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UKHospitality: Digital Taxation Focus Cannot Not Delay Urgent Business Rates Reform

Kate Nicholls, CEO of the ALMR.

UKHospitality today welcomed the European Commission’s publication of proposals aimed at a fair taxation of the digital economy and online platforms.

The proposals are designed to ensure that online platforms, including ‘collaborative’ economy related platforms and online market places, pay proportionate taxes in Europe, corresponding to the value created in the different European markets in which they are operating.

UKHospitality is calling on the Government to acknowledge the recommendations and push ahead with reforms at earliest opportunity to address the tax inequality being faced by high street businesses compared to online businesses.

UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls, said: “Taxation methods must evolve to keep pace with the impacts of the rapid rise in digital commerce and the Commission’s proposals are a welcome acknowledgement of this.

“The Government needs to act on these recommendations at the earliest opportunity, to begin tacking the tax inequality being faced by high street businesses, particularly the hospitality sector. The most acute inequality is in businesses rates and the Government must act to address this imbalance which sees businesses in town and city centres all around the UK shouldering a disproportionate tax burden.

“The fiscal neutrality of business rates sees an ever-dwindling number of high street businesses each paying more into a fixed pot. This system fundamentally does not work and needs a complete overhaul to ensure that online businesses pay their fair share.

“Proportionate revenues from digital companies can be used to relieve the burden on companies hardest hit by business rates, while the long-overdue root and branch review of the system, as promised by the Government, takes place.”

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