The United Kingdom is considering the implementation of an "Amazon tax" that could be enforced globally in response to the online retailer's huge increase in sales over the past year – as small businesses were forced to shut down and struggle through coronavirus restrictions.
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is attempting to gain support from other nations and come to an agreement on the implementation of a global tax before the G7 meeting in June.
Amazon experienced a substantial increase in revenue in the U.K. as the pandemic began, with 2019 revenue totaling $17.5 billion and then jumping to $26.5 billion in 2020.
The powerful online retailer is currently taxed under international treaties through the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Amazon is required to pay the British government just .37% of its sales, according to BBC, far lower than other businesses in the country.
"One of my priorities in the G7 this year, which I’ve already started work on, is to try and get international agreement on a new way to tax these companies. I spend a lot of time talking to my finance minister colleagues around the world about this issue," Sunak said, according to The Telegraph.
While an online sales tax may be in the making, the U.K is also considering following in the steps of Australia by increasing regulation on big tech companies including Facebook and Google.
In the midst of 30 different tax code changes expected to be introduced in the U.K. during a March 23 tax policy update, the British government faces pressure to pay back the huge debt attributed to pandemic spending, totaling £407 billion.