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Just a thought…

16 October 2018
Issue: 4668 / Categories: Forum & Feedback

Rob Marchant considers online marketplaces and whether VAT can level the playing field.

The growth in online platforms and marketplaces has increased exponentially since the turn of the century. In Britain this trend is more advanced than most with the chancellor Philip Hammond recently saying: ‘Britain has the biggest percentage of online shopping of any major developed economy.’

Although the positives to this growth are easily recognisable – it provides greater consumer flexibility weakens the barriers to entry for businesses to market and allows overseas businesses to sell to UK consumers (and vice versa) – recent high-profile closures on the high street also demonstrate a significant downside.

In particular the issue of taxation for online platforms has started to make headline news. There has been increased reporting that politicians and the public feel some multinational organisations are paying too little tax and have an unfair advantage over traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers.



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