iwoca condemn online tax proposals

By Chris Dawson June 20, 2013 - 1:19 pm

Say No to Online Sales TaxChristoph Rieche, CEO & Co-founder at iwoca, last week shared a podium with a prestigious line up of speakers at the ‘Supporting Growth for Business’ conference. Christoph’s address championed the UK’s community of 300,000 online retailers and their potential to help save the UK economy.

‘Supporting Growth for Business’ was a forum for business leaders, manufacturers, exporters, key stakeholders and lenders to discuss how they can work together to forge meaningful partnerships to return the UK to sustained growth.

The Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham, Enterprise Advisor to the Prime Minister, gave the keynote address in which he shared an interesting fact – the UK has the highest number of people in the world who work for themselves out of choice rather than necessity. There has been a complete transformation of the business landscape in the UK, with much of it being driven by the admirable entrepreneurial spirit among the online seller community.

Online trade is good for employment, creating jobs not only for the sellers themselves but also within the vast ecosystem of fulfillment houses, design agencies, software providers and other services that all exist to support the ecommerce industry. In fact, according to data from IMRG, by 2015 there will be 1.5 million e-commerce jobs in the UK. Online trade is also a vital source of growth for exports and the UK contributes nearly a third of Europe’s €36bn cross-border sales.

Christoph’s address gave him the opportunity to build upon Lord Young’s comments by highlighting the significant contribution e-commerce already makes and the potential for growth over the next few years. Unsurprisingly Christoph highlighted that access to working capital is one of the biggest challenges for e-sellers but is at the heart of their ability to grow but also emphasised that ecommerce drives UK job creation with predictions that there will be 1.5 million UK e-commerce jobs by 2015.

Looking back at the conference and with the news that BRC members are considering proposals for an online tax, Christoph told us “With double-digit growth in the e-commerce sector and online businesses growing 57 times faster than the UK economy, why would we ever want to impose a tax that would interrupt the phenomenal momentum this sector has already achieved? At iwoca, we strongly believe that the UK online seller community helps to drive much-needed job and export growth. Therefore we should be supporting, nurturing and championing our online sellers so that they remain global leaders and innovators, not placing additional hurdles in their way.

  • Peter King
    5 years ago

    We all know that theres no realistic chance of a internet sales tax, so can we avoid any more ‘sales tax’ press releases from companies jumping on the bandwagon.

    • 5 years ago

      @peter king

      Really? We have yet to be sure. I heard from the British Retail Consortium yesterday and nothing is on or off the table.

      Belts and braces,

      Dan Wilson

  • Bunchy
    5 years ago

    Be interesting to see how the BRC envision an online sales tax being collected.

    Unless it’s collected “at source” via ebay / Amazon et al via the fees charged then what other option is there?

    How will individual independant sites be monitored for how much they should be paying?

    It’s unworkable.
    As for asking for another body to be set up to enforce this, don’t hold your breath!

    HMRC can’t even get all online retailers (or carboot sellers, or market traders etc) to cough up, so what chance has any other body?

    Someone hasn’t thought this through properly have they?

    • 5 years ago


      Who indeed knows? I don’t think the brain has been engaged on any level so far in considering a new tax.

      I think it unlikely that it could be effectively implemented but some people are thinking it because they are desperate and looking for something to blame for their own business problems.


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