PASSING ON CARBON TAX IS SPIRIT OF THE LAW

Written on the 12 July 2012

PASSING ON CARBON TAX IS SPIRIT OF THE LAW

PASS it on. That’s the simple advice to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in a special Carbon Tax edition of Gold Coast Business News.

The latest edition of the magazine includes a 12-page guide to help businesses avoid being burned by the new tax, which starts on Sunday. There’s also a four-page sector-by-sector analysis of the likely impacts of the tax and tips on how to lessen any additional costs.

And for those business owners still struggling to get their heads around the changes, there’s a 10-point last-minute checklist.

Our research shows the Carbon Tax alone won’t kill a business, but there’s a world of pain awaiting those who choose to ignore it.

Four out of every 10 Gold Coast businesses are risking their financial futures by failing to understand the direct and flow-on effects of the biggest change to our tax structure since the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) 12 years ago.

But asking consumers to pay extra on products and services that cost more as a result of the Carbon Tax is not only a sound business decision for SMEs, it’s acting on the intended spirit of the new legislation, according to experts we interviewed.

Sustainability expert Greg Picker, from AECOM, says: “Businesses will experience price increases, but there is an expectation these increases are passed through the supply chain to consumers.

“The Federal Government wants prices to rise [on products and services linked to high emissions], so they can convince individuals and businesses to change their consumption habits.”

But an Australian Industry Group survey has found up to 60 per cent of manufacturers don’t plan to pass on any Carbon Tax costs because they fear it may make them less competitive in the market place.

Other commerce heavyweights, industry experts and business owners also weigh in with their opinions on likely impacts of the new tax in this month’s magazine.

Gold Coast Combined Chamber of Commerce president Jason Deacon says local businesses will be hit hard by the hike in energy costs.

“The timing of this new tax is absolutely wrong, especially for areas like the Gold Coast that have been so heavily hit by the economic downturn,” he says.

Environment consultancy Carbon Credit Corporation (C3) recommends businesses immediately ask suppliers how much more they will be charged under the Carbon Tax and formulate new price lists for their customers.

“If prices will increase by 3 per cent, SMEs should decide how much extra in dollars or cents to charge their consumers,” says C3’s Malcolm Borgeaud.

Mind Your Own Business (MYOB) CEO Tim Reed says: “Under-preparing and under-estimating the change in the income tax system is a pitfall that must be avoided at all costs.”

To read the full essential guide on how to avoid any gloom associated with the new Carbon Tax, get your copy of Gold Coast Business News magazine – at newsagents now.


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