Foreign Trusts Cannot Use New Zealand As a Tax Haven

New Zealand is nothing close to a tax haven, no matter that many supposed experts have at times claimed the island country to be. According to Geoffrey Cone, who is a partner at the law firm of Cone Marshall, all the recent news stories about New Zealand being a good place for foreign trusts. The media has sensationalized these trusts as if they are the direct path to great wealth, exotic locales, and involved with many multi-faceted finance projects.

Karen Marshall LLC is one of those firms who has exposed the truth about these deals. They point to the OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters that was enacted in 2002. This major international agreements enables countries sharing tax information with different countries so they are able to enforce any domestic tax laws that might apply. The actual tax situation, according to them, is a horse of a different color. The country of New Zealand has never been listed on the OECD’s list of tax havens. There is no plan to ever add the country to the list. Since the country is now officially listed as a first country on the OECD’s “White List,” which specifically makes the country not a tax haven.

The renowned lawyer, Geoffrey Cone has stated that with so many tax agreements with double tax riders, 39 in all, imposed by New Zealand in deals with other countries, it is amazing that anyone could even try to claim NZ as any kind of tax haven. The country simply does not match the required elements that other countries that do function as tax havens always have. These characteristics include the following:

Tax havens impose little or no tax
Transparency in tax laws
Laws that help information exchange with foreign governments

These tax agreements facilitate each country in applying their particular revenue review process and laws. They give codified ways to report revenues to the appropriate tax authorities enacted in investors’ nations. With a level playing field assured, Cone says there is more reason for long term investments in the thriving country of New Zealand. This is true even though it is no tax haven.

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