New Zealand has been able to show leadership when it comes to tax transparency because of the way they handle all foreign trusts, as well as the requirements that are placed upon the trustees. In 2006, new rules regarding this area were put into place by Michael Cullen. According to this rule, any a trustee of any foreign trust in New Zealand must turn in a Foreign Trust Disclosure form. They must also keep track of all financial records for tax purposes, such as the trust deed, any details of a settlement and distribution. Distribution reports must include the recipient’s name and current address, any assets and liabilities concerning the trust, and the money that the trustee actually receives and spends. All records must be in English, as there are heavy penalties if they are not.
Those who are involved in foreign trusts should always employ a lawyer who knows the law in and out, such as Geoffrey Cone and his law firm. Geoffrey Cone is well schooled in both commercial litigation and the tax and trust advisory field. Cone is a graduate of the University of Otago in New Zealand. He graduated with LLB honors as well as a post-graduate diploma in the area of tax and trust law. He started his practice in 1980 in Auckland, New Zealand and then later became a partner in a well-known law firm. Geoffrey Cone represents clients in the courts at all levels as the lead counsel, which also includes the Privy Council. He worked in the British West Indies for about two years as a litigator before returning to Auckland to continue practicing.
By 1999, Cone had established his own law firm, Cone Marshall Limited. His law firm specializes completely in tax planning and international trust and is the only law firm in New Zealand to focus on these areas exclusively. They also provide trustee and trust management assistance to the public through their affiliated companies.