Green taxes devised by the last Labour government have now been implemented by the coalition and threatens to squeeze the pips of hard pressed UK companies even harder.

In a Telegraph [1] report the figures quoted for the average medium sized business to find will be an extra £38,000 a year. All of which will presumably find its way to the consumer.

Larger firms could be hit with a £100,000 annual green tax bill.

This is all part of the Carbon Reduction Committee (CRC) initiative where firms will be taxed on every tonne of greenhouse gases they produce. Those firms that use 600 MWh (megawatt hours) of energy a year will have to declare its use by the end of September. Then they will have to purchase permits for each tonne they emit. 6,000 MWh equates to an annual power bill at today's prices of about £500,000 and the tax will add another £38,000 to that bill.

It is estimated that 4,000 public and private entities will need to register, but only about 30% have so far done so. Missing the registration deadline means an instant £5,000 fine, then £500 a day after that up to the maximum of £45,000.

There will be penalties imposed on the worst organisations that will fund rewards for those that cut their carbon footprint the most. This will be published on a performance league table for all to see.

It seems to be a very complex system but a good guide can be found here.

There are another 15,000 organisations that have to register as they may 'qualify' for the scheme later.

Those companies that run franchises and joint ventures also need to look at their whole structure to see if they qualify. It is the whole entity that gets looked at and taxed, so splitting a company up into little bits won't work if there is always a majority shareholder or owner somewhere at the end of the chain.

To make matters even more complex the scheme covers total energy usage (electricity, gas, diesel, LPG, coal etc.)

But it's not just the tax. This is spawning a whole new sector of experts, those that know about CRC and carbon trading and have to be hired and paid for.

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/taxandtheenvironment/7937911/Business-facing-a-wave-of-green-taxes.html

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