Panama Papers



  • Assume others are following this?
     
    Have been sort of following this, found some of it interesting and some a little worrying, however I saw that Nicky Hagar is involved in the 'investigative journalism' of it, and have kinda tuned out now...will wait for any reviews to come out, rather than putting too much weight into his spin of things now.



  • Big news here when it broke, mainly because of some of the political figures involved with lobby funding from dodgy sources, or directly following "perfectly legal tax avoidance"



  • Is it 6 am tomorrow that names are being released? Will be interesting to see which NZers are caught (if any). The Cook Islands being involved makes it quite close to home.



  • Is it 6 am tomorrow that names are being released? Will be interesting to see which NZers are caught (if any). The Cook Islands being involved makes it quite close to home.

    It is a big noise over fuck all in relation to NZ. Just the usual far left conspiracy theorists piston wristed gibbons liaising with dirty media for a hit job.
     
    In NZ now they have got so desperate to smear that they have now saying that individual who have paid correct tax on every cent earned in NZ are somehow bad for NZ. And I think it is a disgrace that legal business doing legal things have their directors faces planted all over the news. The media in NZ really are a bunch of fluffybunnies. 
     
    I was mostly fucked off as I turned on TV this morning to eat my Weetbix and watch the news bulletin.. and instead I had that Hager wankstain all over the screen... and no news or sports news.



  • Well, they should be paying tax on their worldwide income (if they're a nz tax resident).
    Bit yeah, I am inclined to agree with you. It'll probably amount to nothing at all.



  • The only thing that annoys me is why, when given the prime opportunity, the media is asking stupid questions that will never get results (as this is 'legal tax evasion'). Hagar will be barking up the wrong tree and making stupid noise around this as well.
    What I would like to hear is the philosophical response as to why someone feels they need to use these avenues in the first place. "Because they are there and legal' is the reality.
    I know some people hold the view that using every available loophole or avenue to not pay tax is a right (or even an obligation), but I would just like to hear politicians actually say it. After all they create and pass tax laws in the first place.I would just like to hear their reasoning on the 'fairness' of these types of situations.
    I know all the arguments about paying a decent amount of tax elsewhere etc etc and those that say that for lower income taxpayers it goes out with one hand and comes back to the other.
    My interest is more about why we structure things (at both ends of the scale) like this while leaving the main burden on the middle and this highlight on structured legal tax vehicles is a great chance to air this debate.
    Personally I favour a flat tax system without any avenues like offshore trusts etc but that will never happen



  • Well, they should be paying tax on their worldwide income (if they're a nz tax resident).
    Bit yeah, I am inclined to agree with you. It'll probably amount to nothing at all.

    No they should not. You only pay tax on income earned in NZ unless we have a tax arrangement?  Well that was my understanding.
    Unless you are meaning big companies dodging world wide tax like Google etc? Then yeah I agree, that is going to be a much bigger issue that needs to be solved by the OECD at the least... and little ole NZ's trust laws are irrelevant.
     
    The reality is that NZ never hides information from other countries when they ask and is happy to enter into info sharng agreements with any other country. So I am flummoxed how that makes a tax haven. if other counties dont want their citizens storing money in NZ trusts... then they could ask for information sharing.



  • The only thing that annoys me is why, when given the prime opportunity, the media is asking stupid questions that will never get results (as this is 'legal tax evasion'). Hagar will be barking up the wrong tree and making stupid noise around this as well.
    What I would like to hear is the philosophical response as to why someone feels they need to use these avenues in the first place. "Because they are there and legal' is the reality.
    I know some people hold the view that using every available loophole or avenue to not pay tax is a right (or even an obligation), but I would just like to hear politicians actually say it. After all they create and pass tax laws in the first place.I would just like to hear their reasoning on the 'fairness' of these types of situations.
    I know all the arguments about paying a decent amount of tax elsewhere etc etc and those that say that for lower income taxpayers it goes out with one hand and comes back to the other.
    My interest is more about why we structure things (at both ends of the scale) like this while leaving the main burden on the middle and this highlight on structured legal tax vehicles is a great chance to air this debate.
    Personally I favour a flat tax system without any avenues like offshore trusts etc but that will never happen

    But you need to define 'we'.. as in reality we are talking about other countries. NZ taxes every cent earned in NZ. Nobody is avoiding or evading paying tax in NZ by going offshore to a country we have a info sharing agreement with.
     
    The NZ taxpayers are not missing out in a single cent by foreign trusts being in NZ,



  • Apparently whoever Hagars mouthpiece is said over the weekend that Key is the only world leader mentioned. I'm sure Obama is miffed that he isn't considered a world leader anymore as he's mentioned in it too apparently.
    This was in the drivel about Key bring conspicuously silent about the Cook Islands . Nice smears there but I think they'll only work on leftards that already hate Key and most people will ask what the Cook Islands tax regime has to do with us.
    I'm not sure if anyone else has read dirty politics but Hagars got a bloody cheek considering the way he behaves.



