// Chancellor Rishi Sunak considering an online sales tax
// There may be a 2% levy on online sales
// The mulling comes after high street retailers saw Covid-19 affect trading
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has reportedly said he is considering an online sales tax to raise £2 billion a year in an effort to “save” the UK high street in the wake of Covid-19.
The government may impose a two per cent levy on online sales as well as a charge for online deliveries.
Sunak aims for an online tax to generate “sustainable and meaningful revenue source for the government,” The Times reported.
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak extends furlough scheme until June
- Slight dip in footfall as face coverings become mandatory
Last week, the Treasury issued a call for evidence around business rates, amid long running and industry-wide concerns that the commercial property tax penalised bricks-and-mortar retailers as online-only rivals do not operate from such “high value” properties.
It also said that the coronavirus crisis “has had a significant impact on how business is done” and that the government must act to make sure that “the tax system raises sufficient revenue”.
Moreover, the Treasury is also considering plans to eradicate business rates and replace them with a “capital values tax”.
This would mean the tax would be paid by the owner of the property rather than the business leasing it.
Separately, retailers have been further affected by the face coverings rule becoming mandatory last week.
The number of shoppers declined by 0.2 per cent on Friday compared to the previous Friday.
Despite the easing of lockdown, retail footfall on Friday was still down between 36 per cent and 41 per cent across the UK compared to the same period last year, according to Springboard.