The OECD, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, is a forum of 35 countries that was formed in 1948 with the aim of increasing economic progress and world trade. The organization and countries involved are committed to ensuring market economy as well as democracy. The best fact about countries in this group is that their tax is at a minimal, hence, making any of them a tax haven. Additionally, there is no transparency when it comes to matters of taxes and exchange of information between one government and another. However, New Zealand is not a member of this organization.
As an attorney of international tax and trusts, Mr. Cone states the reasons why people should not get over themselves when media coverage on foreign trusts sounds too promising. To begin with, there is nothing new about it. The reports will neither change the state of the country, nor the rules. After all, New Zealand is amongst the leaders of tax transparency because it handles foreign trusts such that the information ends up assisting other governments that require the information.
However, Mr. Cone makes it known that Michael Cullen altered the rules in 2006 during his reign. After intensive consultation, Mr. Cullen made it clear that every foreign trustee must have a Foreign Trust Disclosure form that keeps a record of all information including even financial details. These were to be submitted to the IRD.
The details that were included in the records included all information regarding the settlement and distribution of the trustee, their details on assets and liabilities, the trust deed as well as every currency that the trustee brings in and what they spend. Also, in case the trustee has a business, all concrete details need to be kept together with the accounting charts and systems. All records were required to be in English and failure to do so would often lead to great penalties.
Mr. Geoff Cone is an international tax and trust attorney with LLB honors as well as a post-graduate diploma. He attended the University of Otago in New Zealand. By 1980, his career had begun in Auckland. Soon after, he moved to Christchurch as the chairman of partners in one of the leading law firms where he put his commercial litigation to practice. He was also carried out tax and trust advisory work and often appeared in court as chief counsel. He returned to Auckland in 1997, and by 1999, he had established Cone Marshall Limited that deals with international tax and trust planning.