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101 guide to Cryptocurrency in Thailand for poker players

Author: Vargoso Published: 05.03.21

Many poker pros choose Thailand to relocate due to regulations on their countries. However, with the cryptocurrency boom, many grinders have not clear what taxation regime they must follow in the land of Siam. This comprehensive guide will navigate everything online poker players must work with cryptos in Thailand.

101 guide to Cryptocurrency in Thailand for poker players

Disclaimer: The data on this article is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute neither financial nor investment advice. We recommend reaching a professional accountant if you have further questions. 

Poker and taxes in Thailand

Online gambling is illegal in Thailand. As simple as that. However, the authorities do not enforce the law, and the country has become a top destination for grinders. With this said, you cannot pay taxes for poker income in Thailand.

However, this doesn't mean you don't need to pay taxes at all. After clarifying whether you are a resident or not (residing in Thailand for over 180 days a year), you may be requested to pay a Personal Income Tax according to your income. You will need to disguise your poker activities with other legal businesses, usually liberal professions or web-based businesses.

Pro tip: Foreigners must not forget to check for double-taxation agreements and obligations in their homelands; for example, US residents may need to pay social security in both countries.

How about cryptocurrencies?

Probably any grinder has heard about cryptocurrencies. Many have said that the poker community holds significant amounts of crypto and are top investors. With the pass of time, Bitcoin and other coins have become a powerful alternative to e-wallets like Skrill or Neteller, and the interest in these has lead to the creation of large exchanges like Bitkub (TOP1 crypto-exchange in Thailand).

Cryptocurrency exchange rate to Thai Baht (THB)

Other reasons for crypto popularity are the new restrictions on classic payment methods (a refusal to issue cards outside the European Economic Area, increased fees, increased control over transactions, etc.). As usual, laws do not evolve as fast as the real world does, and nowadays, not many countries have legislated about cryptocurrencies, while some others have only considered taxing capital gains.

Please note that since 2017 and according to the Thailand cryptocurrency law, all crypto exchanges, brokers, and other portals are considered financial institutions and require a license to operate within the country. Such sites share all financial data with the authorities, so trying to "hide" crypto income in Thailand is not an option. According to Thai media, Thailand's E-service Act will come into effect in September 2021, and it might change the situation within the country, but only for investors. Withdrawing from an exchange to a Thai bank account is tax-free.

"We do not apply tax guidelines/policies from any digital asset (cryptocurrency) purchase in any way. The reason behind this is that the Revenue Department does not have clear guidelines to tax this type of purchases. If you want to know more about this, we strongly suggest getting in touch with the Revenue Department directly."

Said Bitkub in a press release in December 2020.

In short, you don't need to pay any particular tax for withdrawing poker profits via cryptocurrencies. However, you may be subject to income tax.

Pro tip: If you want to avoid Bitcoin volatility, you can swap BTC for USDT (stablecoin) in the Bitkub market. The rate will be 0.5% (0.25% for BTC>USDT and 0.25% for USDT>THB)

Investing vs. playing

For now, we have talked only about the situation for a poker player who just wants to withdraw his profits; however, many grinders "hold" or invest in cryptos. To be clear, this is another profession, and we recommend if your crypto wealth is big, to get a consultation with professional accountants.

According to the May 2018-amended Revenue Code, people with benefits from digital assets are subject to a 15% withholding tax. However, this isn't very clear, and most likely, the same income tax of up to 35% would apply, as the exchanges do not withhold anything at the moment.

Pro tip: keep track of your withdrawals, including dates and exchange rate. You may need such information for your tax report.

How to withdraw cryptocurrencies to a Thailand bank account?

Bitkub is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in Thailand

First of all, you will need a Thai bank account. Without it, you won't be able to withdraw from any crypto exchange, and you will need to use different methods, most likely P2P transfers or swaps.

Fortunately, it isn't very challenging to get a savings account either as a resident or non-resident, although you might need to "hunt" for the right branch of the bank. Usually, you will need the following documents (not necessarily all):

  • Long term visa
  • Proof of residence
  • Work permit
  • Letters from banks, embassy, or immigration office

Pro tip: K-Bank users pay the lowest fees on the market, a flat 20THB for any amount.

After setting a bank account, withdrawing from Bitkub is effortless. All you need to is to get a deposit into your account (for example, request a withdrawal to your crypto address) and register your bank account (the exchange works with 20+ local banks, including Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Bangkok Bank, etc.).

You can verify a Bitkub account as a foreign national until Level 1. To do this, you only need to fill a few forms and submit a copy of your passport and a selfie holding it. Withdrawals are processed in up to 24 hours, but usually, the money hits the bank account in just a few hours. Also, withdrawing cryptos to Thai Bahts is cheap:

  • Deposits are free.
  • You'll need to swap crypto to THB at a 0.25% rate.
  • The withdrawal costs from 20THB to 200THB (≈$0,7 — $7) depending on your bank.

Final thoughts

If you process poker withdrawals via crypto in Thailand, you have nothing new to worry about. There are not "crypto taxes" in Thailand, only the regular PIT that applies to any person in the country.

All crypto transactions are transparent for the Revenue Department, and you shouldn't wait until their agents reach you. The best option is to voluntarily pay the Personal Income Tax on all withdrawals from crypto wallets.

Cryptocurrency in Thailand FAQ

What is the income tax in Thailand?

Personal Income Tax (PIT) must be paid by any person residing in Thailand, resident or non-resident. The rates are progressive up to 35% (for over 4,000,000 baht of $130k income). However, please note that non-residents (people living less than 180 days in any tax year) are subject to tax only from income sources in Thailand.

Please note that for "liberal professions" or activities not specified, deductions can be made from 65% to 85%, depending on income types.

Net income (THB) PIT rate (%)
0 to 150,000 Exempt
150,001 to 300,000 5
300,001 to 500,000 10
500,001 to 750,000 15
750,001 to 1,000,000 20
1,000,001 to 2,000,000 25
2,000,001 to 5,000,000 30
Over 5,000,000 35

Do poker players pay taxes in Thailand?

If you want to play by the book and pay taxes in Thailand, you can do it, but you should not reveal where your income came from, as online poker isn't a legal profession.

Which poker rooms process withdrawals in cryptocurrencies?

In 2021, four of the largest networks have added cryptos as a banking option. Thai players can request withdrawals via Bitcoin from IDNPoker (through the Worldpokerdeals agency) GGPoker, Winning Poker Network, Chico Poker Network, plus any poker app like PPPoker or Upoker.

Do I need to pay taxes for withdrawing cryptocurrencies in Thailand?

Although the Kingdom of Thailand has made several efforts towards regulating crypto-operations, in March 2021, those were designed only to tax purchasing, trading, or capital gain in digital assets. These transactions affect investors, but no players, who usually only receive a payment from a poker room and convert the balance to fiat currency.

Can I open a Bitkub account as a foreigner in Thailand?

Yes! As the TOP1 crypto-exchange for Thai players, Bitkub allows opening and verifying an account with any passport with the following limits:

  • THB withdrawal: 2,000,000 THB/day 
  • Coin withdrawal: value 5,000,000 THB/day

Is cryptocurrency legal in Thailand?

Yes. Thailand regulated the crypto sector with the Royal Decree on the Digital Asset Businesses B.E. 2561 from 2018.

Do you have more questions about cryptos in Thailand? Send us a message now. We are online seven days a week!

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