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  • Writer's pictureRuori McMahon

Business Rates Insights With Peter Foley - #1 Chancellor Introduce an online sales tax!

Peter Foley is our resident guru here at CPA and has been passionately following the shifting world of business rates for many years. With keen political insight, Peter’s writing reveals how policy change is key to understanding your business rates further, and how this could translate into substantial savings. In his weekly column, Peter also outlines the desired path forward, with changes we’d like to see implemented for a fairer system on the nation's business rates.

Commercial Property Advisors (CPA) firmly believes that the Chancellor should levy an online sales tax, without delay, to protect the UK's bricks and mortar stores.

And if the Treasury's forecast is correct, that a 1% levy on online sales would only drum up £1bn in tax revenue, then CPA urges the government to consider a 3% levy, as in France.

CPA believes that the orchestrated objections to this tax derive from vested interests, including businesses with little or no geographical attachment to our high streets.

Furthermore, the concerns of the Federation of Small Businesses, that the tax would be an unwelcome blow to already struggling enterprises, could be resolved with an exemption for firms with modest turnover, just as low-earning taxpayers are spared the worst of PAYE.

CPA believes that the Chancellor should not lose sight of the reason for a digital sales tax, which is nothing less than relief from the constantly rising pressures of business rates.

The huge tax take of £25bn annually, by traditional business rates, illustrates how unfair and out of kilter our tax system has become.

CPA is an acknowledged successful consultant on reducing business rates for its wide variety of clients.

And it logically follows that CPA should vigorously support any opportunity for the tax burden to be shared by ALL retail businesses, not least those operating with minimal overheads, and so often based in far-flung outposts of the cybersphere.

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