New Zealand–A Tax Haven–Ridiculous Advises Geoffrey Cone

Much to Ado About Nothing: Geoffrey Cone, a partner in the firm, recognised on a global basis, as Cone Marshall, Ltd., wherein, he shares a partnership with Karen Marshall, recently responded to an article, provided by a media informant–more precisely, a feature article, with regard to New Zealand foreign trusts. The statement was made that New Zealand is a tax haven. Cone correctly advises that the statement is less than precise. The following article provides his argument.

Mr. Cone, advises, correctly, that New Zealand is not a tax haven. He assures his reading audience that the OECD maintains a list of tax havens, and quite frankly, New Zealand has never made the list. The key elements, associative with a tax haven include: 1) such an entity imposes no taxes, 2) there is relatively-speaking, no transparency—whatsoever, and 3) regulations and procedures, greatly inhibit national exchange of data. With regard to the preceding three elements, there is no grounding that New Zealand is a tax haven. Too: the country has no banking house, which is inconspicuous.

The best reason, according to Cone, that New Zealand is not a tax haven is the 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters. This agreement is supportive with respect to globalized exchange of tax information. New Zealand was one of the first nations, placed on OECD’s list, with regard to its implementation of the global agreed standard, as to tax.

New Zealand, has time-and-time again, shown leadership, with regard to tax transparency. Its administration of foreign trusts, and its regulations speak volumes.

Michael Cullen, in 2006, implemented new regulations, with regard to taxation. The New Zealand residential trustee, of a foreign trust, is now required to submit a Foreign Trust Disclosure form (IR607), to the IRD. He or she is required, too, to maintain spotless records—relative to purposes of tax. The records must be maintained in English and include the trust deed, settlement details, distributions—inclusive of the recipient’s name and address, the trust’s assets and liabilities; and money, the trustee receives, as well as expenditures.

When the trust exists, as a business entity, information must be maintained, with respect to the accounting system and its chart of accounts. The preceding records are to be maintained within New Zealand. Further, the regulations were enhanced, in 2011, by way of the enactment of the World Standard Money Laundering legislation.

The majority of nations, according to Cone, require the settlor to report settlement of funds to their respective revenue authorities. Reporting, as described, provides the revenue authorities, enough data, in order to request information—with regard to tax.

New Zealand possesses thirty-nine double tax agreements. Such an agreement is designed to reduce tax with regard to cross-border trade and investments. The preceding agreement is devised, in order to prevent an individual from practising avoidance of taxation.

Additionally, New Zealand possesses over twenty tax information exchange agreements. The agreements are made between the island nation and that of other countries. The agreements represent a limited form of double tax agreements. The agreement makes it possible to keep an individual from avoiding taxation.

Too: New Zealand has signed up to a Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. All of the preceding actions are not representative of a nation—considered a tax haven.

Cone mentions that the majority of Foreign Trusts are used in the way of asset protection. The preceding is the case in New Zealand. In other words, a foreign trust is not used for the purpose of tax planning. He further adds that the reason New Zealand has realised an increase in foreign trusts, in recent years, is due to the fact that New Zealand is considered a safe and reliable place, wherein, an individual may feel confident in placing his or her assets.

Some of the credit, with respect to New Zealand’s tax transparency, goes to its regulatory atmosphere. Another component, of its transparency, belongs to the high standards of its tax practitioners—those being, the accountants and lawyers of New Zealand. Many of these individuals belong to the global Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, which goes by the acronym of STEP.

These professionals work in cooperation with other lawyers and accountants, in other countries, wherein, their clients reside. The fine reputation of New Zealand’s trust lawyers and accountants, who operate foreign trusts, bodes well for the island nation. The service providers, further, enhance New Zealand’s exceptional reputation, within the OECD and among other global taxation authorities.  Learn more about Cone Marshall: http://www.uianet.org/sites/default/…/CONE%20Geoffrey%20-%20CV.pdf

Geoffrey makes a point of explaining that New Zealand does not compete with nations considered tax havens. Rather, New Zealand’s competition is with national entities such as the United States and Britain. Each of these preceding entities have very transparent tax systems. Additionally, the United States and Britain apply very similar principles, with regard to taxation—applicable to foreign trusts.

Geoffrey Cone concludes that any issues, regarding the use of foreign trusts are best directed in the regulation of trust companies—in assuring such entities meet the high standards, mentioned above. This is a much better approach than listening to certain individuals who are less than knowledgeable about matters of foreign trusts.

Cone Marshall, Ltd. – Karen Marshall

Karen Marshall, a partner, at the law firm of Cone Marshall Ltd., graduated from the University of Otago, in New Zealand, with an LLB. Karen resided in London for a ten-year period, prior to her working within a large metropolitan law firm—wherein she practised within the Commercial Litigation Department. Her tenure, with Cone Marshall began in 2005. She has been its principal since April 2006.

Karen has acted in the advisory role with respect to 2 statutory trustee companies. Her expertise was used in way of advising, with regard to issues, involving that of trustee’s liability, the trustee’s associative powers in entering into compromises, and in the way of providing security to third persons, with special emphasis placed on liabilities to that of borrowing for investment opportunities within Lloyds’ syndicates.

Ms. Marshall, has been instrumental, in the advisement of the Trustees of not-for-profit organizations, in the form of charitable trusts, as well as acting in an advisory capacity to trustees, as it pertained to those individuals’ official legal positions. Karen has general experience, in managing trusts.

She responds to requests from settlors, and provides data when a trustee is in the form of a company. She drafts trust documents, provides trust deed precedents for her clientele, as well as other significant activities, as it applies to the trust transaction. Her knowledge and experience includes acting as the Director of a trust organization in the role of that organization’s trustee.

Cone Marshall, Ltd. – Geoffrey Cone

Whos Who Legal says that Geoffrey Cone is the co-founder of the law firm — Cone Marshall. Geoffrey is described as a tax lawyer. He has practised law at other prestigious law firms, prior to establishing his own law practise. He has an enduring reputation of providing advisory services as it pertains to tax, as well as trust management.

Cone Marshall, Ltd. – Notes:

The Cone Marshall firm is dedicated to working with international families together with their advisors in order to assist them in establishing a New Zealand Trust. The company has also taken on the responsibility to offer advisory services pertinent to international tax.