Panama Papers: New Zealand joins tax task force

Panama City — home for the law firm at the centre of a vast document leak. Photo / AP
Panama City — home for the law firm at the centre of a vast document leak. Photo / AP

New Zealand has joined a task force of tax officials around the world in the wake of the release of the Panama Papers.

Last week journalists published information gathered from a leak of 11.5 million records from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that revealed how the world's wealthy hide money in offshore trust accounts.

A special meeting of the Joint International Tax Shelter Information and Collaboration (JITSIC) Network was held in Paris this week, with New Zealand represented by Inland Revenue international revenue strategy manager John Nash.

Nash said network members agreed to work in close collaboration to maximise the benefits of information and intelligence exchange in relation to take on the methods Mossack Fonseca was using to hide money in offshore accounts.

The network wanted to ensure progress was made "as quickly as possible", Nash said in a statement.

He urged any New Zealand tax residents who may have been involved in offshore arrangements that do not comply with our tax laws to make voluntary disclosures rather than "face more severe action later should we identify participation in tax evasion or avoidance".

- NZ Herald

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