Shewan foreign trust changes enter Parliament

Shewan foreign trust changes enter Parliament

Changes to New Zealand's tax system, including foreign trust disclosure following the release of the Panama Papers, have been introduced to Parliament.

The raft of recommendations from tax expert John Shewan, who was brought in to investigate New Zealand's foreign trust disclosure rules, are wrapped up in wider legislation to change the country's tax laws.

Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse says the alterations include new disclosure requirements for foreign trusts, and a searchable register available to Internal Affairs and police as well as annual disclosure requirements.

The Government called in Mr Shewan, a former head of PricewaterhouseCoopers, to review the rules around disclosure in April following the release of millions of documents taken from a Panamanian law firm.

He reported back in June and found the rules "inadequate" and recommended a suite of changes - the Government said it would adopt all of them.

The wider Bill will also simplify tax processes and reduce compliance costs for smaller businesses as announced in this year's Budget.

It'll include allowing a pay-as-you-go option for provisional tax from April 1, 2018 for small businesses.