NZ gov’t tightens foreign trust law

by Sol Dolor12 Aug 2016
The New Zealand Government has introduced stricter laws on foreign trusts after a review of existing laws.
The changes were integrated in a wider tax bill which is expected to be given its first reading this week, Newshub reported.
The changes come after the release of the Panama Papers which detailed hundreds of thousands of foreign trusts around the world which could be utilised for money laundering or tax evasion.
The changes were made on the recommendation of tax expert John Shewan, Newshub said, who was appointed to review existing New Zealand legislation governing foreign trusts.
The Panama Papers revealed contained details of more than 11,000 foreign trusts established in New Zealand.
Shewan said that while New Zealand is not a tax haven, it has lax rules which could be improved.
The integration of the new rules into the tax bill simplifies processes, reduces compliance costs and creates more business-friendly GST rules, according to Newshub.
“Following the Shewan inquiry the Government committed to moving quickly on the changes to foreign trust disclosure rules and the inclusion of those changes in this bill reflects that,” said Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse.