Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Spring Budget on Wednesday with a string of new financial measures to see the UK economy out of the coronavirus pandemic. Not included in the speech was a proposal to introduce a tax on online commerce. But on Thursday, Mr Sunak was pressed to clarify whether such a tax was still an option for the Treasury. In an interview with LBC host Nick Ferrari, the Chancellor hinted an online sales tax be still in the pipeline.
Mr Sunak told Nick Ferrari on LBC: “This is important, it is right that we tax international tech companies probably,
“Which is why in last year’s budget actually I introduced already something called the digital services tax, which taxes online market places.
“It does it on their revenue because international tax treaties don’t allow us to tax their profits differently.
“So in the short term, we have got this digital services tax which is going exactly that and in the long term we need to work with our international partners.”
He continued: “With regard to online sales taxes that one of the options in our review that we have published around business rates reform.
“That is something we will be coming back to over this year,
“As we collect people’s opinions on the best way.”
“So it’s still out there then, potentially,” added Mr Ferrari.
Mr Sunak was keen to stress the freeze would mean people would not be left worse-off.
He said: “We’re not going to raise the rates of income tax, national insurance, or VAT.
“Instead, we are freezing personal tax thresholds.
“Nobody’s take-home pay will be less than it is now, as a result of this. It is a tax policy that is progressive and fair.”