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Toy Boy

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  1. Yes, I saw that thread, thanks. It seems like small properties (i.e most condos I guess) are exempt, and the first property owned by a Thai is also exempt. Those two points explain why the tax has such a limited penetration.
  2. There we go, all those farangs eating 85 Baht breakfasts are missing out, they should be chowing down on best quality steak.
  3. I've got no problem with paying property tax if they send me the bill for it annually. Like most people, though, I have a major problem with them sending me a bill for ten years' of tax which they have never asked for, and which up until a few years ago nobody in Pattaya had ever even heard of. The lack of response shows, I suspect, just how little penetration the tax collection dept. in City Hall has made. I'm pretty sure if 75%+ of people had received 'The Letter' then there'd be a lot more righteous indignation on here. If just 5% of owners have received it, though, then maybe this is the response you'd expect? Which begs the question, why bother paying it when teh vast majority of property owners in the city haven't even been asked for it?
  4. It's struck me for a while that eating top quality imported Australian or US steak here is actually cheaper than eating it back in the UK. One of Pattaya's bargains compared with the usual hefty mark-up for foreign food imports.
  5. This seems to be an annual tax on your property, similar to Council Tax in the UK. I first heard about this kind of annual property tax a few years ago from people living out of town, but I’d never heard of anybody in Pattaya having to pay it so I didn’t worry. It seems that the city has always had the power to levy the tax, but for whatever reason they never did so (probably so that a certain family would continue to get voted into office and run the place). When the civilian administration lapsed a couple of year back and the military put their own people in to run the city they must have felt short of money as they started – slowly – rolling the tax out. Slowly seems to be the operative word here, I only know of around half a dozen people personally who have had ‘The Letter’ from City Hall telling you to turn up with the papers to your house or condo and be told how much tax you owe, and what penalties there are for not paying it. I don’t think anybody would object too strongly to having to pay a reasonable annual amount, but the fly in the ointment is that they are back-dating the tax you owe by ten years so it becomes a fairly hefty amount, even on a modest property. I owe around 70K Baht, while a friend who lives nearby owes well over 100K baht. I received ‘The Letter’ two weeks ago, the GF tells me there’s no avoiding the tax (I think it’s called the schools and property tax), sooner or later I’ll have to cough up, though as I deplore the decade of back-dating my reaction is to wait and see what happens. If they want to sue me for the money then fine, I’ll pay up, but until then I think I’d prefer to take my time. The amount apparently varies depending on whether you’re living in your property or renting it out. The live-in tax seems to be around 8K to 10K Baht per annum, though small condos might be less I guess, and a giant house might be more. I read that if the property is rented out they want one month’s rent per annum, but that seems like a lot to me. They only seem to have half a dozen people working on this at City Hall so it’s going to be decades before they cover all the properties in the city. Indeed, with the rate at which new condos are still going up the tax collection may actually be going backwards. I’ve no idea why I was one of the chosen few to be in the vanguard of this assault on property owners, I always complain at not winning the lottery but it seems my number came up in this one! Renters shouldn’t be feeling too smug either, as I suspect the owners will simply increase the rent to cover the tax. That’s about the sum of what I’ve found out so far, has anybody else received ‘The Letter’ and what did you do about it? Does anybody know anything more?
  6. Hell, it's not like we don't pay any tax here. How much of the average monthly farang booze bill goes to the government in tax and excise? Thousands of Baht, and much more if you're a wine or imported spirit drinker. Add on to that VAT on most stuff you buy, tobacco tax if you're a smoker, and all the other indirect fiscal contributions we make, and then they have the cheek to complain that we're robbing the system. The cheap sods should be paying us a Thai state pension as well as giving us free medical care in government hospitals.
  7. Good luck to you mate. If you've known her that long and are still both happy then you should be a good fit in the married league.
  8. I'm a regular at Steak & Co, the meat is perfect and they cook it just right for my taste. Compared with what you'd pay for a similar quality steak back in the UK I'd even go so far as to say that they're not expensive. I always go for the fillet, so I can't comment on the other cuts.
  9. If they made it a general requirement it would be bound to end up an enormous fiasco making oodles of money for the insurers and their 'sponsors' in government while providing nothing useful in the way of health insurance coverage for farangs.
  10. I've watched a couple of decent films lately. Arctic, starring Mads Mikkelsen, ought to win an Oscar for the least dialogue. It doesn't need it though, as it's a gritty, well-filmed survival drama in the frozen north. It's good to watch all that snow and ice from the safety of the tropics, anyway. Last night I watched Instant Family, starring Mark Wahlberg. It's hard not to like this movie, even though it probably over-simplifies the whole issue of fostering kids. Absolutely hilarious in the early stages, it has to become a bit more serious as time passes, but it's captivating all the time without being mawkish or overly sentimental. A nice way to spend two hours. And finally Kursk, a French-Belgian production. Sadly, we all know the ending, but it's gripping finding out how this disaster actually happened. Great effects and photography.
  11. Yep. You specify the account you're sending it from and the account you're sending it to. Then they tell you to make the transfer in your home currency from your bank to them with a reference number (seems to stay the same for all future transactions). When they receive that they tell you the money is on its way and roughly when it will arrive in your account here that you specified. Problems I've heard people having involve their UK bank not allowing them to transfer more than their daily ATM withdrawal amount to TW. It seems to work fine with Barclays UK anyway, touch wood.
  12. Yes, I've seen a few Gulf BC offers and I'm not wedded to any particular airline so if the price is right I'll happily fly them. My only exposure to them in reality is the Gulf Air BC lounge in LHR T4 which Oman Air uses. I wasn't overly impressed with it, the hot food was tepid at best and the barman was staring daggers at me after my second bottle of beer. Maybe you'll get friendlier service actually flying Gulf?
  13. The writing's been on the wall for several years. The airlines look at the slim returns they make on economy class and then at the rich pickings made by the likes of Ryanair and Easyjet so it's not surprising if they try some of the same tactics to improve their margins. Add to that their efforts to shoehorn ever more cramped seats and fewer facilities into the already-cramped economy class cabin. EVA's decision to convert a lot of its 777's into 3-4-3 seating was enough to convince me to give business class a go, and I haven't looked back since. They treat you like they actually want you to enjoy yourself in business. The likes of EVA and Qatar are often quoting over three grand for a BC flight from LHR to BKK and back, but if you're flexible on the airline and do enough research to make sure you don't do anything silly like flying Egyptair, then you can usually pick up a BC ticket with a decent airline for around two grand.
  14. I was looking at BA CW for my next round trip. It all looked OK and the price was right, but then a mate told me that they charge for advance seat selection, even in business class. I checked and indeed, it was something like fifty or sixty quid to book a seat. So I said bugger that and booked Oman Air business instead.
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