easy it doesn't really matter to me that I lose some of my previous 90-day reporting allowance by getting my retirement extension one month early. If you are not able to use the online facility or it goes down again, the timing of your next 90-day report might influence when you want to go for your retirement extension.
  13. No, if that were the case I would have said the embassy income letter, rather than the bank letter (verifying your account and balance as of a certain date). I do try to be precise in what I am saying, but probably do not always live up to that ideal. As for the desired attitude: there's probably a continuum between sniveling and arrogant. Here's the way I think about it: if I were an immigration officer how would I like the applicant to behave? Requires a little imagination, perhaps. What works for me, might not work for you. I do not find it necessary to educate the immigration officer on how he could do his job to better suit me. I aim for compliant, but well short of obsequiousness. If he asks for something that is not on the required documentation sheet, I guess I could try to have a discussion with him about how that's not a good thing to ask for something that's not already on the sheet. But often times I find it's easier to just provide what he wants. Your mileage may vary ;-) I think rather than the "copy of passport certified" being intentionally misleading it might rather be due to the fact that English is not the native language of most of the immigration officers. I admit it would be clearer to have said that the applicant must sign each page of copies they provide to immigration (attesting that those are true copies). However, on those occasions when I have written things in Thai I wonder how close I came to the meaning I was trying to convey. Probably not very often, is my guess. Here are a few additional thoughts about the retirement extension experience at the Phuket Immigration Office: Go early. I don't mean early in the day (necessarily) but as early as you can before your permission to stay expires. For Phuket, this is 30 days before your permission to stay expires. The reason for doing this is that it allows you the maximum time (up to 30 days) to address any problems you may have with your application. Going so far in advance also allows you to be selective about which day of the week you decide to visit immigration. You never want to go to immigration the day before or after a public holiday for which the immigration office was closed. Such days tend to be very busy, indeed. I recommend Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. I avoid Mondays and Fridays because these are the busier days at the office. Fridays are also not optimal because when you make your application on a Friday you have to wait until Monday to pick up your passport with your retirement extension in it. I don't like to have my passport out of my possession for any longer than necessary. In fact, the only reason I can imagine not going 30 days early is if you need the time to further season your bank deposit (the 2 or three months it must remain at 800,000 Baht or greater before you can make your application). It cost you nothing, you get the very same number of days added to your permission to stay as you would if you went on the last possible day. You don't shorten your extension to stay in any way when you apply for it early. In fact, because I apply 30 days early I like to think that I get a 13-month extension rather than just a 12-month one ;-) When you arrive at immigration go directly to room 103. You do not need a queue number to make your application, so you do not need to speak to an immigration volunteer first. The immigration volunteers do a creditable job of helping the inexperienced, making sure they have the correct documentation. But for people doing a retirement extension (especially if it's not their first one) they should have, in my opinion, a pretty firm grasp on what is required. Outside of room 103 there is sometimes (often) an immigration officer talking with someone at the forms table. I wait for him to finish and then say hello and indicate that I have documents I would like to give to him. Usually, he accepts the documents and depending on the day gives me a form to fill out (this is the form acknowledging the penalties for overstay and the prohibition against working, etc.). I suppress any urge to tell him that the form he is asking me to sign is not on the required documentation list and just sign the form. Then I sit patiently outside unless directed to sit patiently inside and wait for them to get around to my turn. My experience is that I don't have to wait very long. Another thought. Their lunch hour is 12 noon to 1 PM. I'm guessing you would not be doing yourself a great favor if you tried to get the immigration officers to do something for you at say 11:58 AM. Just a theory of mine I've yet to test. After your visit has gone as expected (accepting application and additional documentation and any additional forms that arise) they will take your picture (here I manage to restrain myself from asking why they are taking my picture, when I had to supply passport photos with my application) and then you are given a receipt for your passport and told what time you can pick it up the following day. I'm not sure at the moment but it's either 1 or 2 PM if I remember correctly. Come back the next day and pick up your passport (with new extension) as early as possible, but not earlier than they told you. Check out that you were given the right permission to stay date. If you are getting your (single or multiple) re-entry permit, go to the copy shop on the premises and make a copy of your new extension. Stand in line for the immigration volunteers on the ground floor to check your paperwork and give you a queue ticket. Again, this process doesn't seem to take very long, but it can depend on the volume of people in the office. Then, Bob's your uncle, you're done for another year (as long as the online 90-day report facility is still working, and you don't need a certificate of residence, you needn't visit immigration for a whole year).
