Review on Taxation in New Zealand

November 23, 2016

Geoffrey Cone

Geoffrey Cone is a successful lawyer from New Zealand, He graduated from University of Otago, New Zealand where he got LLB honors and a post graduate diploma in tax and trust law. In the year 1980 in Auckland, New Zealand he started to practice and later moved to Christchurch and partnered with the chairman of partners in a top law firm. He practiced commercial litigation as a trust advisory work and tax, in courts he appeared at all points as a top counsel as well as in the Privy Council.


In the year 1997 in Auckland he resumed in practice after working for British West Indies for two years as a litigator which resulted in having his own practice in the year 1999, In New Zealand, Geoffrey Cone’s firm Cone Marshall Limited law firm is the only law firm that major in tax planning and international trust, through associated corporates it offers trust management and trustee services.



New Zealand current media coverage on foreign trust creates everything to sound like an adventure including rich people, Bizarre lands and complex economic agreements. The reality is that most things related to tax are extra boring. New Zealand is not a tax-free. The OECD keeps lists of tax havens while New Zealand by all means has never been doubtful on appearing on it. The main features of tax havens are not enacting, individual taxes, the absence of transparency, rules or process that prevent the exchange of information to other countries.


In 2002 OECD Model Agreement on the gold standard in transparency for exchanging information on Tax matters maintained the international exchange of information to govern or apply domestic tax laws. OECD listed New Zealand on the white list as the leading country for largely fulfilling the internationally approved tax standard.

New Zealand has proved its governance in tax transparency through handling imported trusts and supplies positioned on trustees, by helping other governments that wish significant information.


In 2006 Michael Cullen presented new rules after wide discussion with his government, which New Zealand inhabitant trustee of a foreign trust is obligated by IRD to give a Foreign Trust Disclosure form (IR607) and retain information on codes of account, accounting system and charts. The records need to be stored in New Zealand and noted down in English and with any failure there will be consequences, the rules were enriched in 2011 by the world standard money laundering legislation.