Geoffrey Cone is preceded by his reputation as a specialist in International trust and tax laws. As so, his opinion and advice is taken with utmost seriousness. In his article posted on the nzherald.co.nz, Cone refuted claims about New Zealand being a tax haven. He disputed the perception created by the media regarding the foreign trusts in New Zealand.
Features of Tax Havens
According to Geoffrey Cone, OCED does not hold any past or present record of New Zealand as a tax haven. OCED holds and maintains all documentation or lists of tax havens. Tax havens boast of various attributes like lack of transparency, laws restrict the sharing of information with other governments and they impose no or only nominal taxes. Basing his argument on such characteristics, Geoffrey cited that New Zealand neither qualifies to be called a tax haven nor does it have a secretive private banking sector.
New Zealand was among the first nations in the world to be included on OECD’s white list for adhering to the 2002 OCED’s gold standard for transparency. The 2002 OCED Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters supports the global exchange of information to implement domestic tax laws.
New Zealand has continuously demonstrated its dominance in tax transparency through strategies and laws it has employed to deal with foreign trust. A New Zealand resident trustee of international trust is required by law to avail a Foreign Trust Disclosure form as well as maintain financial and other documentation for tax purposes.
A Closer Look at Geoff Cone
Geoffrey Cone is prominently known around the world due to his contributions in the success of the New Zealand-based law firm, Cone Marshall. Before becoming the avid attorney he is today, Geoffrey studied and graduated from New Zealand based-University of Otago. Later, he attained a post graduate diploma in trust and tax law. His education in such fields has contributed significantly into establishing Cone Marshall as the go-to law firm pertaining tax and trust legal issues. He commenced legal practice in 1980 in Auckland before moving to Christchurch where he became a chairperson of partners in a top law firm.
In Christchurch-based law firm, Geoffrey was involved in tax and trust advisory as well as commercial litigation work. He also appeared as a leading counsel at all levels of courts. He also worked as a litigator in the British West Indies for over two years before returning to legal practice in 1997. In 1999, Cone resulted into founding his own practice. Currently, the Cone Marshall Limited, is the only New Zealand-based law firm that specializes in international tax and trust planning. It also offers trust and trustee management services via affiliated companies.