Multiple stories have been reported in the news lately, many of them discussing the incredible tax haven represented by New Zealand. This has caused a variety of people to be heavily interested in the country.
However, skilled New Zealand lawyer Geoffery Cone recently wrote an article discussing how and why New Zealand is not a tax haven. In fact, he called it a model for tax transparency!
Who Is This Guy?
Geoffery Cone is a trusted tax advisor in New Zealand, one with near 20 years of experience helping people invest their money and discussing tax law. He is also a skilled writer and an interesting philanthropist, one who is is heavily interested in the Latin American world.
He and his wife, Sarah, invested in an incredible home in Uruguay and have helped many in that country achieve stronger financial success. This is a man with positive influence and a deep understanding of New Zealand tax law.
What Is His Argument?
The first point Cone makes in his article is that New Zealand is never included on the list of tax havens published by the OECD. This point is very relevant because these havens are chosen based on either very lax tax laws or lacking laws entirely.
Countries can also qualify for this list if they have a secretive private banking industry, one in which a person can hide their money to avoid excessive taxation. New Zealand lacks any of these qualifications. As a matter of fact, New Zealand often goes far in the opposite direction.
In fact, he argues that New Zealand’s inclusion on the OECD’s Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters excludes them from tax haven status. This list includes a variety of countries that openly discuss their tax laws and work hard to enforce them.
New Zealand was one of the first to get on this list for implementing the international tax standard. Countries that don’t make this list are usually ones that create laws that allow them to become international tax havens. Transparency always seems to be a serious concern with New Zealand tax officials.
Cone also discusses the ways that New Zealand has handled foreign trusts in a very transparent way, assisting other governments in obtaining important tax information and avoiding excessive levels of unfair taxing these industries. As a result, many companies have invested in New Zealand, not because it’s a tax haven.
Even more telling, all tax records in New Zealand must be kept in English to make them easier to read and transparent to understand. Cone’s arguments are very strong and hard to argue against. His skilled ability with words and his deep understanding of tax law makes it clear that New Zealand is not a tax haven, but a model of transparency.