Geoff Cone Shares his Views on the New Zealand’s Effective Tax Laws and Trusts

Geoff Cone wrote an article for Herald Business Magazine in 2012 about New Zealand’s tax transparency. In the article, he wrote that the New Zealand media overlook foreign trusts matters. According to him, New Zealand is not a tax haven. This is because the country is missing in OECD’s records of tax havens. Cone mentioned that tax-free countries impose little or no taxes and lack tax transparency. He also wrote that New Zealand’s tax standards adhere to the OECD tax matters agreement model. The model allows the exchange of information globally for tax law enforcement.


New Zealand Meeting OECD Tax Standards

Cone also pointed out how OECD white listed New Zealand for implementing the agreed tax standards. He said that New Zealand tackles foreign trusts and trustee requirements transparently. This involves working with other governments when they ask for trustee information. Cone also mentioned that according to New Zealand’s IRD, trustees must fill and send form IR607 (a foreign trust disclosure form) and present other personal records such as title deeds and accounting reports.


New Zealand’s IRD reduces tax evasion and investment impediments through the country’s 39 double tax agreements. The country also signed 20 agreements on tax information exchange with several countries. Trustees use their New Zealand foreign trusts for succession planning and asset protection. Most trustees also deem the country safe for safeguarding their foreign trusts.


Geoff Cone’s Work Background

Geoff Cone is a commercial litigation lawyer and the founder of Cone Marshall Limited. Cone studied at the Otago University in New Zealand and graduated with an LLB honors and an advanced diploma in tax and trust law. He started practicing law in 1980 as a resident of Auckland, New Zealand. Cone relocated to Christchurch, New Zealand after receiving a job offer in an established law firm. In the company, he majored in tax, trusts, and commercial litigation. He also served as legal counsel for the Privy Council.


Cone also lived in British West Indies and practiced commercial litigation law. He later relocated to Auckland to start his law firm, Cone Marshal Limited. He manages the law firm with Karen Marshall, who serves as the principal. The company’s services include trust and trustee management and international tax and trust planning. Foreign trust holders in New Zealand rely on Cone Marshall because no other company in the country offers international tax and trust planning services.

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