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A Reality Check For All Tax Planners

On 24 August 2011 the Supreme Court issued its eagerly-awaited judgment in the Penny & Hooper case, which clarified the rules on tax avoidance.

  • 16 September 2011
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 2098
  • 0 Comments

Penny & Hooper were the orthopaedic surgeons who restructured their medical practices for the purpose of (among other things) avoiding the last Labour Government’s increase in the top tax rate from 33% to 39%. The Supreme Court’s judgment was a victory for the IRD and a setback for those who want to minimise their tax burden through means that would normally be regarded as perfectly legitimate.

Finally, They're Clamping Down On Trusts

Trusts have been with us for a long time.

  • 18 February 2011
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 2015
  • 0 Comments
Finally, They're Clamping Down On Trusts

Back in the Crusades, Knights used to transfer their assets to a reliable friend or relative before they departed for the Holy Land, on the condition that he would only use those assets for the benefit of the Knight’s family members. That is the true concept of a trust – where someone appears to be the owner of some assets, but in fact he only holds them as a guardian for someone else.

The Abolition of Gift Duty - What it means for you

We have many different forms of tax, as you know. They include taxes based on our income (income tax), our purchases (GST), our risk of injury (ACC), and any gifts that we make above a certain level (gift duty).

  • 1 November 2010
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 2008
  • 0 Comments

We used to have another tax known as “estate duty”, which was based on the value of the assets you owned when you died, but that was abolished in 1992. Before estate duty was abolished, people used to give away their assets to their loved ones immediately before they died, for the sole purpose of avoiding the tax. To stop people avoiding estate duty in this way, gift duty was introduced, so people were caught either way. 

Is there any such thing as a Trust?

A couple of construction law cases recently have highlighted an issue that I am sure vexes many people.

  • 10 September 2009
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1868
  • 0 Comments
That is, what exactly is a trust? The cases, both at District Court level, came to exactly opposite conclusions on pretty much the same question, which indicates the depth of confusion out there. The first was Grant Hamilton Construction Ltd v. Trustees of the Jaypek Trust, a March 2009 decision of Judge Everitt in the Hamilton District Court. The second was I Q Homes Ltd v. Trustees of the Fisher Family Home Trust, a July 2009 decision of Judge MacAskill in the Christchurch District Court.

Fast-Tracking Your Assets Into A Trust

One of the major draw-backs of putting assets into a trust is the length of time it can take to get them completely out of your name and into the trust’s name.

  • 7 November 2008
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1992
  • 0 Comments
Fast-Tracking Your Assets Into A Trust

There are various things you can do to shorten the process, but even then, if the assets are worth a lot it can sometimes takes decades to complete the process. In this newsletter I explain why that happens, and how certain people may be able to speed up the process so that the transfer occurs virtually overnight. Maybe you are one of the few people who can take advantage of this.

Innovative Ways to Pay for a Court Case

If you have ever been involved in a court case then you will know what a time consuming, expensive and frustrating experience it is.

  • 14 March 2006
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1505
  • 0 Comments
Innovative Ways to Pay for a Court Case
Over the centuries our system has become increasingly complex, much like the tax laws. And like the tax laws, it has to be complex because unscrupulous people always attempt to abuse it in some way, by distorting the truth, withholding important information, advancing outrageous arguments, and generally seeking an unfair advantage over their opponents. 

The Downside of Trusts

It is very common these days to have a family trust.

  • 24 July 2001
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1794
  • 0 Comments

The age-old reason for having a trust still applies – to look after relatives, dependents, friends or people in need. But the current fascination with trusts is driven by a host of other reasons – to protect personal assets from creditors, to qualify for welfare, to avoid or minimise tax, and sometimes simply because everyone else seems to have one.

Can You Hide Behind A Company Or A Trust?

Recent high profile company collapses such as that of the Hartner Group

  • 5 May 2001
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 2973
  • 0 Comments
Have been raising questions about whether company owners should be able to protect their assets and maintain their glitzy lifestyles while their creditors suffer and in many cases go out of business. Of course the rumours are not always true and many proprietors of failed businesses suffer just as much financially and emotionally as their creditors. But this is not always the case. Is this a legal loophole? Or do creditors have legal rights to go behind the proprietor’s company or trust and get at his personal assets?

Why Form A Trust?

Trusts are an ancient creation of English law that we in New Zealand have adopted.

  • 22 July 2000
  • Author: Geoff Hardy
  • Number of views: 1712
  • 0 Comments
In the old days they were predominantly used by wealthy people, but now every second person seems to have one. Advertisements appear in the newspaper virtually every day promoting them. Why have trusts become so popular, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of having one?
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