New Zealand "Foreign" Trusts


New Zealand is an attractive jurisdiction to establish trusts, companies and limited partnerships for international wealth structuring purposes (ie holding assets not situated in New Zealand for the benefit of people not resident in New Zealand).

New Zealand trusts, companies and limited partnerships can be tax neutral in NZ. In that respect they can operate in the same way as similar structures in "offshore" financial centres such as Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Cayman.

However, New Zealand is an OECD member jurisdiction and not tainted by the "tax haven" misnomer unfairly attributed to those other jurisdictions but which can cause problems for structures established therein.

New Zealand structures are most commonly used for the benefit of private clients but can also be used in a collective investment context and by commercial operators (such as introducing brokers).

In my (admittedly partial) view, the scrutiny on "offshore" centres will continue to grow trust companies and private banks should consider utilising a New Zealand structure either on its own or as a component in a wider structure involving other vehicles in other jurisdictions.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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