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If a foreign trust has one or more New Zealand resident trustees, the trustees must register the trust with us and comply with ongoing disclosure and annual return processes. A New Zealand resident trustee of a foreign trust is known as a resident foreign trustee. The trustee that communicates with Inland Revenue is known as the contact trustee.

Foreign trusts with a resident foreign trustee are referred to here as New Zealand Foreign Trusts (NZFTs).

Registration and compliance with ongoing obligations allow an NZFT to receive a tax exemption for foreign-sourced income.

The information is a general summary of the obligations. You can find more information in the 'Special report on foreign trust disclosure rules' on our policy website.

Special report on foreign trust disclosure rules (Tax Policy)

Registration requirements

Most NZFTs that existed on 21 February 2017 were required to apply for registration by 30 June 2017.

Most NZFTs established after 21 February 2017 or foreign trusts that appoint a resident foreign trustee after that date must apply for registration within 30 days of establishment or the appointment of a resident foreign trustee.

NZFTs with non-professional resident foreign trustees who are natural persons and for which it is their first foreign trust may have more time to complete registration documents.

Changes for New Zealand Foreign Trusts

In March 2021, we're looking to make some improvements to the way we manage New Zealand Foreign Trusts (NZFT). These changes will allow you to file, make payments and manage your foreign trust details online.

Changes for New Zealand Foreign Trusts