COOK ISLANDS 2021. Changes to the tax laws

The Cook Islands, as part of its effort to promote good tax governance and meet its commitment to the European Union’s Code of Conduct Group, in December, 2019 passed a suite of legislation that included the removal of Cook Islands tax exemptions for Cook Islands companies incorporated or registered under the International Companies Act 1981-82 (“International Companies”).

International Companies incorporated/registered from 18 December 2019 are subject to Cook Islands company tax at 20% on profits pursuant to the Income Tax Act 1997 and the VAT Act 1997.  International companies existing/registered before 18 December 2019 will first be subject to the same tax on their 2022 profits except where income is derived from IP assets acquired and new activities commenced after 18 December, 2019.  In addition, in line with its domestic company tax regime, dividends paid to foreign shareholders will be subject to a 15% withholding tax.

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