Is New Zealand Really a Tax Haven? Geoff Cone explains

Not so long ago, an assertion was made that the foreign policy that has been implemented in New Zealand is friendly t foreign investors who are keen on keeping secrets about their investment choices. However, according to Geoff Cone, this is the farthest thing from the truth. He asserts that the foreign policy that has been put in place by the government makes New Zealand anything but those movie-like offshore luxurious islands where tax evaders and the likes get to take their money and spend it.

The reality is that New Zealand is the exact opposite of a tax haven. The OECD still lists the country as one of the best when it comes to transparency in tax reporting. The foreign policy on investing in the country states that there must be complete transparency when the foreigners are investing. The country has never featured on OECDs blacklist and is not likely to do so in the near future.

There are law firms that have been set up to deal solely with foreign trusts and foreign taxation laws. The legal system in the country does not have any legislation that makes exchange of information with other governments and especially regarding tax reporting difficult. The country has been on the white list for implementing the said gold standard in transparency.

The requirements that are placed in foreign trustees and foreign trusts are one of the ways that the country shows its commitment to transparency. To become a trustee, there is a foreign trust disclosure form you are needed to submit by the IRD. You are also needed to keep financial and related records t be used in New Zealand taxation processes. The documents include:

• Complete details of the assets and the liabilities of the trustee
• Settlements and distributions details
• Details on the amount of money that the trustee gets and spends

In case the trustee decides to open a business in the country, they are also needed to keep a record of the systems of accounting and related charts. All this information is supposed to be kept in the country and it should also be recorded in English.

Geoffrey Cone

Geoffrey Cone has been a trusts and tax advisor for many years. His law firm, Cone Marshall, deals exclusively with issues to do with the establishment of foreign trusts. Their goal is to make sure that legal procedures are followed when investing in New Zealand.

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