Chapter 9 - Registration and reporting requirements


The registration of trusts is an option that has been suggested to us on several occasions and warrants some consideration. Submitters on the Law Commission’s earlier Issues Papers on the review of the law of trusts have raised a trust register or other regulatory requirements, in particular in discussing their “wish list” for the law of trusts and measures to counteract the negative impacts of the abolition of gift duty. Some media attention has been given to the possibility that a register for trusts will be introduced.450 A natural progression of a registration approach is to impose reporting requirements.

These options involve the increased regulation of trusts. Wholesale registration requirements have been introduced in few countries. Because such a step necessarily involves increased compliance costs and a departure from historical and overseas norms, there would need to be good reasons for introducing a register and reporting requirements.

This chapter examines possible problems which appear to have arisen from the lack of regulatory requirements for trusts in New Zealand, how these issues have been addressed overseas and evaluates options for regulation of trusts that could be considered here. The option of a register discussed in this chapter applies only to express trusts.

Rob Stock “Lifting of trust veil mooted” Sunday Star Times 3 October 2010; Rob Stock “Gift duty bonus comes at high price” Sunday Star Times 7 November 2010.