Lawyer and Entrepreneur Geoffrey Cone

The media in New Zealand has been reporting about the foreign trust, and they have made it look like something gorgeous with wealthy people, multipart financial dealings as well exotic lands.


New Zealand cannot be described as a tax haven. According to the list maintained by the OECD, New Zealand does not appear, has never been on the list and it is not likely to appear soon. The nation does not possess the characteristics of a tax haven country which includes a state which has nominal tax or even does not impose taxation on their citizens, there is transparency, and that the law inhibits the exchange of information with other governments. New Zealand does not have the features and also does not host a highly privatized banking system.


The gold standard of transparency is the 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters is the supporter of the global exchange of data that helps in the governing of domestic tax regulations. Although New Zealand is not a tax haven, it was among the first countries to be listed on the white list of OECD. The country was listed on OECD because of implementing the international tax standard agreement. In one hand New Zealand has shown an active tax transparency leadership on how they are handling the foreign trust as well as the requirements placed on trustees that go towards the support of other government.


In 2006 new rules were enacted in New Zealand by Mike Cullen, the rules stated that all New Zealand residents trustees of the foreign trust are required by IRD to submit a Foreign Trust Disclosure form (IR607) and keep other financial records New Zealand tax purpose. All the documents must be preserved in New Zealand and must be in English.


Geoffrey Cone is a graduate of University of Otago New Zealand where he graduated with LLB honors as well as post graduate Diploma in tax and trust law. After his graduation Cone begun his career in Auckland New Zealand. He did not stop there but he later moved to Christchurch and served as the Chairman of Partners in a recognized law firm. In his practice as a tax lawyer Geoffrey was involved in commercial litigation as well as tax and trust advisory services and also appeared in courts as a counsel. After practicing as a litigator for two years he established his own firm in 1999. Cone Marshall Limited is the only New Zealand firm that practices international trust and tax planning as well as the provision of trustee and trust management services to other companies in New Zealand.