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Tesco calls for tax increase for online retailers

Tesco has urged the UK government to introduce a one percent sales tax on online competitors.

The supermarket firm has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to create a level playing field across the retail industry, arguing that Tesco currently finds itself at a disadvantage compared to firms like Amazon.

Robert Hayton, the UK president of property tax at Altus Group, told the BBC: "If some additional money can be created through something like an online sales tax, and then crucially, if that can be ring-fenced and made available to make some improvements to business rates, then I think that's a really positive outlook."

However, Amazon - which has become a go-to site for many Brits amid the coronavirus pandemic - has defend its approach over recent months.

A spokesperson for the online retail giant said: "We've invested more than £23 billion in jobs and infrastructure in the UK since 2010.

"Last year, we created 10,000 new jobs and last week we announced 1,000 new apprenticeships. This continued investment helped contribute to a total tax contribution of £1.1 billion during 2019 - £293 million in direct taxes and £854 million in indirect taxes."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Treasury added: "We want to see thriving High Streets, which is why we've spent tens of billions of pounds supporting shops throughout the pandemic and are supporting town centres through the changes online shopping brings.

"Our business rates review call for evidence included questions on whether we should shift the balance between online and physical shops by introducing an online sales tax. We're considering responses now and will update in due course."

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