The briefing note explained how the sector attracted ‘high wealth families’ as clients who were attracted by New Zealand’s political stability – incorruptable public service and particularly our ‘respect for privacy and commercial confidentiality’.
New Zealand was said to be competing for this business with similar zero-tax structures in Singapore – Israel – Hong Kong – Malta – the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and United States.
But the industry expressed concerns that even a proposal to tinker with tax rules for the sector could gut the industry as clients lose faith and take flight.
‘This would likely undermine the trust and confidence built up over many years whereby high wealth families have come to trust New Zealand as a safe country’ the note said of making a proposal public.
The briefing blamed the interest in their business by Inland Revenue on ‘confusion in the tax officials’ minds’ who were conflating their benign provision of ‘family planning and succession services’ with the international abuse of shell companies and corporate profit-shifting.
‘A narrow focus on taxation does not do justice to the country nor the trust industry’ the note urged.
A draft agenda for the meeting circulated by OliverShaw stated in bold ‘there is no need for a general public review’ and the industry sought assurance from the minister that even if one were to be announced it would explicitly rule out making the structures subject to taxation.
Inland Revenue officials prepared a Q&A for McClay for this meeting.
The entirety of this document is blacked out in order to ‘protect the confidentiality of advice’.
While what is said during that meeting was not disclosed a representative of OliverShaw wrote some months later they were ‘very pleased with their meeting with the minister’.
In total three such meetings between the minister and private sector trust providers took place.
Following them – in May – Inland Revenue policy manager Carmel Peters broke the news to her colleagues that the sector wouldn’t be put under the microscope.
‘Our minister has decided that a review of foreign trusts will not be included on the current tax policy work programme owing to wider government priorities’.
(ed:..this is how corruption works in new zealand..influence-peddling and mutual back-scratching..
..this tory government is ‘owned’ by so many different sectors..the tax haven industry is just one of a long list..(think alcohol-pushers/sugar-pushers/the gambling industry vultures/the loanshark-scum/the roading lobby..it just goes on and on….)
no wonder key seems to do nothing about everything that matters..the special-interests who he works for have too much at stake/skin in the game..
..and he sure as hell isn’t working in the interests of the average new zealander..that much is a clear as a bell…
..i wonder when the public will wake up…and realise this..?
..and react appropriately..?
..what more will it take..?..
..or is this one enough..?..)
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