IRD News

Further steps to combat tax evasion

Posted 05 March 2019

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has announced New Zealand is expanding its global ability to combat tax evasion by joining forces with authorities in 30 countries and jurisdictions.

Cabinet has agreed to add another 30 territories to the current list of 60 jurisdictions where New Zealand has information-sharing agreements as part of a global standard known as the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI).

“The addition of 30 new territories reflects increased international cooperation by OECD and G20 countries to crack down on tax evasion,” says Mr Nash.

“It further increases our ability to ensure all New Zealanders pay their fair share of tax, including those who have financial interests in other countries. It shines a spotlight on those who try to evade tax obligations by hiding their assets offshore.

“New Zealand will send financial account information to these territories on an annual basis. These countries have enacted, or are expected to soon enact, legislation that enables them to send the same information to New Zealand.

“The 30 new countries are spread around the globe, from the Caribbean to Europe, Asia, the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. The list includes jurisdictions such as Panama, Switzerland, Macao, the Cook Islands and Nigeria.

The AEOI enables information sharing about details of accounts at many institutions, including banks, private equity funds, investment advisors and some brokers and trusts.

“Inland Revenue will review the information and verify that correct tax is being paid on offshore investments. New Zealand taxpayers are strongly advised to check they have correctly accounted for their offshore investments. If not, they should make a voluntary disclosure to Inland Revenue without delay.

“The Coalition Government is determined that our tax system should be fair. We will ensure trans-national financial activity does not seek to evade tax obligations. In 2018 we passed legislation to make multinationals pay their fair share of tax, and have recently signalled our intention to ensure providers of digital services also meet their obligations.

“New Zealand supports the growing international consensus about the need to eliminate opportunities for tax evasion. The G20 and the OECD account for 88 percent of the world’s economic activity. We are determined that the tax system is fair,” Mr Nash said.