The New Zealand offshore trust regime

John Prebble

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New Zealand is in general a high tax country. It is host to a thriving offshore trust industry established after an amendment to the income tax legislation in 1987. The successor to this amendment is section HC 26(1), which states that where non-residents settle income-producing property on New Zealand resident trustees, New Zealand does not tax the income in the hands of the trustees so long as that income has a foreign source.

CFR comment

New Zealand, which we generally think of as a high tax jurisdiction, has a robust trust law that allows non-residents to establish offshore trusts there and to avoid taxation. This short paper provides an overview of the main features of NZ trust law. A useful read for those involved with trusts and those looking for data points with which to skewer high tax jurisdictions, like New Zealand, that complain about offshore jurisdictions.