Marks & Spencer asks Chancellor to reject online sales tax – report

Marks and Spencer have reportedly warned the government that an online sales tax would do more harm than good for the high street.

In February, the government launched a consultation on the possibilities of an online sales tax to ease the burden of commercial tariffs on high street shops.

In a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, reportedly seen by the BBC, the channel’s chief financial officer, Eoin Tonge, said: “The introduction of an additional tax on the already overburdened retail trade will simply mean that retailers will cut their fabric accordingly.

“This streamlining will always start with the least profitable parts of a business, which in the case of multi-channel retailers will most often be high street stores.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised the budget consultation in October (Jonathan Brady/PA)

(PA wire)

He said it would not benefit department stores, but would cause them “damage”.

The Treasury has reportedly not yet decided whether to introduce the tax.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised the budget consultation in October following business concerns over a potential fiscal imbalance between in-store and online retailers.

High street shops had called for an online sales tax because they considered it unfair that online-only retailers’ bills were much lower.

Professional rates are paid on all commercial properties and are calculated based on the value of the property and the rent paid.

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