The launch of the carbon tax on July 1 has SMEs worried, with the SmartCompany–WHK SME Directions Survey finding many were confused about the tax with only 51.6% of respondents saying they understood the impact of the tax on their business.
Of those who said they understood the impact, 57% said the tax would have a negative impact on their business profits, up from 42.8% in the previous SmartCompany-WHK SME Directions Survey.
This suggests that to a certain extent, SMEs may be working off fear rather than facts, given most business owners will have had little chance to work out the full impact of the carbon tax on company profits.
The carbon tax was the most mentioned item when SMEs were asked how the 2012 federal budget would harm entrepreneurs and their business.
The carbon tax also rocketed up the worry list, rising from eighth place to fifth place.
Tristan Webb, national tax director of WHK, told SmartCompany the survey results reflected the sentiment he was seeing amongst the advisory firm’s clients with the “vast majority” worried about the carbon tax.
“There is certainly a negative perception out there from our SME clients, but that is probably fed from a lack of real knowledge rather than any well-founded fears,” Webb says.
Webb says he has seen some clients impacted in “a very real way”, like an egg producer
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