New Zealand as an Offshore Centre

New Zealand has evolved one of the best and most comprehensive asset protection and offshore tax minimization systems in the world whilst at the same time avoiding any issues of blacklisting as an offshore destination by the OECD countries. This plus a comprehensive bundle of Free Trade agreements and Double Taxation Agreements mean that today a properly structured and planned asset protection strategy involving the use of New Zealand companies and non-resident trust ensures the safest and most efficient structure possible.

You must remember that New Zealand is not a tax haven. Nevertheless, it is considered by many international investors and businessmen as the best jurisdiction to form asset protection structures and tax regimes for non-resident shareholders and/or beneficiaries. So the country can provide all the advantages of traditional "offshore" jurisdictions and even more because it is not blacklisted by any jurisdiction or authority in the world and has no connotations as a tax haven. New Zealand is a full member of the OECD, FATF and World Trade Organization.

The advantage of New Zealand can be summarised in the following:

  • New Zealand is considered by many to be the Switzerland of the South Pacific combining extremely high levels of reliability and service with high levels of confidentiality at a very competitive price.
  • New Zealand has established reliable and government guaranteed banking industry, a controlled and highly professional trustee industry and profession, a wealth of highly competent accounting and legal advisors.
  • Properly structured New Zealand entities [companies and trusts] are completely tax free here, i.e. pay no tax in New Zealand as long as they are established and owned by non residents and do not do business here. These structures can trade, invest, own assets, sell and buy property and shares and pay no tax in New Zealand
  • New Zealand is one of the few jurisdictions that provides the added protection of trusts which means creditors, spouses, claimants cannot get at your assets because these are owned by a trust and no New Zealand court will ever interfere or disturb this arrangement. In New Zealand law a properly structured trust is unbreakable which makes New Zealand in a par with jurisdictions like the Cook Islands but without the stigma of offshore.
  • Various countries have death duties, currency controls, gift duties, inheritance taxes and other nasty restrictions on passing on and holding onto family wealth-trusts avoid this. They also avoid the need for writing a will and getting involved in prolonged family disputes over inheritance.
  • There is no capital gains tax in New Zealand. Any capital increase in the value of the trusts or companys assets is therefore not taxable.
  • New Zealand Foreign trusts are the ideal vehicle to hold profit-generating assets as a real estate, shares, intellectual property rights etc (including New Zealand located assets). As a general idea it is not recommended to use trusts as a commercial trading structure because this can expose the trust to liability and create accounting and other issues. The Look Through Company on the other hand is perfect as a commercial trading vehicle. The combination of these two structures creates the best offshore wealth creation and preservation vehicle available today.
  • New Zealand structures are very price competitive, although not the cheapest in the world they are one of the most reliable and most price competitive due to the lower New Zealand dollar and the less expensive price of services.
  • There is an added advantage which very few jurisdictions are able to offer. It is the possibility of buying real estate and migration whereby you can call New Zealand your second home or invest in assets here including the ability to work with local banks to borrow money.
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