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  • Writer's picturedavid Tanswell

The sooner we have an online sales tax, the quicker we can control business rates

The long-awaited Treasury report on business rates does not offer serious solutions to this notoriously burdensome problem.

It is also a great injustice that bricks and mortar businesses should continue to finance the sales of internet-based goods, the consumer being free to browse the high street and buy on the Internet.

The Government correctly reports that a new online tax of, say, 2% would not of itself raise enough money to replace business rates, but at least it would share the tax burden more equitably.

Furthermore, Commercial Property Advisors (CPA), specialists in professionally challenging business rates, has consistently argued that at least a proportion of revenue from online taxes could, with a little imagination, be fed back to the high street, by sprucing up streetscapes, and helping to re-design the sales floors of our stores.

The 50% rates cut announced in his Budget by Rishi Sunak, is capped at £110,000 per business and will only last a year, thus offering only partial relief.

CPA continues to call for a long-term fix for non-domestic rates, so necessary for our return to economic health.

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