No doubt the next six months will be an interesting time for every Australian business, as the impact from the Government’s carbon tax becomes clearer.
MYOB today released this free downloadable guide to the tax, which is a handy summary of what the tax means, what’s changing and things you need to know when doing your bookkeeping. You can download the free carbon tax toolkit here (pdf).
We’ve already pointed out, as have many others, that there’s no direct tax on most Australian businesses, though as MYOB points out, a flow-on effect is expected. The booklet flags “fuel, electricity, business travel, freight and waste removal”.
Most of the booklet is a handy summary of information that's already online from various sources, though the suggestions for dealing with tax are interesting, in particular: “Analyse your current pricing and assess how the additional costs may impact your profit margins. You need to justify any price increases not only to your customers, but also to the ACCC if asked.”
The guide also suggests “Consider locking in contracts with key suppliers now, at pre carbon tax rates”.
One of the biggest questions is how much of any increase in costs small business can pass on to its customers. Business has already been warned by the ACCC that while price increases are allowed, they will have to justify them if they are advertised as being caused by the carbon tax.
This paragraph sums up the situation: “You are not generally required to justify or explain why your prices have increased - however if you choose to claim that price increases are due to a particular cause, you should have confidence in your claim.”
The ACCC has released a free guide to carbon price claims. Download the ACCC guide here.