Chancellor Rishi Sunak is allegedly considering a double tax raid on online retailers such as Amazon who profited during the pandemic.
According to The Sunday Times, leaked emails show that Treasury officials have already called for tech firms and retailers to meet this month ahead of the March budget to discuss how the proposed tax would work.
It is believed that Downing Street officials are also drawing up plans for an “excessive profits tax” on companies that have seen profits surge as a result of the crisis.
The news comes as Amazon’s UK sales reached nearly £20bn in 2020, as the country became more dependent on home deliveries. Other major delivery companies such as Asos, Ocado and Deliveroo are also suspected to be hit by a once off ‘Covid-19 windfall tax’.
It has also been suggested that ministers view the tax as a way to prevent a further collapse of the high street and its impact on tax revenues. Earlier this month Boohoo bought collapsed department store Debenhams however it has no intention to operate its bricks and mortar shops.
According to the outlet, Sunak backs the charge and believes it would help the UK pay off some of its debts following a period of extensive borrowing during the pandemic.
The proposed ‘Amazon tax’ would form part of a reform of business rates, which have been suspended for many firms due to the pandemic.