New Zealand does not appear in the OECD list of tax havens since it exercises transparency in all its taxation deals. Countries that exercise tax havens lack openness in that they do not share information with other nations. The 2002 OECD Model Agreement is a forum that emphasizes on the exchange of information to enforce domestic tax laws.
New Zealand tax transparency protocol
OECD has acknowledged New Zealand for enforcing its tax laws. It has implemented transparency by proper handling of foreign trusts and by providing other countries with the information, they need. Michael Cullen is the man behind these new policies. These policies dictate that a national of New Zealand with a foreign trust fund must submit a Foreign Trust Disclosure form so that these records are available for review in the future. Records must contain the trust’s details such as details of settlements, name, and address of the recipient, trust’s assets and liabilities, and the amount of money that the recipient is allowed to use. In conclusion, a penalty may be imposed if these records are not stored in English.
When instituting a trust, it is a fundamental requirement in most countries that trusts must report how they plan to settle funds to their relevant authorities. New Zealand has about 39 laws in place to curb tax evasion. Aside from being safe and stable, foreign trusts are used to plan for succession and asset protection; hence, they have become common in this country. New Zealand’s accountants, lawyers, and members of the International Society of Trust Estate Practitioners have zero tolerance to tax havens, and they continue to oversee foreign trusts with a lot of integrity.
Geoffrey Cone’s educational background and career
Geoffrey Cone has a degree in LLB from University Otago New Zealand. He also has a postgraduate diploma in tax and trust law. He started his professional career in New Zealand and later on, joined a bigger law firm where he was made an associate partner and chairperson of partners. Having specialized in tax and trust law as well as commercial litigation, Cone always worked on cases linked to his area of expertise. Cone also worked on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
Before establishing his private practice, Cone worked for the British Indies for two consecutive years. In 1999, Cone formed Cone Marshall Limited, a company that specializes in tax planning and international trust. The company also offers trust and trustee management services through its many other branches countrywide.