Ebay boss steps into corporate tax row with open letter to The Times

Ebay’s UK vice president Rob Hattrell this week stepped into the ongoing debate over corporation tax for online and offline businesses.

In an open letter to The Times, Hattrell called for a reform of business taxes, pointing out the disparity between corporation tax for online and offline businesses, and that many have a presence on both channels.

READ MORE: UK to push ahead with ‘Amazon tax’ despite threats of trade war with US

Hattrell instead argued for an international corporate taxation solution, rather than national measures in individual countries.

He posited that it is an overhaul of businesses rates that’s needed, whilst recognising the need to “tech to pay its fair share”.

“We recognise that the rules around corporate taxation need urgent reform and tech needs to pay its fair share,” the Ebay vice president detailed in his letter.

“The debate is no longer about whether this should happen. It is about the best way of achieving this. We believe this can be best done through an international OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)solution, rather than a patchwork of national measures.”

“It is vital that the Government focuses those reforms on alleviating the burden on small enterprises to help them grow their businesses,” Hattrell added.

“Over 300,000 UK businesses use our site every day to reach new overseas markets, and almost half of them (47 per cent) have a physical presence. All the evidence shows that their online sales can support offline sales and vice versa. The choice is no longer between online and offline. We need both.”

The comments come after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was warned by the OECD to hold off on a so-called ‘Amazon tax’ and allow time for an international approach to succeed.

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