Government inquiry into foreign trust disclosure rules:
submissions sought

John Shewan

John Shewan
Former PWC chairman chosen by the Government to head the government inquiry into foreign trust disclosure rules

As a result of the recent release of documents known as the Panama Papers the Government has established an Inquiry into New Zealand’s disclosure rules relating to foreign trusts registered in New Zealand. I have been appointed to conduct the Inquiry.

Terms of Reference for the Inquiry are attached here: Establishment of the Government Inquiry into Foreign Trust Disclosure Rules

I understand that you and/or your organisation have an interest in this area. If you are able, I would welcome your contribution to the Inquiry in the form of a written submission.

Matters you may wish to comment on include-

  1. Whether you consider the existing foreign trust disclosure rules are adequate to ensure that New Zealand’s reputation as a country that cooperates with other jurisdictions to deter abusive tax practices?
  2. Concerns have been raised that foreign trusts may be used as vehicles to hide investments that might not have a legitimate source. Do you consider that the existing anti-money laundering/countering foreign terrorism legislation is able and sufficient to address such concerns?
  3. If no to either of the above questions, is this because the law is not adequate or because the enforcement is not sufficiently rigorous?
  4. What changes to the foreign trust disclosure rules or their enforcement do you recommend?
  5. What other actions might be taken?

Please feel free to comment on any other matters relevant to the Inquiry.

The Inquiry is required to report its findings and opinions by Thursday, 30 June 2016. To assist in meeting this timeframe, if you plan to make a submission please do so by 5pm, Friday 20 May 2016.

Please email your submission care of the Inquiry’s Secretariat to suzy.morrissey@treasury.govt.nz or post it to the Secretariat:

Mr John Shewan
C/- Suzy Morrissey
The TreasuryPO Box 3724
Wellington 6140

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