Retailers are struggling under the weight of a tax bill that has rocketed by 65% since 2005 amid rising business rates, corporation tax and property taxes.
Retailers now pay a total tax rate of 59%, compared with 39% in other industries, according to a PwC survey of the Hundred Group of the UK’s largest businesses.
The study showed that large retailers paid £3.99bn in tax in 2012, compared with £3.86bn in 2011.
An increase in business rates, property taxes linked to rateable value of commercial premises and the Retail Prices Index measure of inflation were among the factors driving the increase.
The survey also revealed that retailers have endured an 80% increase in corporation tax since 2005.
The study showed for every £1 of corporation tax paid, retailers pay almost £2.40 in other taxes including £1.44 on business rates and 64p on employers’ National Insurance contributions.
Retailers believe that an unfair business rates burden is also preventing them from trading competitively and have been lobbying Government for a change in the system via Retail Week and the BRC’s Fair Rates for Retail campaign.
PwC head of tax policy Mary Monfries said: “Governments looking for stable tax revenues have rebalanced business taxes so there is less reliance on corporation tax, which is inevitably volatile as it is dependent on profits.
“The rise in business rates in particular is felt by retailers, given their large property portfolios.”