New online sales tax backed by retailers and landlords

New online sales tax backed by retailers and landlords

That’s according to new research from Colliers

Retailers and landlords have backed renewed calls for an online sales tax to take pressure off the high street as the Government continues its consultations over tax policy.

New research from Colliers found almost nine-tenths of operators would be in favour of the introduction of some form of online sales tax.

The survey found 89% of retailers and landlords back the move, with the remaining 11% disagreeing.

The data, revealing the responses of 100 firms, comes after the Government launched a consultation on an online sales tax policy in February which is due to close next month.

Industry leaders, such as Mike Ashley and Lord Simon Wolfson, have called for significant tax reform across the sector for a number of years and business rates have increased for firms despite waning property valuations.

Landlords and property-related firms are particularly supportive of an online sales tax, while 71% of retailers, who could be impacted by its introduction, back the measure.

John Webber, head of business rates at Colliers, said: “It certainly seems there is overwhelming support to bring in some sort of online sales tax to try and level the playing field and take the full burden of business rates off bricks and mortar retailers.

“We are not saying an online sales tax will solve all the issues facing the high street, and there are several grey areas – as our survey shows.

“However, given the increasing trend of buying online – a trend that was amplified during the pandemic and looks likely to continue – it is only right that we should try and rebalance the system and create a fairer playing field for all.

“But it is also essential any monies raised by an online tax is used directly to alleviate the high business rates burden and does not go into a Government black hole.”

  Published: by Radio NewsHub