An area or nation termed as a tax haven is bound to attract a lot of people, especially the wealthy. This is because people residing in such locations do not pay high taxes. In the past, New Zealand has been viewed as a tax haven due to misleading media coverage. However, individuals such as Geoff Cone have come out to address the confusion by proving that tax related issues in New Zealand are mundane. The only significant difference between New Zealand and other nations is its high tax transparency standards.
Why is New Zealand is not a Tax Haven
In Geoff Cone’s attempts to disapprove New Zealand as a tax haven, he mentioned qualities of tax havens. According to him, they lack tax transparency and only impose zero or only nominal taxes. They also operate laws that inhibit the sharing of information with other governments. By using such features as a benchmark for tax havens, Cone argued that New Zealand did not only qualify but also has minimal chances of ever being listed as a tax haven. This was in addition to New Zealand’s name missing from OECD’s list of tax havens.
New Zealand was among the first nations to be listed on OECD’s white list because of implementing the globally agreed tax standard. The gold standard for transparency is OECD’s Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax issues, which was initiated in 2002. It supports the global sharing of information aimed at administering or enforcing domestic tax laws.
An In-depth Focus on Geoff Cone
Geoff Cone is one of the primary brains behinds the successful New Zealand-based law firm in international tax and trust laws, Cone Marshall. Together with Karen Marshall, they have propelled the law firm into global heights. Geoff Cone is certified attorney on matters pertaining to international tax and trust laws. He attained LLB honors from the University of Otago situated in New Zealand and later got his post-graduate diploma in both trust and tax law.
After completing his studies, he began legal practice in 1980 in Auckland before shifting to Christchurch. In Christchurch, Geoff became not only a partner but also a chairperson of partners in a leading legal firm. At the law firm, he handled all advisory matters involving tax and trust as well as commercial litigation. Cone also made court appearances at all levels as the primary counsel. Armed with vast experience in handling tax and trust law matters in his arsenal, Geoff began his own practice after returning to Auckland in 1999. This endeavor gave birth to what is now known as Cone Marshall Limited, which is renowned as the only law firm to focus exclusively on trust and tax planning. Additionally, the law firm offers trust and trustee management services via its allied companies.