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Royal Transparency: Thai Monarchy Makes Unprecedented Move Toward Asset Taxation

© AP Photo / Kittinun RodsupanThailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn takes part in the funeral of his father, the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017
Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn takes part in the funeral of his father, the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 - Sputnik International
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In an unprecedented move for Thailand's royalty, recently-crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn has moved to take direct control of his family’s considerable fortune, thereby making it taxable in the same way as are the finances of every Thai citizen.

Ascending to the throne of the 236-year-old Chakri dynasty in December 2016 following the death of his revered father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the 65-year-old king has now been granted complete and personal ownership of the approximately $30-billion family fortune by Thailand's Crown Property Bureau.

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New laws enacted in 2017 facilitated the changes, and the advisory board, following the transfer, noted that the management of royal assets — previously kept hidden — would now be "transparent and open to scrutiny," cited by the BBC.

"His Majesty made the decision to make the 'Crown Property Assets' be subject to the same duties and taxation as would assets belonging to any other citizen," stated an advisory board spokesperson.

The shift has far-reaching implications, particularly as the entire asset portfolio — hidden from public view since the advisory board's 1938 inception — will now, according to statements from the king's spokespersons, be subject to the same taxation and regulatory laws as those that govern Thai citizenry.

Promising that asset management and investment strategies would would be transparent, the advisory body acknowledged that in taking responsibility for his family's enormous financial portfolio, the new king will handle "decisions on all matters pertaining to their charge and management at his discretion."

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