Rishi Sunak ‘looking at new way to tax online retail giants’ like Amazon

April Roach
·2-min read
<p>The Chancellor is reportedly considering a new sales tax for online retail giants like Amazon</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

The Chancellor is reportedly considering a new sales tax for online retail giants like Amazon

(AFP via Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak is seeking support from the UK’s allies for a new way to tax online retail giants like Amazon, it has been reported.

The Chancellor warned in his Budget on Wednesday that it would take “a long time” to rebuild as he outlined another £65 billion worth of measures over this year and next to help the UK’s Covid-hit economy - taking the total Government support to £407 billion over that period.

Mr Sunak is now looking ahead to the G7 summit in Cornwall in June to meet his finance minister counterparts as he attempts to level the playing field for Britain’s struggling high streets.

He told the Sun on Sunday: “One of my priorities in the G7 this year, which I’ve already started work on, is to try to get international agreement on a new way to tax these companies.”

“I spend a lot of time talking to my finance minister colleagues around the world about this.”

According to the newspaper, Amazon’s sales in Britain soared by 51 per cent last year to £19.5 billion but the online retailer paid corporation tax amounting to just £14.5 million in 2019.

The Sun and The Daily Telegraph reported the Chancellor has spoken with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about the possible tax.

Mr Sunak last year brought in a digital services tax, but there have been concerns that online retailers are passing on the cost to independent sellers.

Conservative MP Gagan Mohindra (South West Hertfordshire) suggested during a debate in the Commons on Thursday that the Treasury should look at “wholesale reform” of business rates to help protect city centres and high streets.

He added: “Covid-19 has accelerated the change in our working and buying habits.

“I’d urge the Chancellor to grasp this opportunity for tax reform to ensure that all businesses have a level playing field.”

Additional reporting by PA Media.

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