In the recent past, the media covered about the foreign trust of New Zealand and how the laws surrounding them have changed. Many opinions have been posted about the story and professionals from the law fraternity have come out with comments that could shine some light to the problem. The trusts being highlighted are touching on wealthy individuals and involve complex financial deals that require careful analysis and expert intervention to be resolved.
The truth about the whole issue is that laws around tax and trusts are mundane and cannot be taken lightly when solving heavy problems like the ones recorded recently in the New Zealand market. It is vital to first have a keen look at the issue in the industry and to break this down, Geoffrey Cone, an experienced commercial litigation expert, intervened with vital information and suggestions.
One truth that those reporting about the issue don’t understand is that New Zealand cannot be considered a tax haven, at least according to OECD. This state is likely not to change in near future since the country has never been considered a tax haven and there is little effort to push for developments that could change the situation.
There are characteristics that exclude the country from tax havens, one being that countries that are ranked in that category don’t impose taxes or if they do the rates are minimal. There is also lack of transparency and present legislation bars the exchange of data between governments. Until the time New Zealand will solve these disparities, only then will the country become a tax haven in line with the requirements of OECD.
According to the 2002 gold transparency standard, one of the parts of legislation that are pursued is meant to ease the exchange of information across departments and governments. The country does not qualify even under the new rules and there is a long way to go before the rights needed are included.
About Geoffrey Cone
Geoffrey Cone is a professional lawyer who has been practicing since 1980 working on cases of commercial litigation and other areas. He graduated from Otago University with LLB and went for a post graduate diploma in trust and tax law. His career began in Auckland, New Zealand before he relocated to Christchurch where he worked as the chairman of Partners.
At this time, Geoffrey Cone specialized in commercial litigation before he later established himself as a tax and trust lawyer. In 1999, he launched his firm, Cone Marshall, which has been working on commercial litigation cases as well trust and tax law problems. His firm stands as the only in New Zealand to specialize in international tax and trust planning.