TaxPayers’ Alliance warns against ‘damaging' online sales tax

For immediate release


As the government launches a consultation on an online sales tax, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has warned against its introduction to help combat the cost of living.

Previous TPA research has found that the tax would raise costs for consumers, conflict with changes to planning law reforms, and ignore changes in consumer behaviour. The poorest and most vulnerable would also be more affected.

With a cost of living crisis approaching, the campaign group is calling on the Treasury to abandon any proposals to implement new taxes on consumers. Instead, the chancellor should cut business rates for local premises to make Britain’s high streets more competitive.


Key findings from past research:

  • Under a six per cent rate, the average household could pay an extra £151 in tax per year.

  • The imposition of a two per cent online sales tax would create an additional tax bill of £34 for the elderly, rising to £102 at six per cent.


Reacting to the launch of the government’s consultation on the introduction of an online sales tax, John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Online orders are now a part of everyday life, making things easier and more affordable for customers, so punitive taxes will only ramp up the cost of living.

“We know the high street is struggling but imposing damaging digital taxes will do nothing to level the playing field.

"Instead of punishing progress, the government should drop an online sales tax and cut business rates to make local shops more competitive."


TPA spokespeople are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Media contact:

Danielle Boxall
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
[email protected]
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Notes to editors:

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at

  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.

  3. The TaxPayers’ Alliance has produced a briefing note assessing online sales taxes.

  4. The TPA has produced a literature review of the impact of online sales taxes around the world.

  5. The government’s consultation can be found here.
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.  More info. Okay