As Geoff Cone explains in a New Zealand Herald article, New Zealand is the furthest thing from a tax haven. Not only does there behavior not match that of a sneaky tax evading country, they do quite the opposite. New Zealand competes in the same market as countries such as the United States and Singapore whose tax systems are transparent and well regulated against tax evasion. In fact, an OECD Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters was agreed upon in 2002 as a sort of international agreement of tax transparency and New Zealand was one of the first countries recognized for having appropriately implementing the agreed upon stipulations. As Cone continues to explain, New Zealand cooperates with foreign governments in terms of information transfer about international trustees and their dealings. There are 39 double tax agreements domestically within New Zealand and another 20 international tax information exchange agreements. These are certainly not the behaviors or characteristics of a tax haven.
Geoff Cone is a New Zealand tax expert with a particular focus on foreign trusts and trustees. He is a partner at Cone Marshall where he works side by side with his partners to ensure his customers get the most up to date and accurate information to help them make smarter financial decisions. Cone’s years of experience in the New Zealand foreign trust market has equipped him with a sought after expertise that makes his name one of the most prominent in the industry. In fact, his firm is one of the only in New Zealand to predominantly focus on international tax and trust planning.
Geoffrey Cone attended the University of Otago in his home country of New Zealand. From Otago, Cone graduated with LLB Honors and an excellent track record. He furthered his education with post graduate school where he graduated with a diploma in tax and trust law. Cone’s first tax practice took place in Auckland, New Zealand in 1980. This was a short experience before moving to Christchurch. It is here that Cone became the Chairman of Partners and a partner himself in a successful and prominent law firm. At this position, Cone focused on advisory work in the tax and trust markets as well as in commercial litigation. This experience actually took Cone to the British West Indies where he worked as a litigator for two years. After this time, Cone returned to Auckland in 1997 to continue his practice. In 1999, Cone established his own firm by the name of Cone Marshall with partner Karen Marshall, who also attended Otago University before spending almost a decade working in London. Today, Geoff Cone continues his practice in Auckland, Working with clients on foreign trusts and other tax scenarios.