Geoffrey Cone’s Perspectives on New Zealand’s Laws of Taxes and Foreign Trusts

In his article posted on the New Zealand Herald News website, Geoffrey Cone spoke about foreign trusts. He started by pointing out how the media has misinformed the public regarding foreign trusts. According to him, New Zealand is a country where all citizens pay tax. In the article, Cone also quoted the OECD Model Agreement on the exchange of tax information matters that was enacted in 2002. He pointed out how New Zealand was among the first countries to implement the OECD’s tax standards and how tax transparency has been demonstrated in the country. Geoff Cone is confident that his country’s government has implemented laws on how foreign trusts are handled. This includes clearly defined requirements that trustees should meet.

New Zealand’s Foreign Trust Requirements

Cone pointed out in his article that Michael Cullen introduced new rules to govern foreign trusts in 2006. One of the rules sensitized on the need for New Zealand citizens who are trustees of foreign trusts to fill and present a Foreign Trust Disclosure form to the IRD. The trustees are also required to store their financial records because they will be needed whenever they submit their tax returns. In situations where the trust involves a business venture, the trustee is mandated by the IRD to keep its accounting information and account codes.

Cone’s article also explained the reason why trustees should publish their financial and personal records in English. According to the 2011 international money laundering laws, those who fail to keep their records in English are liable to penalties. Just like other countries, in New Zealand, if you want to settle a trust, you must report the settlements to the IRD, which is the principal revenue collection agency.

About Geoffrey Cone

Cone graduated with a law degree and postgraduate diploma in both tax and trust law from the esteemed University of Otago. He has practiced commercial litigation, tax and trust laws for several years. For instance, as legal counsel, he has made several court appearances. He was a litigator based in the British West Indies where he helped clients with litigation cases for two years.

He founded Cone Marshall Limited in 1999 with an objective of offering trust management services to trustees from different parts of the world. Cone Marshall is the only law company in New Zealand that provides tax and trust planning services on an international scale. Cone Marshall Limited was also founded to build New Zealand’s tax reputation. The firm adheres to the national laws on tax and trusts.

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