Geoffrey Cone is a lawyer who understands the complicated realm of foreign trusts and taxes. He may be one of the few people who really does understand how the laws in New Zealand relate to those setting up foreign trusts. In a detailed article published in the New Zealand Herald, Cone revealed a fact many who seek to park funds in the country do not realize: New Zealand is not a tax haven. New Zealand is far too transparent for this type of financial strategizing. Plus, the country does not have rules and laws in place designed to encourage foreign, tax-evading trusts.
Countries interested in establishing tax havens charge extremely low tax rates on those who put their money into those countries’ domestic borders and banks. New Zealand does not entice anyone with ultra-low tax rates. The reason wealthy people look towards foreign trusts is to avoid paying huge sums of taxes. Hence, countries that promote such activities must institute low tax rates for trusts. New Zealand, as Cone points out, is not doing this.
Cone also suggests that New Zealand is not about to change its laws to promote such behavior in the future. The country simply does not have an interest in facilitating global tax avoidance.
Geoffrey Cone does have an interesting legal background. A quick examination of his background shows he is qualified to discuss matters such as these. Cone has nearly 20 years experience as a tax and trust advisor. He has lent his expertise in places such as Spain and Italy. Latin America is another region Cone has familiarity with. Traveling experience does reverberate and enhance professional skills.
Cone’s knowledge is further on display in his article when he points out that transparency is a guiding moral compass of New Zealand’s approach to foreign trusts. What this means is, when foreign governments ask for information about funds placed in trusts, the New Zealand government is quick and thorough with its response. Those hoping to defeat tax bills in their own country won’t find New Zealand to be very accommodating.
Those who want to put money into a foreign trust do need to perform their research. Otherwise, they could end up creating a mess for themselves. Not understanding the rules, laws, and approach to transparency only creates problems for those hoping to use a tax haven to their advantage. And what value would a tax haven present if it yielded a totally undesirable outcome?