• The UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering an online sales tax, as concerns grow around the collapse of British high-street retail. 
  • The online sales tax could consist of two parts — a 2% charge on goods sold online, and a mandatory charge on consumer deliveries.
  • The tax could be a "sustainable and meaningful revenue source for the government," the UK Treasury said.
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The UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering an online sales tax to save high-street businesses and raise more than $2.5 billion (£2 billion) a year for the UK government.

The Times reports that the online sales tax would comprise two parts. First, a levy of around 2% on goods sold online, and second, a mandatory charge on customer deliveries, which could also help cut carbon emissions. 

In a consultation document published July 21, the UK Treasury said an online sales tax could provide a "sustainable and meaningful revenue source for the government." Sunak is considering the proposal, the paper reported. 

In the document, a call for evidence on business rates, the Treasury highlighted corncerns that current rates favour e-commerce platforms, which operate outside of "high-value properties." An online sales tax could ease those worries, and the money raised could reduce business rates for retail properties, it said.

However, some retailers fear an online sales tax will raise prices for consumers, it said.

The Treasury said "the pandemic has had a significant impact on how business is done" and as the economy recovers, the government must ensure that the "tax system raises sufficient revenue."

Another charge being considered by the government, called a capital values tax, would vary depending on a property's rental value and shift the tax burden from the occupant to the owner.

Last month, Sunak announced that businesses would not have to pay value-added tax, VAT, until the end of June. 

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