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There has been a lot of talk about the Government's carbon price, including how this new scheme fits within the broader tax agenda. Reform aside, what are the real tax consequences of Australia's adoption of a carbon pricing mechanism? Whilst many, including the Government itself, describe the carbon pricing mechanism as a "carbon tax" or "like a tax", it is not, in the legal sense, a tax. Carbon permits are a form of assignable personal property that will be created under a statute. The holding, trading and surrendering of carbon permits will have tax consequences - you can read more about this in Tax Counsel Tamera Lang ATIA's recent blog post. The draft legislation for the carbon pricing mechanism was released yesterday, and is available on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website.

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