Online tax for internet giants could help high street

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Business Minister Paul Scully said the Treasury is exploring the measure in response to an explosion in internet shopping. He said making firms such as Amazon pay their “fair share” is a key part of the Chancellor’s fundamental business rates review, due to be published this autumn.

Speaking at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester, Mr Scully said: “At the moment online businesses use their accountants and lawyers to move their money around the world. We’ve got to make sure they’re paying their fair whack here in the UK to pay back to the community.

“We want to look at the future to ensure that our tax system is fit for the 21st century. Businesses are charged on their profit, not their square footage, so a balance would be far more sensible.”

Mr Scully’s remarks, at a fringe event run by the TaxPayers’ Alliance on saving the UK high street, add weight to the Daily Express’s Save Our High Streets campaign. Amazon sales in the UK soared by 51 per cent to almost £20billion last year.

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