Prepare to be shocked, only another previously thought to be purer than the driven, well established UK name has been outed. And the evidence is pretty damning...
Orders made through the new site by customers from France, Germany, Ireland or other countries are all shipped from M&S's UK warehouses – but the transactions are all made with, and charged to, Marks & Spencer (Ireland) Limited, a subsidiary located in the Republic of Ireland, which has the lowest corporation tax rates in Europe.Lock 'em all up and throw away the key, or failing that, at the very least, as one very angry G commenter points out:
Marks & Spencer's UK branch is paid a wholesale price for the goods it ships by M&S Ireland, and this is subject to UK corporation tax, but then the rest of the retail markup is then subject instead to Ireland's much lower corporation tax rate of 12.5%.
This process of using internal billing between countries in order to ship goods from one country when doing business in another is referred to as "transfer pricing", and while perfectly legal is the practice highlighted by tax campaigners who object to Amazon. However, Marks & Spencer only uses this structure for sales outside of the UK: all sales in UK stores and online to UK addresses are processed through the UK and are subject to UK corporation tax.
That's it no more shopping at M&S, if all their customers took this stance it would make them pay their taxes like I do.