The debate about fair corporate taxation has been ongoing and today eBay UK Vice President Rob Hattrell has had a letter published in The Times calling for reform of Business Taxes in a fair and balanced manner.
Rob points out the disparity between corporate taxation for online and offline businesses and points out that many businesses have both and online and an offline presence. Indeed, we’ve seen many independent businesses over the years pull out of their high street shops due to the burden of tax and Rates.
Rob calls for an international corporate taxation solution, rather than national measures in individual countries, joining the calls of bricks and mortar retailers in calling for an overhaul of businesses rates, whilst recognising the need to “tech to pay its fair share”. In his letter to The Times, published this morning (reproduced below), Rob outlines eBay’s views on reforming business rates to ease the burden on small businesses in particular, 300,000 of which trade on eBay in the UK.
TO THE EDITOR, The Times – 08.03.20
For too long, the debate about the future of Britain’s high streets has focused on a false choice: online v offline.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the debate around tax.
We recognise that the rules around corporate taxation need urgent reform and tech needs to pay its fair share.
The debate is no longer about whether this should happen. It is about the best way of achieving this.
We believe this can be best done through an international OECD solution, rather than a patchwork of national measures.
We also strongly support the efforts of the CBI, BRC, FSB and others to persuade the Government to reduce the business rates burden on their members, by re-evaluating the out-dated methodologies of the business rates system.
But it is vital that the Government focuses those reforms on alleviating the burden on small enterprises to help them grow their businesses.
Over 300,000 UK businesses use our site every day to reach new overseas markets, and almost half of them (47%) have a physical presence. All the evidence shows that their online sales can support offline sales and vice versa. The choice is no longer between online and offline. We need both.
This isn’t just in the interests of high street retailers. It’s in all our interests. As a country, we only succeed if we harness the entrepreneurialism of all small and medium-sized British businesses – online and offline.
They are agile, creative and entrepreneurial; they are the backbone of our business community. We only succeed at eBay when they do and we believe passionately they deserve the best we can give them.
Vice President, eBay UK