  • But you need to define 'we'.. as in reality we are talking about other countries. NZ taxes every cent earned in NZ. Nobody is avoiding or evading paying tax in NZ by going offshore to a country we have a info sharing agreement with.
     
    The NZ taxpayers are not missing out in a single cent by foreign trusts being in NZ,

    My point was more about the opportunity for a discussion around why these vehicles need to exist in the first place. I don't actually know how they work just assume that there is some advantage to them being created and used.



  • My point was more about the opportunity for a discussion around why these vehicles need to exist in the first place. I don't actually know how they work just assume that there is some advantage to them being created and used.

    There are plenty of reasons that I have heard that all sound legit.
     
    I have not read all of this, but seems to explain a  bit
     
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/panama-papers/303358/mossack-fonseca-nz's-registered-office-responds



  • No they should not. You only pay tax on income earned in NZ unless we have a tax arrangement?  Well that was my understanding.
    Unless you are meaning big companies dodging world wide tax like Google etc? Then yeah I agree, that is going to be a much bigger issue that needs to be solved by the OECD at the least... and little ole NZ's trust laws are irrelevant.
     
    The reality is that NZ never hides information from other countries when they ask and is happy to enter into info sharng agreements with any other country. So I am flummoxed how that makes a tax haven. if other counties dont want their citizens storing money in NZ trusts... then they could ask for information sharing.

    It's actually the opposite. If you are a NZ tax resident the IRD require you to pay tax on your "worldwide income" unless there is a double tax agreement in place with the source country that grants it precedence to tax you on certain types or amounts of income. In effect the IRD gives you "credit" for having paid tax in these other countries so you don't get taxed twice.
     
    But you're right, NZ is not a tax haven. The people calling it such are either too lazy to look up a definition or are purposely misusing a term they know is incorrect because they think the public will relate to it better. But I guess it's not as sexy to say NZ is a "country with robust rule of law around access to private information".
     
    Everything I've heard about the NZ foreign trusts as talked about in the Panama Papers suggests the problem the journalists and Labour/Green parties have is with people having secrets (unless it's them, because their privacy is more important than others'). It seems like if the ownership and beneficiaries of a trust are not public record they are by definition a front for something illegal. It doesn't seem to be good enough for them that the IRD can peek through into all these details at will, and can and do share what they find with overseas tax authorities. If it's not available to any Nicky Hagar then clearly there is a problem.
     
    The fact is NZ is an insignificant player in the trust industry, and we aren't secretive. We are a signatory to the the OECD CRS MCAA which binds us to agreeing to share financial account and tax information with other signatories. Interestingly the USA will not sign although it requires others to share info with it through their FATCA legislation.
     
    https://www.oecd.org/ctp/exchange-of-tax-information/MCAA-Signatories.pdf
     
    This has turned the USA in no time flat into exactly what Hagar is accusing NZ of - a reporting "blank wall" for overseas tax authorities - but they're not being targetted. Of course John Key isn't their PM. I wonder if the two are related.



  • It's actually the opposite. If you are a NZ tax resident the IRD require you to pay tax on your "worldwide income" unless there is a double tax agreement in place with the source country that grants it precedence to tax you on certain types or amounts of income. In effect the IRD gives you "credit" for having paid tax in these other countries so you don't get taxed twice.
     
    But you're right, NZ is not a tax haven. The people calling it such are either too lazy to look up a definition or are purposely misusing a term they know is incorrect because they think the public will relate to it better. But I guess it's not as sexy to say NZ is a "country with robust rule of law around access to private information".
     
    Everything I've heard about the NZ foreign trusts as talked about in the Panama Papers suggests the problem the journalists and Labour/Green parties have is with people having secrets (unless it's them, because their privacy is more important than others'). It seems like if the ownership and beneficiaries of a trust are not public record they are by definition a front for something illegal. It doesn't seem to be good enough for them that the IRD can peek through into all these details at will, and can and do share what they find with overseas tax authorities. If it's not available to any Nicky Hagar then clearly there is a problem.
     
    The fact is NZ is an insignificant player in the trust industry, and we aren't secretive. We are a signatory to the the OECD CRS MCAA which binds us to agreeing to share financial account and tax information with other signatories. Interestingly the USA will not sign although it requires others to share info with it through their FATCA legislation.
     
    https://www.oecd.org/ctp/exchange-of-tax-information/MCAA-Signatories.pdf
     
    This has turned the USA in no time flat into exactly what Hagar is accusing NZ of - a reporting "blank wall" for overseas tax authorities - but they're not being targetted. Of course John Key isn't their PM. I wonder if the two are related.

    Thanks for the correction, good to know.



