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Access to International Law Enforcement

New Zealand will also continue to implement bilateral arrangements that will ensure law enforcement in one partner country has full and effective access to the beneficial ownership information of companies incorporated in the other partner country.

Country: New Zealand

Status: underway

Themes: Beneficial ownership

Last updated: October 2018

Classification:

Concrete: Concrete | New: Not New | Ambitious: Not Ambitious

Notes:

October 2018 update: Limited progress has been made since the communiqué on measures to obtain beneficial ownership (BO) information. The company registry holds basic information but is not required to obtain BO information and this measure is not effective therefore. The measures for foreign trusts lack transparency and do not cover domestic trusts. Property can be purchased through nominees, in this way hiding beneficial owners, both overseas and local residents.

June 2018 update: The Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Bill, which followed the Government Inquiry into Foreign Trust Disclosure Rules, received Royal Assent on 21 February 2017. The Bill tightens New Zealand’s foreign trust disclosure rules, including for beneficiaries of fixed trusts. The amendments also allow Inland Revenue to share information about foreign trusts for law enforcement purposes with the Department of Internal Affairs and the Police. Inland Revenue has proceeded to implement the legislation, especially the registration requirement for foreign trusts. The requirement for annual returns will commence later this year. New Zealand law enforcement agencies can receive and provide information through various bilateral arrangements (such as tax treaties), multilateral arrangements (e.g. the Egmont Group), and through formal mutual legal assistance arrangements.

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