Nine out of 10 retailers are in favour of the introduction of an online sales tax, finds survey

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12th May 2022 13:17 - Retail

Nine out of 10 retailers are in favour of the introduction of online sales tax: A survey of retailers and retail landlords has revealed that the vast majority (89%) are in favour of the introduction of an online sales tax.

The snap poll by Colliers, polled around 100 retail landlords and retailers asking their opinion on introducing some sort of tax which would alleviate the pressure of business rates. Just 11% said they were not in favour of such a tax.

The research revealed that seven out of 10 retails who have an online presence are in favour of the tax (71%), however there were differences in opinion when it came to click and collet orders. More than half those polled (54%) said they believed click and collect orders should also be liable for the online sales tax.

Taxing click and collect items was favoured more by high street retailers who have an online presence (57%), than retail landlords (55%).

Retailers were also asked about exemptions to the tax, with 71% saying 'essential items' should not be subject to the tax. Sales made via smaller retailers should also not be liable for the tax, according to almost two-thirds of respondents (66%), while 55% said they believed sales via web-based apps in-store should be exempt. More than half said that digital products should not be liable (52%), while 31% said sales by emails should not be subject to it.

Head of business rates at Colliers, John Weber, said of the findings:

“We are not saying an online sales tax will solve all the issues facing the high street, and there are several grey areas as our survey shows. However, given the increasing trend of buying online – a trend that was amplified during the pandemic and looks likely to continue – it is only right that we should try and re-balance the system and create a fairer playing field for all".

The survey was conducted following the announcement by the Government that there would be a consultation on an online sales tax policy.

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