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For many years, tax havens have been popular among foreigners who want to stash their money in places where nobody can find it, to avoid paying taxes in their home countries. New Zealand is one of the countries that people believe to be a tax haven.

The name Geoff Cone is synonymous with tax and trusts in New Zealand. In a recent interview, Mr. Cone was quick to set the record straight. He noted that a tax haven operates without transparency, and the taxes imposed are nominal. Tax havens also enact laws to prevent the sharing of information with other countries.

New Zealand, however, operates under a system of transparency. It was one of the countries that initially implemented internationally agreed tax standards, set up by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). New Zealand is on OECD’s white list, meaning it has complied with these standards.

If the trust is involved in any business, all the financial records must be made available to the authorities for perusal. Any money that the trustee receives from the trust is declared to the IRD. It is mandatory to keep all the records in New Zealand, for tax purposes.

New Zealand has entered into tax information agreements with 20 countries. These agreements help prevent nationals of either country from engaging in tax evasion. New Zealand also has 39 double tax agreements with other nations, which boost cross-border trade and prevent tax fraud.

Mr. Cone believes that New Zealand is the best country for foreigners to place their assets. He cited the strict banking laws and the efficient judicial system as a significant advantage. Most of the foreign trusts in New Zealand use local accountants and lawyers to manage the trusts. The excellent reputation of the trust managers has led to the country gaining a good reputation in international tax circles.

Geoff Cone, born in 1954, graduated from the University of Otago with LLB honors and a postgraduate diploma in tax and trust law. He has been in the tax and trust industry since 1980. Mr. Cone started his firm, Cone Marshall limited, in 1999.

Cone Marshall Limited deals primarily with international tax and trust issues. It also provides clients with trust management services.

Geoff Cone’s vast experience in the industry gives him the confidence to speak authoritatively about New Zealand and tax issues. He knows the industry like the back of his hand.

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