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NZ welcomes Cook Islands measures to tackle tax avoidance

Hon Todd McClay

Minister of Revenue

8 November 2015

NZ welcomes Cook Islands measures to tackle tax avoidance

Minister of Revenue Todd McClay has welcomed a decision by the Cook Islands government to implement the 'Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters Agreement' (AEOI) and says the Cooks Islands and New Zealand will play their part to target international tax avoidance.

AEOI is at the heart of international efforts to reduce international tax evasion, and strengthen international efforts to increase transparency among financial institutions and tax administrations.

Mr McClay met with Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown in Rarotonga last week where they discussed a number of issues including Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), offshore tax evasion and greater tax transparency.

He says the Cook Islands government is committed to supporting international moves to ensure multinationals paid their fair share of tax.

Minister Brown confirmed that the Cook Island government would look to progress AEOI legislation in 2016.

The New Zealand government committed to implementing AEOI obligations at the G20 meeting in 2014.

Mr McClay says that he has asked IRD to look at the possibility of moving New Zealand's implementation of its AEOI obligations forward.

"The government is committed to ensuring the greatest level for transparency in the international tax system. In this way we can ensure multinationals are fully meeting their tax obligations to New Zealand taxpayers.

"I congratulate Minister Brown and the Cook Islands government on their decision to implement AEOI and have offered them support and assistance in the development and implementation of their tax legislation," says Mr McClay.

ends

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