So you’re thinking it may be time to come home. You have probably been living away longer than you expected and are wondering about what it’s like to live and work in New Zealand (or Australia) and what the opportunities are for you.

Our mission put simply is to offer innovative services for our client’s business, trust, wealth & tax needs. We are based in Auckland and have both South Island and Australian connections.

It is our intention to provide you with basic concepts of advice and some options or how you may consider future activity. Our clients include working individuals, business owners, investors and retirees. We also offer Estate Management and Trustee services.


Trusts and Returning Kiwi's

For people returning to New Zealand, trust issues will need to be carefully considered. On 31 January 2021 new trust laws come into force when the Trusts Act 2019 is fully in force.

A lot of returning New Zealanders will have organised their family financial affairs based on the circumstances of the country where they were living but a return to New Zealand will see a need to review all structures.

For trusts that have been formed outside of New Zealand and do not have New Zealand as the governing law (foreign trusts) then the Trusts Act 2019 will not apply to those trusts. There will still be tax issues that need to be considered for foreign trusts and they are addressed elsewhere.

A number of returning New Zealanders will have New Zealand trusts that they are involved with that may have been set up before they left to go overseas. These trusts will be subject to the new trust laws in New Zealand. Issues such as disclosure of information to beneficiaries, increased trustee duties and the potential to increase the period of a trust and just some that need to be considered.


Key Points

  1. The key is to obtain advice before you come back to New Zealand, but some knowledge is certainly helpful. The key is to understand firstly whether you will be a transitional resident or not and then which aspects of New Zealand tax could adversely affect you. If you are a transitional resident, then timing at least provides a 48-month window for you to get a lot of these issues sorted. 

  2. Trusts, in particular, are problematic where you have created a trust while you have been non-resident in New Zealand. Specific advice should be taken on trusts.

  3. Migrant Taxation - Many international tax complexities and planning opportunities present themselves when relocating people, businesses and wealth to and from New Zealand. Timing and advanced planning ensure that the maximum benefits are safeguarded and that the migration is completed in a tax-efficient manner. 

  4. Be careful that if you do come to New Zealand and then as a pre-cursor to moving back, and then return within 6 months, you may inadvertently become tax resident in New Zealand from that initial visit. 

  5. You will also need to obtain specific advice in relation to your existing jurisdiction and breaking the tax residency there, along with the consequences to that.