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Key bricks and mortar retailers call for overhaul of current tax system

Names including Tesco, Waterstones, Morrisons and Asda sign joint letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak asking to be put on a level playing field with online rivals.

A number of key retail names are calling for an overhaul of the current tax system, putting bricks and mortar retailers on a level playing field with online retailers ahead of the Chancellor’s spring Budget.

Leaders at UK supermarkets, high street chains and retail property owners have written to Rishi Sunak asking for an overhaul of the current tax system, reported The Industry.Fashion.

18 bosses – including those from Tesco, Waterstones, Asda, Morrisons and Pets at Home – have called for a permanent reduction in business rates in the March 3 Budget.

Despite non-essential retailers currently unable to open, property tax is due to restart in April for the new financial year. Retailers, leisure and hospitality companies have not had to pay rates for the current financial year after the government launches a rates holiday at the beginning of the pandemic.

The retailers have said that a failure to reform the rates system in the Budget will ‘hamper the recovery’ of the retail sector, post pandemic.

Reform should ensure that online retailers pay similar levels of tax to bricks and mortar ones.

The letter stated: “Reducing business rates for retailers and rebalancing the tax system to ensure online retailers pay a fair share of tax would be revenue-neutral, provide a vital boost to bricks and mortar retailers and support communities in need of levelling up.”

In addition, Tesco has renewed its calls for the biggest online players to be hit with a 1% levy.

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