Our approach


We strive to be compliant with the relevant tax laws and regulations in countries where we conduct our business and are guided by the relevant international standards (such as OECD guidelines). We aim to comply with the letter as well as the spirit of the laws mentioned. At the same time, we endeavor to be compliant with the (tax) accounting laws and regulations in countries where we do business.


We view transparency as an integral part of sound tax governance, and consider this as key in our approach towards tax authorities. As to other stakeholders, we make our disclosures in accordance with relevant reporting requirements and standards. In addition, we assess at least annually our position on tax disclosures with respect to transparency.

Relationship with tax authorities

We have built our relationship with the Dutch tax authorities on the basis of horizontal monitoring. This means that this relationship is based on mutual trust, understanding and transparency. In such a relationship we proactively disclose issues and the Dutch tax authorities deal with such issues in an efficient and constructive way, e.g., work collaboratively with tax authorities to achieve early agreement on disputed issues, wherever possible. We strive to build relationships with tax authorities in other countries in a similar fashion, where and when applicable and feasible.

A multi-disciplinary approach towards corporate and business projects and tax matters

We take a multi-disciplinary stance when working on corporate and business projects, tax planning and transfer pricing, involving relevant representatives of the business as well as representatives of our tax, treasury, legal and finance departments. Oversight is carried out by the CFO.

Guiding principles on tax planning

Our tax planning requires opportunities in this area to have a substantial level of robustness taking into account the principle of business rationale. This means that aside from factors such as financial impact, complexity and reputation, solid business and/or commercial reasons have to exist. In addition, this means that we do not use (i) contrived or abnormal structures or (ii) secrecy jurisdictions or so-called tax havens for tax avoidance. Considering these principles, we view our tax risk appetite as moderate.

Governance and accountability

We have mechanisms in place to be able to adhere to these tax principles. We acknowledge that a robust governance framework is required to maintain control over tax matters and related risks. Our tax control framework has been built and developed accordingly. In this respect, a set of key controls on tax matters have been defined, controlling certain inherent risks, which periodically have been executed and whereby oversight is kept and specific review procedures performed by the Internal Audit department. As an important topic, also expected to remain important for the coming years, Group Tax pays increasing attention to tax technology (data analytics and more automated compliance and reporting in particular) to further enhance its control framework. We operate a Group Tax department to ensure that tax matters are dealt with according to the mandate given to it by the Board of Management. Part of the mandate is a roles and responsibilities matrix on the basis of which it is clear how these roles and responsibilities are allocated over the different areas within the PostNL Group. We report periodically to the Board of Management on adherence to the tax policy and underlying tax principles.