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Emissions trading and tax: A trans-Tasman perspective


The carbon price commenced in Australia on 1 July 2012, and will transition to an emissions trading scheme on 1 July 2015. New Zealand has had an emissions trading scheme since 2008. In December 2011, Australia and New Zealand agreed to strengthen the links between their emissions trading schemes, although little detail is available so far and it is clearly a work in progress. The Australian rules may in future allow units issued under the emissions trading scheme in New Zealand to meet Australian carbon price liabilities. Likewise, New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme may in future include Australian carbon units.

This article provides an overview and comparison of the Australian carbon price and New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme from a taxation perspective. The article concludes that, while there is broad consistency in approach from a taxation perspective, further work will be needed for the schemes to operate seamlessly together.

Author profile

Joanne Dunne CTA
Photo of author, Joanne DUNNE Joanne is a lawyer from Melbourne. She was formerly a tax partner at law firms in both Australia and New Zealand. She has more than 25 years’ tax experience in general income tax, GST, international tax, and tax controversy. Joanne is a member of a wide range of professional organisations, including The Tax Institute’s Tax Disputes Committee, and until 2020 she represented The Tax Institute on the ATO’s Dispute Resolution Working Group. - Current at 11 November 2021
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