  14. I put all my important motorcycle papers (green registration book, mandatory government insurance, owner's manual, etc.) into a green Big C plastic shopping bag. Emptied the trash can in my apartment (coincidentally, also a green Big C plastic bag), left my apartment carrying the two bags. On my way to my motorcycle, I passed the trash can and without even thinking put both bags in the trash. Set off on my motorcycle and at some point in the day, it registered what I had done. By the time I got back the trash had been collected. Luckily, I had previously scanned all the pages of my green registration book. Printed it out and went to the Phuket Land Transport Office and for a very nominal fee, I was able to get the green book re-issued. I told them I had lost the previous green book and did not need to show a police report. I knew I was in the computer system as having purchased the mandatory government insurance for my motorcycle, but I wanted to have the receipt that they give you so I could carry it in the motorcycle and produce in the event of an accident. I could have tried to get the government insurance people at the LTO to re-issue me the receipt, but given how inexpensive the motorcycle insurance is I just repurchased it for another year (few hundred Baht). That seemed easier to me than asking for them to reissue me a new receipt (which they probably would have done had I asked). I believe mandatory car insurance is more expensive so probably worth your while to ask them to reissue the certificate. Expect to pay a nominal fee for this service. Assuming you don't have a copy of your car registration book, I think you will still be OK if you can get a picture of your road tax disc on your car. Take that to your local Land Transport Office and from the information on that disc, they should be able to pull up your registration in the computer and reissue you your blue book. It's not a bad idea to report the loss at the local police station. I did so on an unrelated matter and the nice police officer issued me a report in a matter of minutes and there was no charge. I'm just not sure you actually need it in this case. I didn't to replace my green registration book. So, the two lessons I learned from this experience is that it's a lot easier (and cheaper) to replace a document like a green book than I thought it would be, and never put anything valuable in the same kind of bag you use to dispose of your trash ;-) I do think it's a good idea to keep copies of important documents, whether that is scanned or paper copies, or both. I do so for all my important documents: condo documents (chanote, bill of sale, blue tabian bahn), yellow book, passport, bank books, debit ATM cards, etc.
  15. If you are relying on any bank deposit to meet the requirements then it is my understanding that you need both the bank letter and a bank statement, each issued by the bank containing the appropriate signatures and stamps. That is, you need them if you are using the bank-only method or the combination method. If you are relying simply on having >= 65,000 Baht income (certified by your Embassy letter) then you do not need to have either the bank letter or a bank statement. However, it is within the purview of the immigration officer to ask questions about how you support yourself while living in Thailand. For that reason, I take a lot of documentation with me when I go for my retirement extension. These things seem obvious to me but maybe not everyone sees it the same way. I take with me: Bank book and ATM card of the savings account I use to satisfy the 800,000 Baht requirement. This bank account is a Mee Tae Dai savings account at Krungsri (which I recommend for this purpose). This account shows very little activity. Bank book and ATM card of the savings account I maintain at Bangkok Bank. This bank book shows FET (the Bangkok Bank code for Foreign Exchange Transactions) of money coming into Thailand. It also shows weekly or so withdrawals using the ATM card. This shows the money I live on and the FET entries show that this money comes from outside Thailand. My chanote and Tabian bahn (blue) for my condo. My house registration Tabian bahn (yellow) to show where I live. A hand-drawn map to my condo. (I heard this was a requirement at some immigration offices.) Pictures of me standing in front of my condo development. This is in addition to the picture of me standing in front of my condo unit (which shows the address number). I bring my current CAT internet bills, and Provincial Electric Authority (PEA) electricity bills that show me receiving mail at my condo unit address. None of these extra things are required as far as I know. I don't show any of them unless I'm asked. I bring them with me because it's easy to do so and if I were asked to show evidence of how I am supporting myself in Thailand they could very well help me to do so. I have only rarely had to actually use any of these things, but I feel much better having them with me. They serve me much better by coming with me to immigration than sitting a home. One time I was asked to provide copies of my 800,000 Baht bank account (yes, despite having the required certified bank letter and bank statement). I smiled and pulled out the copies I had out of my backpack, signed them in front of the officer and handed them over. Problem solved. Another time I was sent to the local copy shop to make copies of something, but I don't at this time remember what it was. Again, took whatever it was he wanted out of my backpack, went and made copies. Problem solved. I never kick up any sort of a fuss at what I'm asked to provide, even if in some cases it doesn't seem to make any sense. Especially if it's something I can do easily with what I've brought with me. The way I look at it is this: it's my job to make his job of giving me my extension as easy as possible. If this means doing something extra (not specifically required) to give him a warm fuzzy feeling that I'm not illegally working in Thailand, I do it. My retirement extensions tend to be very quick and actually pleasant. I know I'm lucky in this respect, and that sometimes things go wrong that are completely out of your control. But I also believe that to a certain extent you make your own luck ;-)
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