Misleading media coverage about New Zealand’s trusts makes it seem as though New Zealand is a tax haven. Mr. Cone, an experienced corporate tax lawyer, responded to those misleading media reports. He described three characteristics of tax havens. They impose nil or nominal taxes; there is a lack of transparency and refusal to share financial information with other governments.
New Zealand does not meet any of those characteristics, therefore, is unlikely to feature as a tax haven anytime soon. In fact, New Zealand has demonstrated transparency in its handling of foreign trusts to help other governments who would be interested in that information. In 2006, new rules were put in place that requires trustees of foreign funds to provide relevant information about themselves as well as record every movement in the Fund’s account.
With 39 double tax agreements, New Zealand has minimum tax impediments in cross-border trade. These agreements also ensure minimum tax evasion in New Zealand. In addition to the double tax agreements, New Zealand has signed a multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and partnered with over 20 countries to share tax information to curb tax evasion.
New Zealand has seen steady growth in the number of trusts being administered thanks to its positive global reputation as being a safe place to invest. Good governance, as well as high quality legal and professional infrastructure, have also contributed to the growth of foreign trusts. New Zealand’s service providers consist of qualified lawyers and financial advisors who operate foreign trusts on behalf of international clients. They are responsible for enhancing the country’s reputation among international taxation experts and in the OECD as well.
The rules and regulations imposed on New Zealand don’t allow competition with tax havens. When it comes to Foreign Trusts, New Zealand only competes with countries, which have similar transparent tax systems such as the UK, US, Singapore, etc.
About Cone Marshall
Cone Marshall is a registered law firm in New Zealand that deals with global families and their financial and legal advisors. Its managing partners Geoffrey Cone and Karen Marshall are two experienced advocates with over ten years in the craft. Cone Marshall provides consultancy services on New Zealand’s tax and trusts laws.
Cone Marshall is the only law firm in the entire New Zealand region to specialize exclusively in tax planning and international trusts. It provides trust management, administrative and trustee services via its affiliated companies. It offers its consulting services to family advisors, banks and other institutions based outside New Zealand to help with planning.