Each financial year brings in new tax and legal obligations that business owners have to digest and comply with.
This year is no different and, with the arrival of the carbon tax, the 2012-13 changes are likely to provoke more uncertainty among start-ups than those in any other recent year.
To save you wading through reams of government technical-talk, we’ve rounded up the 10 things that have changed for your business in the 2012-13 financial year.
1. Carbon tax
Unless you’ve been living under a politician-free rock since the last election, you’ll know that the carbon tax will be introduced on July 1.
Only 294 of Australia’s largest polluters will be required to pay a price on carbon, fewer than the 500 initially earmarked for the scheme.
The carbon price will start at $23 per tonne of carbon emissions. It will increase by 2.5% on July 1, 2013 and again on July 1, 2014.
Start-ups won’t pay the tax directly and recent research has suggested that new businesses will thrive in a low-carbon economy.
However, entrepreneurs will undoubtedly face price increases, primarily in energy, but also other goods and services. This puts an onus on start-ups to reduce their exposure by being more energy efficient and finding savings in their supply chains.
There will be help at hand – businesses that use up to $20,000 in electricity every year or have up to 10 employees can get a 50% rebate, and manufacturers will be able to access the $800 million Clean Technology Investment Program.
Clean tech start-ups will have a $10 billion clean energy investment fund to apply to, which promises to boost innovation in the renewables sector.
There’s also the Solar Credits scheme, which small businesses can use, and SMEs in Sydney and Perth which sign up to the CitySwitch Green Office program can get a rebate of $1,000.
For a full run-down of what the carbon tax means for your business, click here.