Lawyer Geoffrey Cone Responds to Last Week’s Feature on Foreign Trusts

Geoffrey cone is a graduate of Otago University in New Zealand. He is a bachelor’s degree holder in Law. When he finished his undergraduate education, Geoffrey Cone pursued a postgraduate diploma in trust and tax law in New Zealand. In 1980, he was admitted to the bar and commenced his practice in Auckland. He later moved to Christchurch to extend his service at a local firm.

 

He became a managing partner and the Chairman of Partners at the law firm. During his time in the company, he appeared in many litigation proceedings in court. Geoffrey also worked as a commercial tax and trust law advisor to foreign trusts in the country. When he finished his work with the West British Indies as a two-year litigator, he embarked on developing his law company that issues independent advice on foreign trust and tax laws. Cone Marshal Limited is a New Zealand-based law company that has particular specialties in international tax and trust planning. The company provides trust and trustee management services through most of its affiliate companies.

 

According to recent media coverage, New Zealand was portrayed as one of the best tax havens n the world. However, this is not true. For this information, major companies and high-net-worth individuals will embark in the country for their complex financial transactions Geoffrey Cone wants to issue a correction to the coverage in the media. According to him, the country is not a tax haven. This is the mundane truth.

 

Let’s deal with the question in the room. According to the maintained list of OECD, New Zealand is not a tax haven. There is a particular list of tax havens in the world. While the list is large, New Zealand does not appear. Shortly, the country has the likelihood to tighten their tax rules. One of the major characteristics that tax havens have is that they do not impose taxes. For this reason, there is a lack of transparency in issues concerning tax. When it comes to sharing information between governments, these states are very secretive. According to these regulations, New Zealand does not qualify to become a tax haven. Moreover, New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to feature among non-tax havens. They have implemented the tax rule presented by the OECD.

 

The way the country handles foreign trust funds is the best way I which they have demonstrated leadership as non-tax havens. The company has a set of rules that govern information exchange between governments. It has a transparent information exchange platform regarding tax issues. New rules in the country concerning tax issues were developed by the former president of New Zealand, under his rule, Michael Mullen, imposed an accountability program that foreign trusts should follow to do business in the country.

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