Geoffrey Cone, a lawyer who serves as one of the managing partners of law firm, Cone Marhsall, has set about to debunk the idea circulated in the press that New Zealand is a tax heaven. The idea is ludicrous and is easily debunked by looking at the laws and regulations of New Zealand’s financial sector.
Tax havens have several key characteristics that define them. They include a lack of transparency, strict privacy laws, and rules to prohibit the sharing of client information to foreign governments. A highly deregulated banking and financial sector is another key element of offshore tax havens. Now take a look at New Zealand, says Geoffrey Cone. The country does not have any one of the characteristics that make up an offshore haven.
Instead, New Zealand is a model of tax transparency. The influx of trusts into New Zealand have nothing to do with New Zealand becoming an offshore tax haven to park assets. Instead, it has to do with the reliability, security, transparency and human capital available to trust owners. What human capital is, is the legal team needed to run and operate a trust such as lawyers and accountants skilled in financial matters.
New Zealand is attracting foreign assets because the country is seen as a safe and stable place to hold money. Trustee owners don’t benefit from paying less taxes when their money is held in New Zealand. The country has strict record keeping laws and sharing laws with other governments. Even if somebody tried to hide assets in New Zealand, the legal requirements to have and operate a trust in New Zealand would quickly expose them. So there is no tax haven in New Zealand.
Instead, New Zealand is home to a ripe environment for holding trusts in and contains a strong base of professionals to manage it. They include Karen Marshall, who is also a managing partner at the law firm, Cone Marshall. Karen Marshall comes from the United Kingdom and brings a wealth of experience from her time working as a litigation lawyer in the UK.
Mrs. Marshall works as a trustee advisor and manager of trusts for trust held in New Zealand. Along with Geoffrey Cone, Karen Marshall provides clients with the framework they need to establish and maintain trusts in New Zealand. It is highly professional and skilled law firms like Cone Marshall as well as the financial climate of New Zealand that are reeling in new trusts to the country in record numbers.