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Clement Chak


Comprehensive Anti Tax Haven Legislation for Australia and New Zealand: International Comparative Studies and Reform

23 November 2023

Studying towards a Doctor of Philosophy in Taxation

Country of origin: New Zealand

Location: Auckland


This doctoral study aims to illustrate, by way of case studies, a critical analysis of the appropriateness or the consequence of anti tax haven legislation in Australia and New Zealand that curbs such offshore tax avoidance schemes. In particular, similar legislation in Australia and New Zealand, is comparatively analyzed in order to develop recommendations for reform of the relevant anti tax haven measures in the Australian and New Zealand tax laws. This study also entails a study of some of the popular schemes that are adopted by residents for investing offshore using tax haven and low tax jurisdictions so as to avoid or defer taxes.

In order to achieve these objectives, this study involved interviews with CFOs of large corporates and high net worth individuals to enquire how and why tax haven or low tax jurisdictions were being included in their offshore investment structures. It also involved interviews with tax authorities in Australia and New Zealand to enquire how they responded to tax havens activities by their residents.

Since tax haven abuse is an international problem, the effectiveness of the work of some international organizations in counteracting tax haven abuse of countries’ tax bases is also examined. The ultimate goal of this study is to contribute to reform that leads to comprehensive anti tax haven legislation for Australia and New Zealand. In that, the move away from the legal principle of “One Law for All” is recommended in tax laws, and a new doctrine of Earnings Hardship Taxation is recommended to be introduced in domestic tax systems.



Primary Supervisor: Adrian Sawyer


Research Interests

International Comparative Taxation Studies


Working thesis title

Comprehensive Anti Tax Haven Legislation for Australia and New Zealand: International Comparative Studies and Reform


Personal History

Prior to starting my PhD in 2011, I have been a chartered accountant in public practice in New Zealand since 1996 till now. I earned a master’s degree in taxation studies with second class honours second division from the University of Auckland, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting equivalent from Hong Kong Baptist University (accredited by California State Board of Accountancy).


Academic History

  • Master of Taxation Studies (Second Class Honours Second Division), University of Auckland, New Zealand (2008)
  • Bachelor in Accounting, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong (1987)


Professional History

  • Certified Public Accountant, Hong Kong (1982-1992)
  • Chartered Accountant, Australia and New Zealand (Since 1996)



Chak, Clement, Tax Haven Abuse – To Stop or to Treat? (January 20, 2015). AUSTRALASIAN TAX TEACHERS ASSOCIATION’S 2015 ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Available at SSRN: or

Chak, Clement, A Good Tax System Won't Be Good Without a Gaar – New Zealand vs China – A Case Study Approach (December 12, 2015). International Conference of Chinese Tax and Policy, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China, December 12-13, 2015, Available at SSRN: or

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