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NZ Foreign Trusts

The NZ Foreign Trust regime is now a thoroughly modern regime which has been progressively developed through a logical public policy sequence.

New Zealand  inherited a common law tradition from the United Kingdom in 1840.Formal local trusteeship legislation was enacted in 1956 and enhanced by the Perpetuities Act 1964. Trust taxation was reformed as at December 1987 when in a significant economic policy shift tax liability was linked to the residency of the settlor. Following a period of industry consultation NZ Foreign Trust disclosure rules were legislated on 1 October 2006 .This provided integrity of information for non-resident settlors and their non-resident assets.

The key features of a NZ Foreign Trust are thus:

  • a non-NZ resident settlor
  • NZ Trust Law
  • a registered NZ resident Trustee
  • a wide range of permissible assets held by the Trust
  • an exemption from tax on all non-NZ income
  • clear disclosure limits which protect integrity of settlor and integrity of assets

NZ Foreign Trusts operate in a stable political environment in one of the oldest democracies within the OECD club. Strict privacy laws and an independent judiciary provide confidence to non-resident settlors contemplating using the regime.


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