Welcome for decision not to proceed with Online Sales Tax

17 Nov 2022

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has welcomed today’s announcement that the Government will not be going ahead with an Online Sales Tax.

Gabby Donald, Chair of CIOT’s Indirect Taxes Committee, said:

“Bringing in a brand-new tax to remedy perceived unfairness in the business rates regime would have been a disproportionate way of addressing the challenges facing the high street.

“Introducing a tax that required all transactions to be deemed in or out of its scope, especially where borderlines exist such as goods versus services, business versus private consumers, and the nature of any exemptions or special rules, would have been hugely complex.

“It has always been our view that online sales tax should not be seen as an alternative to wider business rates reform because an online sales tax would be aimed at different things, be borne by different people and be introduced for different purposes. Although it might have been charged in the first instance on some businesses that are perceived to be the online competitors of high street retailers, the analysis of the true resultant winners and losers (as between businesses, landlords and consumers) would be much more complicated.”

Notes for editors

  1. The CIOT response to the Government’s consultation on an Online Sales Tax can be read here