New Zealand has received the top rating in an international review of tax transparency and exchange of information standards.
The OECD’s Global Forum issued the top overall rating of ‘compliant’ after examining New Zealand’s laws and practices with respect to the exchange of information with other tax authorities.
Inland Revenue’s international revenue strategy manager John Nash says the success of the review was due to the strong collaborative effort with several other government agencies as the assessment’s scope went well beyond tax administration.
“Our peers have told us they are very satisfied with the quality and timeliness of the information we’ve provided and the Global Forum has recognised this with the top rating.
“This reflects that we’re playing our part in the global fight against tax evasion through our world-class exchange of information programme and commitment to transparency,” says Nash.
“We were marked down slightly on the availability of beneficial ownership information for some entities. We accept the Global Forum’s recommendations in this area and will be acting on them accordingly.
“We were also rigorously tested on our confidentiality and data safeguards so taxpayers can have the confidence their information is being kept and shared in a way that’s in line with international best practice,” Nash adds.
Meanwhile, Inland Revenue is gearing up for the most comprehensive exchange of financial account data to date, involving some 100 jurisdictions.
Financial institutions around the world have been preparing the information of their customers who are not local tax residents over the past year.
New Zealand is due to receive the first batch from relevant jurisdictions in September this year.
Nash strongly recommends that taxpayers who may not have disclosed their offshore income should think seriously about coming forward before Inland Revenue receives their information first.