Foreign trust disclosure legislation in New Zealand requires reforms
Tax expert Mr John Shewan recently made an independent inquiry into the New Zealand’s foreign trust disclosure rules which has recently been released by the government.
The Government measures are vowing to strengthen tax rules as per the OECD recommendations to combat BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting.)
Mr Shewan’s report recognised that foreign trusts are genuine methods for holding and transferring assets, and that New Zealand’s management of foreign trusts regarding taxation is suitable. However, he recommended that more work is needed on the exchanging of information and disclosure measures should be tightened, using the following recommendations:
- Consolidation of the initial registry requirements for all foreign trusts, and permitting regulatory authorities to have full access to the register.
- Requiring all New Zealand-based foreign trusts to file their financial reports and any annual statements and information of any distributions that have taken place in that year.
MR Shewan also made recommendations for amendments to be made to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules.
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