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New disclosure rules sees sharp drop in registered foreign trusts

Foreign Trusts have been slow to register with Inland Revenue after new disclosure rules kicked in, forcing them to provide more information.

In 2016 there were 11,750 foreign trusts. But figures released to 1 NEWS show so far only 66 have registered to comply with the new rules. They have until the end of the month to do so.

And the figures show 1838 trusts have already de-registered.

Mossack Fonseca is playing up New Zealand's good reputation particularly to rich clients in Central and South America. Source: 1 NEWS

New rules came into effect in February after last year's Panama Papers investigation showed New Zealand was being used to hide assets and cash.

That investigation was a collaboration between 1 NEWS, journalist Nicky Hager and RNZ.

The tighter legislation means foreign trusts have to report annually to Inland Revenue, and go on a register that can be accessed by Police and Internal Affairs.

Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca is playing up NZ’s good reputation. Source: Breakfast

They can then share the information with international agencies to stop tax evasion.

The law changed in February after concerns raised in the leaked Panama Papers. Source: 1 NEWS