Thai Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn could pay more than $3.5 billion to the state of Bavaria in inheritance taxes, according to German media outlet Manager Magazin.
According to the magazine, the assets inherited by Vajiralongkorn after the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, on 13 October, amount to ten billion euros ($10.6 billion). The government of Bavaria, where the Crown Prince owns two villas and spends much of his time, would receive 30% of this inheritance.
“Since the Crown Prince is domiciled in Germany, he is also subject to inheritance tax,” Daniel Lehmann, a partner of Munich financial consultancy Baker Tilly Roelfs, told Manager Magazin.
Thailand’s monarchy is one of the richest in the world, with an estimated $40 billion in the royal family’s estate.
Paul Chambers, a lecturer of international relations at the Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs in Chiang Mai, said the Thai government would likely pay any taxes due in order to avoid a high-profile squabble with Germany.
“If the German authorities insist upon the Crown Prince paying an inheritance tax… then I assume that Thai state authorities will cry foul and pick up the tab, given that this issue would be a political ‘hot potato’ in Thailand,” Chambers said.
In 2011, a plane used by Vajiralongkorn was impounded in Germany after the Thai government refused to pay $42m it owed to a German construction firm.