Geoffrey Cone’s Insights On New Zealand’s Leadership In Tax Transparency

Geoffrey Cone asserts that New Zealand service providers are lawyers, accountants and qualified members of the International Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). New Zealand was among the first nations to be ranked on the OECD’s white list because of implementing the agreed international tax standard. The nation has demonstrated stewardship in tax transparency by handling foreign trusts and the requirements that are placed on trustees.

In 2006, Michael Cullen introduced new rules after extensive consultations. In this rigorous regime, the IRD requires a New Zealand resident trustee of a given foreign trust to present a Foreign Trust Disclosure form (IR607) besides keeping different records for tax purposes in New Zealand. These records include information about settlements and distributions and the trust deed. The others are details on trust liabilities and assets as well as the amount of money received and spend by trustees. If a trust operates a business in New Zealand, the trustee is required by law to keep adequate information regarding the accounting system, codes of account and charts.

It is an obligation that all records are kept in New Zealand. In addition, they should be recorded in English. Failure to observe all these regulations attracts heavy penalties. The world standard money laundering legislation was enacted in 2011. This legislation enhanced disclosure requirements.

According to Cone, in most nations, individuals settling a trust are obligated by their central bank, revenue authorities and other organizations to report the settlement of funds. This information helps revenue authorities to request for different details regarding a specific transaction or trust. New Zealand’s 39 double tax agreements are designed to prevent tax evasion and tax avoidance. In addition, they help in reducing tax hurdles to cross-border investments and trade.

Cone goes on to posit that New Zealand has more than 20 agreements on tax information exchange with different countries. These agreements are regarded as limited forms of double tax plans that help in preventing tax avoidance and evasion. The country has signed a multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Most of the foreign trusts are designed for purposes of succession planning and asset protection but not for tax planning. Cone contends that New Zealand is renowned to have a well-regarded judiciary and enhanced professional and legal infrastructure. In addition, it has a stable, high quality and safe jurisdiction with good laws. This information was originally mentioned on NZ Herald as provided in the following link http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10846049

About Cone Marshall
Geoffrey Cone is an alumnus of the University of Otago, New Zealand, where he graduated with LLB honors. He also earned a postgraduate diploma in trust law and tax. In 1980, he started practice in Auckland before moving to Christchurch to serve as a partner and chair of partners in a renowned law firm. His practice zeroed in on commercial litigation as well as tax and trust advisory work. Cone was a leading counsel and appeared in all levels of courts. For 2 years, he worked in the British West Indies. In 1999, Cone established his firm, Cone Marshall Limited. It is the only law firm in New Zealand to specialize in international trust and tax planning. Through its affiliated companies, Cone Marshall provides trust management and trustee services. This information was originally published on ICLG as expounded in this link http://www.iclg.co.uk/firms/cone-marshall/geoffrey-cone

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