Recent news coverage of New Zealand foreign trusts may seem exciting, but Geoff Cone, specialist in wealth training, has described them as much more mundane. Cone believes that New Zealand is a leader in tax transparency which makes it far from the complex island nation that the media has been describing it as.
New Zealand was one of the first countries to be recognized by the 2002 Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters as a nation that follows international tax laws. All records of foreign trusts are kept in NZ and include detailed information on settlements, deeds with owners name and residence, and in-depth analysis of all assets and liabilities. Strict penalties are given to record keepers who do not carefully record foreign trust information.
New Zealand has 39 tax agreements for trading across borders and 20 tax information exchanges. The agreements and exchanges are designed to prevent tax evasions and avoidances. For this reason, Geoff Cone believes that NZ is far from a tax haven. New Zealand prides itself on being a safe place to keep assets. High quality infrastructure has led NZ to gain a positive reputation around the globe.
Tax and trust advisors, such as Geoffrey Cone, prefer to do business with nations that have tax laws similar to NZ. Transparent tax systems are easier to work with and financial concerns can be easily traced to the source due to immaculate record keeping. NZs service providers understand the nation’s regulatory environment and ensure that all aspects of the tax transparency model are met.
Geoffrey Cone completed post graduate work with honors in tax and trust law from University of Otago in New Zealand. He began practicing tax and trust advisory work in 1980 and currently practices in Auckland. His firm is the only one to exclusively focus on trust and trustee management services in NZ. Cone knows the intricate tax policies that are in place in New Zealand and understands why they are so important. He does not like hearing the media describe NZ as a tax haven, because his nation is far from it. Cone prefers to compete with countries that have a similar tax structure to NZ, such as Britain, Singapore and the US. He does not feel that NZ should be competing with other tax havens since their tax laws can be confusing and hard to manage.