Dunne Dismisses NZ Tax Haven Claims
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
New Zealand's Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has dismissed claims that the country
is a tax haven for foreign trusts, announcing that it will sign a major international
tax assistance treaty later this month.
New Zealand is to sign the Convention on Mutual Administration Assistance in
Tax Matters, formulated jointly by the Organization for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD) and the Council of Europe. The Convention will give New
Zealand's Inland Revenue the ability to request help from other tax authorities
in detecting and preventing tax evasion, and in collecting outstanding tax debts.
Making the announcement, Dunne said New Zealand's legislation for taxing trusts
is fully transparent and stressed that the rules are "consistent with the
wider international norm that a country should not tax non-residents on foreign-sourced
income". He also pointed out that the foreign trust taxation rules and
treaty exchange of information arrangements and practices were scrutinized last
year by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax
Purposes review and were approved.
According to Dunne, the impending signature of the Convention is an important
step and is consistent with New Zealand's approach to tax matters. It also,
he emphasized, "makes a mockery of tax haven assertions".