Geoffrey Cone Corrects a Media Release that Termed New Zealand as a Tax Haven

Geoffrey Cone is an international Tax and Trust Attorney based in New Zealand. He holds LLB honors from the University of Otago and a postgraduate diploma in tax and law. Cone began his practice in 1980 in Auckland, New Zealand and then became a partner at Christchurch. He later served as a Chairman of Partners at a law firm in the commercial litigation sector, tax, and trust advisory as well as making appearances in courts.

After this, he worked in British West Indies for two years as a litigator and then went back to his law practice in 1997. In 1999, he founded the Cone Marshall Limited and later New Zealand Trust Corporation. The later business was recently registered and recorded as the NZ Limited Company in June with Karen Marshall as the co-principal in the firm in the April 2016.

Geoffrey Cone has vast knowledge on Trust and Tax Law, International & Domestic t Corporate Law, Banking Law, and Commercial Litigation. Additionally, he is a publisher of several articles including Rothschild Trust Review, New Zealand Law Journal, Trust, and Trustees among others. Cone has also contributed on the Oxford University Press in the World Trust Survey and the International Trust Disputes release. Other articles where he was a contributing author include the Law of Offshore Jurisdictions, Trident Guide to International Trusts, and the International Trusts Guide.

Geoffrey Cone terms New Zealand as a country characterized by high levels of tax transparency. Media has portrayed it as a country with exotic lands, wealthy individuals and a complicated financial system founded on corruption. Additionally, the media term it as one of the tax havens. However, Cone disagrees with the information referring to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) list where New Zealand does not appear. A tax haven is any institution that does not involve transparency, and there are no taxes on the citizens, and if any, it is only the nominal fee.

The 2002 OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters included New Zealand on their white list. The list consists of the countries that have implemented the internationally agreed tax standards. To ensure the high levels of Tax transparency, every resident trustee of a foreign trust should submit a form of Foreign Trust Disclosure and keep her financial and other records that would aid in taxations. Other information needed includes the trust deed, settlement details, money received or spent by the trustee among others.