Tax transparency in New Zealand: A brief

The recent coverage of the nation’s media in favor of making foreign trusts sound like a lucrative deal for others to come in capitalize like a hot comb of honey has managed to turn quite some heads in the legal community.

Breaking silence on the matter prominent lawyer Geoffrey Cone said in a statement that New Zealand wasn’t a tax haven and would never feature as one in the books of OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). In order to qualify as a tax haven, there is no imposing of nominal taxes by the country and that no information in respect to their investors is shared with other governments.

New Zealand became one of the very first countries to implement and enforce domestic tax laws after the 2002 OECD Model agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax matters came into effect. The government has been strict in implementing this to effect. Under this, any New Zealand Trustee of a foreign trust is required to submit a Foreign Trust Disclosure Form and keep documents handy for tax purposes like details of settlements and distributions, details of the assets and liabilities of the trust to name a few. Failure to comply with this attracts heavy penalties by the New Zealand government.

New Zealand boasts of more than 39 double tax agreements and 20 different tax information exchange agreement with other countries. One of the few reasons for the growth of foreign trusts is the fact that the country is highly safe with a good judiciary in place and a world-class legal and professional infrastructure. Ending the discussion Cone said that the real fight was not against tax havens but jurisdictions themselves like US, Britain, and Singapore which have a transparent tax system and similar taxation principles in relation to their foreign trusts.

Geoffrey Cone is a partner at Cone Marshall and has with more than 16 years of experience in the legal field. Karen Marshall has experience managing trusts and her role extends to that of a director in the role of a trustee. Cone Marshall was founded by Geoffrey and Karen Marshall in the year 1999. The law firm specializes in International Trust and Tax Planning plus also providing trustee and trust management services through their affiliates.

Cone Marshall has been working with international families and their advisors and has been instrumental in setting up of numerous trusts, partnership, and companies. They have a wide array of services under their belt like succession, structuring advice and handling commercial litigation on behalf of their clients.

Transforming Business Industry Practices Through the SEC Whistleblower Program

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) Whistleblower Program oversees the security practices in the business industry to identify non-compliant companies for legal action. The program is founded on the need to enhance fairness and truthfulness in business practices. Whistle-blowers are advised to break the silence by reporting about securities violations to the SEC Whistleblower Program.

In 2010, the U.S. Congress came up with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Consumer Protection Reform Act, a heavily sweeping overhaul that would help regulate the financial industry since the Great Depression. Among the many reforms that were made to the Dodd-Frank Act was the introduction of a SEC Whistleblower Program, which provides employee protection and financial incentives to those who report possible violations of SEC regulations.

To respond to these changes, Labaton Sucharow brought up the idea of establishing a practice focused protection system that would advocate for SEC whistle-blowers. He built the firm on a top securities litigation platform with a world-class in-house team of professional financial analysts, investigators and forensic accountants. The practice is headed by Jordan Thomas, who is also part of professionals who developed the Whistleblower Program, including enacting proposed laws and implementing rules. Learn more about SEC Whistleblower lawyers

Sanctions and awards to whistle-blowers
The Dodd-Frank Act enacted in 2010 also, for the first time, introduced monetary rewards to those who blow the whistle against violations of the SEC regulations.

The compensation package will be issued as 10 – 30 percent of the sanctions collected through the SEC enforcement and in case the amount exceeds $1 million, the SEC program may recommend additional compensation, this time with reference to other sanctions collected and enforced by regulatory bodies and enforcement organizations.

Progress oriented leadership
To help advance the agenda of the program, the SEC body invites professionals and academia to share information about how well they can streamline the system to better cover the cases highlighted. There will be frequent amendments to help enhance the effectiveness of the program.

Whistle-blower protection
Whistle-blowers are eligible for protection and all the information shared should not be made public. This is the reason SEC Whistleblower Program introduced the anonymous reporting system that will allow more people to share their experiences with different companies without fear they would be targeted or fall victims of intimidation.