The chancellor of the exchequer, Phillip Hammond, has hinted towards changes in the tax system for online sales, in a move to reaffirm the high street’s resilience in a digital age.
Hammond declared a desire to ensure that taxation was fair ‘between business doing business the traditional way, and those doing business online.’
The scale of the difficulties experience by the High Street has been made clear over the last few weeks and months, and most recently highlighted in the turmoil experienced by department store chain House of Fraser.
Amazon came under fire last week over its tax affairs when it was revealed that the online giant had almost halved its UK corporation tax bill while tripling its profits.
Hammond has made reference to a temporary tax measure to rebalance the current playing until international agreements can be aligned.
Any move from the chancellor in this regard is sure to be met with positivity y those that have been competing for consumer spend with Amazon over the years.
And it appears the headaches for the online retail platform are only just beginning. Amazon has also been told to stop claiming that its Prime service guarantees next-day delivery by the UK advertising regulator, ASA, after customers complained it was failing to provide goods on time in the run-up to Christmas.
The Advertising Standards Authority is expected to rule that the firm’s claims to be able to operate an ‘unlimited one-day delivery’ service are misleading in the case of some items.
“A significant proportion of Prime-labelled items were not available for delivery the next day… because consumers were likely to understand that, so long as they did not order too late, all Prime items would be available for delivery next day… we concluded that the ad was misleading,” the ASA’a ruling will say.
The Guardian writes that Amazon offers the service to its Prime customers, who pay a £7.99 monthly subscription, but many people said it failed to live up to its promises last Christmas.
A spokesperson for the ASA said: “We have been formally investigating Amazon’s one-day delivery ad claims and will publish our findings in full soon,”