New Zealand’s Top Lawyers: Geoffrey Cone

Geoff Cone is a renowned New Zealand’s lawyer specializing in Tax planning and international Trust. He graduated from the University of Otago in New Zealand with LLB Honors plus a post-graduate diploma in Tax and Trust Law. He began his Law practice in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1980 before moving to Christchurch where he worked as a partner and Chairman in a leading law firm. Cone was in charge of commercial litigation and tax and trust advisory. He was also the lead counsel in several cases and appeared in all levels of court proceedings.

Cone had a short stint abroad working as a litigator in Britain and West Indies for two years before returning to Auckland in 1997. He would later establish his own firm Cone Marshall Limited in 1999. Cone Marshall specializes in Tax Planning and International Trust as an exclusive legal service. It provides trust trustee management services through the affiliate companies.

Lawyer Geoffrey Cone Reacts to a Feature on Foreign Trusts

Lawyer Cone insists that New Zealand is not a tax haven. The OECD maintains a list of tax havens across the globe and New Zealand has never featured, and will most likely not feature in it. Some of the important features of tax havens are that there is a lack of transparency, set up laws that sabotage sharing of information with other nations, and that they impose minimal or zero taxes. New Zealand does not qualify on such grounds nor does it house a very secretive banking industry.

The 2002 OECD Model Agreement set up the internationally agreed tax standards on exchange of information relating to tax and domestic tax laws.

Foreign Trusts Management

One way through which New Zealand has shown leadership in tax transparency is with regards to how it manages foreign trusts and the requirements put on trustees. All those are geared towards enabling other governments to access the relevant information as requested from time to time. The new rules in Foreign Trusts were formulated by Michael Cullen in the year 2006 after extensive consultation with other stakeholders. Under this rigorous regime, the IRD requires a New Zealand resident trustee for foreign trust to fill up a Foreign Trust Disclosure form (IR607). Other records including the financial reports are kept for tax purposes in New Zealand.

The records include details of distributions and settlements (including name, address, and receipts), the trust deed, details of assets and liabilities of the trust, money received and spent by the trustee. If the trustee engages in business, they must keep the information on accounting systems, codes of account and charts.

All records must be recorded in English and kept in New Zealand failure to which, the trustee will attract punitive penalties. The powers were enhanced in 2011 when the world standard money laundering legislation was enacted.

Follow Cone on LinkedIn

One comment

  • Andrew Shaw
    March 13, 2017 - 2:00 pm | Permalink

    New Zealand was among the first countries to be listed on the OECDs white list of countries which have substantially implemented the set gold standard for transparency. It is also a very good way for rushmyessay service to do the needful all at once.

  • Comments are closed.