Fewer than 70 out of 11,645 New Zealand foreign trusts have reregistered following the introduction of tougher disclosure and eligibility requirements, with only three weeks left to go before the final deadline.
New Zealand taxes trusts on the basis of the tax residence of the settlor. It provides an exemption for foreign-sourced amounts derived by trustees resident in New Zealand if the trust is classified as a foreign trust.
The Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Bill seeks to ensure that these trusts cannot be used for aggressive tax avoidance or evasion, by enhancing the amount of information required from taxpayers and verifying their eligibility to the exemption.
The legislation introduced an obligation for affected trusts to register with Inland Revenue, file annual disclosure returns, and pay registration and filing fees in order to continue to benefit from the tax exemption. Information on the register of foreign trusts is to be shared with certain New Zealand government agencies.
The opposition Green Party, which released the numbers, said the Inland Revenue had proactively de-registered 1,797 foreign trusts since February.
"Holding foreign trusts to higher disclosure requirements will improve our international reputation..." Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.
The United Arab Emirates Cabinet on January 7, 2018, approved two double tax agreements concluded with Moldova and Croatia.
Taiwanese Premier Lai Ching-Te has directed the Ministry of Finance to work towards a Taiwan-US tax treaty.
Cyprus and Saudi Arabia signed a DTA on January 3, 2018.
According to preliminary media reports, Colombia and Japan are negotiating a DTA.
Georgia and Moldova signed a DTA on November 29, 2017.
Luxembourg and Kosovo signed a DTA on December 8, 2017.
Switzerland and the United Kingdom signed a DTA Protocol on November 30, 2017.
According to an update from the Liechtenstein Government, the new DTA with the United Arab Emirates will become effective from January 1, 2018.
According to preliminary media reports, the Netherlands and Liechtenstein held a first round of DTA negotiations over three days ending November 17, 2017.
Saudi Arabia's Cabinet on November 28, 2017, authorized the signing of a DTA with Bulgaria.
Bahrain's Cabinet has approved the signing of a new DTA with Hong Kong, the state news agency said November 13, 2017.
Hong Kong announced on November 24, 2017, that its DTAs with Pakistan and Latvia had entered into force.
Finland on November 2, 2017, confirmed that a new DTA signed with Germany will be effective from January 1, 2018.
The DTA between Cyprus and Iran will become effective from January 1, 2018.
India ratified a third Protocol to its DTA with New Zealand on November 2, 2017, publishing a Notice in its Official Gazette.
Gibraltar and the United Kingdom are considering launching negotiations towards a DTA, according to recent comments from the UK's Economic Secretary to the Treasury.
Barbados and Italy have exchanged instruments of ratification in respect of a DTA, which will now become effective from January 1, 2018.
Switzerland's Government on October 25, 2017, adopted a dispatch on the DTA concluded with Pakistan, enabling its ratification.
Spain and Portugal signed a DTA on October 18, 2017.
Pakistan and Latvia initialed a DTA on October 25, 2017.
Spain and Romania signed a DTA on October 18, 2017.
Denmark and Japan signed a DTA Protocol on October 11, 2017.
The Bahamas and Finland signed a Protocol to amend their TIEA on October 19, 2017.
The Dutch lower house of parliament on October 24, 2017, approved the ratification of a DTA signed with Zambia.
Cyprus and Mauritius signed a DTA Protocol on October 23, 2017.