Etsy said it opposes a new online sales tax that the UK government is considering imposing because it would hurt ecommerce, particularly small and microbusinesses like Etsy sellers, “who would bear the brunt of the tax.”
“The proposed tax is intended to address concerns that the business rates system imposes an unreasonable burden on high street stores, as they face a tax on the rental value of non-domestic property, while online retailers can operate without the “high-value” properties,” Etsy stated. “But while there may be legitimate concerns about the viability of the high street, a new tax on online sales is the wrong approach—especially in the midst of COVID-19.”
It’s asking sellers to sign a petition in opposition to the proposed tax, which starts out as follows:
I am a creative entrepreneur who sells goods on Etsy in the UK, and I’m deeply concerned about the possible introduction of a new online sales tax as part of the Government’s review of the business rates system in England.
Etsy hosts 3.1 million creative entrepreneurs, 83% of whom are women and nearly all of whom run one-person businesses out of their homes. For every hour we spend making, we spend another hour on business and administrative tasks. And as microbusinesses, complex and costly tax and regulatory obligations pose an immense challenge.
I understand and support the concerns about the viability of the high street, but feel an online sales tax would unnecessarily burden small businesses, consumers, and even the high street retailers themselves.
The petition then explains why.
As of Tuesday afternoon, it had 18443 signatures. You can read the announcement about the petition on the Etsy Announcement Board.