In the past years, New Zealand has been accused of being a tax haven. The statement accuses New Zealand of imposing no or very minimal tax to their investors. It also accuses it of not being transparent and not being able to exchange its tax information with other governments whenever requested. New Zealand government has denied these allegations stating that they are not even and will be on the list of tax havens. OECD is responsible for keeping the list of notorious tax havens.
New Zealand has been among the first countries to embrace the gold standards for transparency that were put in place in 2002 in OECD Model Agreement. The agreement dictates that the tax information can be shared internationally by any government or authority whenever need be. In 2006, Michael Cullen introduced new rules that ensured that any foreign trust had a resident trustee in any investment project. The laws also dictate that a Disclosure form is submitted and the financial records of the foreign individual are made available to the government. Some of the information that is captured includes sentiment details, trustee assets and liabilities, money spent and received by the trustee, and trust deed. In the case of any business being run by the trustee, accounting information, codes and charts are also captured. The disclosure form is filled in English and is stored by the New Zealand Government. Substantial penalties are given to whoever fails to adhere to these rules. These rules were enhanced in 2011 to control money laundering activities.
Mr. Cone’s Background
Geoffrey Cone is among the two top principles of Cone Marshalls Company. It is an international tax and law firm that was established in 1999. It is based in Auckland New Zealand. The company offers advisory services to family advisors, private banks, corporations, and attorneys who are responsible for partnerships. Geoff has a rich career background that comprises of 30 years’ experience in tax planning, trust and trustee management and a foreign trust.
Mr. Cone is a graduate of the University of Otago in New Zealand with LLB degree. He also has a postgraduate diploma in tax and trust laws. His law practice began in 1980 in Auckland New Zealand. His law practice made him appear in several courts serving in different capacities. Geoffrey Cone later moved to Christchurch. Here he acted as a partner and also acted as the chairman of partners in the law firm. Cone has also worked in the British West Indies for two years serving as a litigator. He later set up his practice in Auckland in 1999 known as Cone Marshall Limited. As at present, Cone Marshal Limited is the only law firm in New Zealand that majors in International and tax planning.
Brazil is a deeply religious country. A large percentage of the Brazilian population is Catholic. Catholics aren’t allowed to divorce according to church law, but that doesn’t stop more than 300,000 people in Brazil from getting divorced every year, according to Ricardo Tosto de Oliveira Carvalho. Tosto is one of the top lawyers in Brazil. His firm, Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados handle divorce cases as well as other legal cases. Legal suits of divorce in Brazil have increased by more than 46 percent since 2011. The reason for the increase is constitutional amendment n° 66 which was passed in 2011, according to Tosto. That amendment changed the previous deadline for divorce requests.
The 2011 amendment enabled couples to dissolve their union without the typical bureaucratic requirements that are so famous in Brazil. The amendment also allows a person who got married last week to get a divorce today, and that is a big change from the old law. Under the old law, a person has to be married for one year before a divorce request could be filed by an attorney. The couple also had to wait two years to get a divorce. Tosto says the new law is keeping Brazilian lawyers very busy because it eliminates the fault finding clause and the separation requirement.
Some Brazilians think the new law makes it easy for couples to get a divorce and that it goes against the teachings of the church, but Tosto and other lawyers disagree. The new divorce amendment makes it easier for couples that married for the wrong reasons to dissolve the marriage. Mr. Tosto says Brazilians tend to marry in their teenage years, and then they realize they made a mistake. The new amendment gives lawyers the power to help them get out of those young marriages.
If a Brazilian couple gets divorced outside of Brazil, the divorce is not recognized by the Brazilian authorities. Couples must have a Brazilian attorney handle a divorce in order for it to be official. A Brazilian can marry a foreigner outside of Brazil, and the marriage is valid in Brazil as long as it is registered with the Brazilian Consulate in the country when the marriage took place, but a divorce in another country between a Brazilian and a foreigner is not valid. Brazilian attorneys are dealing with more divorces between a foreigner and a Brazilian because of that law, according to Mr. Tosto. More Brazilians are marrying foreigners and then divorcing them, and that is adding to the workload of Brazilian divorce attorneys.
Brazil has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the course of the past decade. Its Presidents have used the notion that a more inclusive society means more business opportunity to help move the country forward. Today, the size of the market opportunity for foreign companies is attracting a lot of large manufacturers who want to compete for the attention of the Brazilian consumer.
For most companies that are considering doing business in Brazil, one of the key questions is what is the legal climate like? In neighboring Argentina, for example, the laws regarding tenancy are so liberal that even native owners of buildings are very careful about who they lease to because each person that leases a building could end up suing to try to take over ownership of the property if stringent conditions aren’t met.
Fortunately, Brazilian law with regards to business is much like European law. It is in fact derived from a combination of the laws of three different European countries. So firms interested in getting started will have a familiar environment within which to work.
There are also quite a few legal personalities within Brazil that attract international clients and quite a bit of media regarding their careers and the cases that they take. One of the most profilic and well-known personalities is Ricardo Tosto de Oliveira Carvalho. Ricardo was renowned for providing services for large companies before branching out on his own with some legal partners. The firm that they started, Leite, Tosto and Barros, Lawyers, has grown into one of the largest legal firms in Brazil. Because they represent individuals, companies, and governments, Ricardo has tried and negotiated in a number of the highest profile cases in Brazil this century. In his spare time, he is able to sit on the board of other firms and provides guidance to the Study Center for Lawyer Studies, a key development center for young lawyers in Brazil.
Open For Business:
The legal climate has normed so much throughout the country that companies should expect that their rights and their responsibilities will be protected in the same manner that they are accustomed to in any other modern economy. For many, the difference is that Brazil is growing much faster than many other economies that they could invest in. At the current moment, a lull in the action has spurred all the major government ministers to consider promoting even more foreign investment as a means of integrating Brazil’s economy even further with that of other large trading partners. This represents an opportunity that probably won’t be equaled in the near future for companies that want to enter the market. So whether you are looking at expanding or wanting help with an existing presence in Brazil, working with their legal and business professionals within their system to get things accomplished can help you achieve solid growth.