  • One News tonight was rancid



  • is rather disturbing how shite our media is, seems that the story is more important than the facts, oh and more often than not, just have a pretty reporter to paper the cracks



  • Being legal doesn't make it ethical, moral or right. There are good reasons to set up foreign trusts, but I doubt that many of these NZ-based trusts with foreign settlors, beneficiaries and assets were set up solely for those good reasons. Also, it's a real risk to NZ's reputation, even if that risk is based on mistaken belief - sometimes, that matters more.
     
    Yes, theoretically IRD can look further into them, but as they are not required to register as taxpayers, IRD has little way of knowing much about them without tip-offs, unless IRD are going to start looking at thousands of trust deeds and financial documents for trusts which are not required to pay tax anyway, assuming IRD even knows of the existence of all of them.



  • If NZ trust law is anything like the UK trust law, which I would assume to be the case, each trust is obliged to declare income and gains to the tax authorities whether they be UK based trusts or foreign based trusts and then pay the relevant tax on said income or gains. Once the funds are then re-patriated into the relevant country in the beneficiaries hands they then become a matter for the relevant tax authorities there.
     
    As Godder said there are many good reasons to set up (foreign) trusts and minimising of tax is certainly one of them. When it comes down to taxation I really don't buy the argument of 'well it may be legal but it's not moral or ethical'. Legal is legal. Morals and ethics are different to each person and no, the argument of 'well most people would find that not ethical/moral/whatever' does not wash either. If it is that bad that it is obviously immoral or unethical then change the bloody law.
     
    I find it more morally repugnant that a Government can fritter away so much of my (and your) hard earned money on total bureaucratic crap, than someone or some corporate entity might avoid paying some of that tax legally. Stop wasting all my bloody money and then come and talk to me about avoiding tax.



  • One News tonight was rancid

    Yeah it was pisspoor. They actually used the term"tax haven industry" as if that's an actual thing. The big deal they made of NZ being mentioned 61,000 times in the 11.5 million documents is a joke. The concept of trusts is really only something that exists in countries whose legal systems derive from the English one, so that's the UK, it's ex- colonies and the US.
    So if you were in a foreign country and wanted to utilise a trust structure you'd have to choose from them or Ireland or Luxembourg. If you wanted it in a place with stable political, financial and legal systems you're looking at the UK, USA, Aus, NZ, Ireland or Luxembourg. So given that apparently the USA isn't really implicated at all in the papers you'd expect NZ to appear a heck of a lot wouldn't you?
    But what do we actually have? If each document only mentions one country, we are in half of one per cent of them. Fuck all!
    BTW I love the slight of hand used to say 11.5 million documents but 61,000 mentions of NZ, as if that is the same thing. We could, for example, be listed in 10,000 preprinted docs that say ”your options include [long list of countries with NZ somewhere in it]". Who knows?
    But worst of all was them quoting a whole lot of positive things about NZ (safe, stable, honest etc) and NZ is a great place to do business and somehow representing that as a shitty thing to be saying.
    A new low for NZ news media IMO. Shitbags, all of them.



  • Being legal doesn't make it ethical, moral or right. There are good reasons to set up foreign trusts, but I doubt that many of these NZ-based trusts with foreign settlors, beneficiaries and assets were set up solely for those good reasons. Also, it's a real risk to NZ's reputation, even if that risk is based on mistaken belief - sometimes, that matters more.

    I don't buy the idea that companies & people have a moral duty to pay more tax than they need to. People have a moral duty not to torrent, shoplift, speed, double park, let their dog shit on the beach, drop their cigarette butts etc do they? do they fuck.
     
    The global taxation system is abysmally broken, 99% of the people & companies people bitch about are 100% compliant with legislation, and most of the legislation is drawn up not to efficently collect tax, but because its written by lobbying groups, and our polititians are too incompetent or fiscally incentivised to care. Nothing pisses me off more than some life long polititian bleating about a company that is paying 100% of the tax the law requires them to. When is the last time one of them went "Well, Google don't pay much tax, but that becuae the tax laws that we drafted are terrible & I was swayed by a tax lawyer hired by the XXXX lobby who took me out for dinner & helped get my kid into an exclusive golf club, and frankly I'm too fucking stupid to understand it anyway."



  • I don't buy the idea that companies & people have a moral duty to pay more tax than they need to. People have a moral duty not to torrent, shoplift, speed, double park, let their dog shit on the beach, drop their cigarette butts etc do they? do they fuck.
     
    The global taxation system is abysmally broken, 99% of the people & companies people bitch about are 100% compliant with legislation, and most of the legislation is drawn up not to efficently collect tax, but because its written by lobbying groups, and our polititians are too incompetent or fiscally incentivised to care. Nothing pisses me off more than some life long polititian bleating about a company that is paying 100% of the tax the law requires them to. When is the last time one of them went "Well, Google don't pay much tax, but that becuae the tax laws that we drafted are terrible & I was swayed by a tax lawyer hired by the XXXX lobby who took me out for dinner & helped get my kid into an exclusive golf club, and frankly I'm too fucking stupid to understand it anyway."

    Also who decides if they are ethical moral or right?


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