HM Treasury rules out online sales tax

By Dan Wilson August 20, 2013 - 7:59 am

FireworksThe Sunday Telegraph says it has seen a letter from David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, ruling out an online tax.

The letter is in reply to the Managing Directors of six firms who wrote to warn the government that an online sales tax would be bad for the economy. Ocado, N Brown, Shop Direct, Boden, Appliances Online and bosses said a tax aimed specifically at online retailers would damage growth and stifle job creation.

Mr Gauke is said to have written:“The Government recognises that online businesses contribute to growth in the UK and supports continuing success in the sector. Many online businesses operate across international borders and it is therefore important to have international agreement on the principles of how multinational businesses, including online, are taxed.”

“However, we favour an approach which aims to ensure common principles apply to all businesses whether operating online, from physical premises or with a combination.”

“For this reason, we do not favour a specific tax targeted at the online business sector, although we aim to ensure that tax principles are developed which can be applied consistently across the economy.”

“This area is extremely complex; with large parts of the economy moving towards having some form of digital presence, it is important to ensure fair competition between digital and non-digital businesses.”

Several members of the British Retail Consortium including managers at Morrisons and Sainsbury’s called for an online sales tax earlier in the year to help the ailing High Street. At the time the BRC refused to rule out recommending such a tax to government.

But over the weekend, Helen Dickinson, BRC director-general, said: “The whole question of an online tax has had a lot of coverage but it’s not the place to start. It’s important that common principles should apply to all businesses – but the principles that apply at the moment are from a bygone age. Business rates in particular have long since ceased to be fit for purpose.”

  • Dj
    4 years ago

    Good! What a rediculous idea that would of been.

  • Mike H
    4 years ago

    Someone else wanting a slice of me would have been too much.

  • daveloveebay
    4 years ago

    It would make more sense simply banning ebay in the UK.

    As its the platform that does the most damage to online and offline retailers.

    Offering non UK retailers non tax generating retailers priority and open access to the UK market, as well as non UK tax paying retailers a safe haven.

    Its a leech in the system, sucking the profit of anything else that exists or moves around it. It promotes tax avoidance on a mass scale.

    • Gerry007
      4 years ago

      A 10% postage fee grab by ebay adds up to a online sales tax…..They just got in first.

    • Martin
      4 years ago

      Sure your beef isn’t with the internet itself rather than ebay?

  • Hereford United fan
    4 years ago

    Does anyone know if it is possible to hide an individuals posts on here? Have I got a settings option somewhere?

  • Gary
    4 years ago

    Only sellers who are resident in the territory of the country in which each ebay site operates should be permitted to sell on that respective site. Buyers can of course still buy worldwide as they pay the respective national purchase taxes.. Sellers should not be permitted to sell worldwide.

    • 4 years ago

      No international selling on eBay? The most adsurd idea I’ve heard in quite a while.

    • Jimbo
      4 years ago

      I don’t think it is that absurd (to restrict listing on the UK site to UK residents).

      International visibility could be managed by eBay and buyer/seller preference. It would it would improve accountability and the buyer experience.

    • davelovesebay
      4 years ago

      I agree too international should not be set as default on all searches.

      Search is crowded enough as it is and im constantly confused by foreign sellers who im not instructed in.

      Its funny when sellers and buyers agree on something. eBay do nothing.

    • Martin
      4 years ago

      Cannot see ebay doing that, would lose sellers in droves to sites that will allow international selling on sites.

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