If you contact any international law or tax expert about New Zealand’s tax system and cooperation with foreign companies in tax reporting, they will boldly tell you New Zealand isn’t a tax haven. The country has a hugely unmasked tax system. Additionally, the country was among the first to be join and be white listed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for having its timely implementation of the agreed tax reporting standards. As if that’s not convincing enough, the OECD maintains a list of tax havens across the world and New Zealand has never appeared on the list.
Discrediting the tax haven claims
According to Geoffrey Cone of the Cone Marshalls in New Zealand, the country maintains a flexible and transparent tax system that is open to scrutiny by the embers of the public and foreign interested parties. According to him, anyone accusing New Zealand of being a tax haven is ill informed on the characteristics of a tax haven. They must also be ignorant of the clear reforms tax and policy reforms implemented by the government throughout the years such as the Foreign Trust Disclosure Form as well as the Michael Cullen backed reforms introduced in the country in 2006.
Cone argues that the country’s trust formation policies by foreigners require them to first inform the revenue authorities or central banks in their respective countries for ease of reporting. Additionally, New Zealand is said to have entered into more than 39 double tax agreements with different countries around the world aimed at reducing taxation between the signatories in an attempt to promote inter-country investments as well as limit tax evasion or avoidance by the companies involved.
Additionally, the country’s banking system has a clear and streamlined reporting system that is also open to public scrutiny. New Zealand has also signed multiple tax information exchange agreements and has never been accused of withholding tax information for foreign trusts operating in the country as its foreign relations policies are quite clear on international coordination. These aren’t the features of a tax haven. No tax haven would open itself to public or international scrutiny or have a transparent tax system.
About Geoffrey Cone
Geoffrey is an international law and tax expert as well as the founder and CEO of the Cone Marshall attorneys. Cone also has close to two years of experience in tax and law administration specializing in Latin American countries as well as several European countries including Italy and Spain. Through the Cone Marshalls, Geoffrey has helped different local and international companies in wealth planning. Before forming the Cone Marshalls, Geoffrey had also worked with several domestic and international law and tax enterprises in New Zealand.