In this chapter we provide an overview of our tax strategy, its underlying policy provisions, and their application.
PostNL’s tax strategy and policy is the mandate given by the Board of Management of PostNL to the head office department Group Tax and purports to set the strategy and policy provisions applicable for the PostNL Group, and to define and allocate the roles and responsibilities in the area of taxation within the PostNL Group.
The objective of this tax strategy and policy, which is updated compared to our 2021 policy and is based on the tax governance code developed under the umbrella of VNO-NCW, is to ensure a coherent, responsible and compliant approach towards matters of taxation in the broadest sense. Our behavior and attitude towards matters of taxation, the principles and procedures in connection with such matters should always be in line with this objective.
PostNL’s overall strategy is the ambition to be the leading logistics and postal service provider in, to and from the Benelux. Underpinning this ambition, we have defined strategic objectives aimed at creating value for customers, our people, the environment, and our investors whereby we view environmental, social and government (ESG) topics as a license to operate. Our approach to tax is acting fully in line with our overall strategy whereby we view tax not as a cost factor only, but as a means for social economic cohesion, sustainable growth and long-term prosperity. As such, a coherent, responsible and compliant approach towards tax is considered an integral part of doing business (fair taxation being included in our Materiality matrix), whereby we aim to maintain a moderate tax risk appetite.
Group Tax is mandated by the Board of Management to oversee this approach towards tax. In that role, Group Tax, inter alia, advises and supports the Board of Management on tax and acts as the central business partner on tax towards all stakeholders. Group Tax consist of specialists in direct and indirect taxes, payroll taxes, government grants, tax compliance and reporting. Our approach to tax risk management has been built on a tax control framework, which is, in its turn, part of PostNL’s internal control framework. Key ingredients of our tax risk management process are periodical tax reports that Group Tax is providing for the CFO, an at least quarterly review of our tax position and the executing of quarterly tax risk management cycle, including (key) control execution and testing. In addition, Group Tax ensures adhering to its tax strategy and policies within the team and within the group increasing tax awareness throughout PostNL. To maintain our approach to tax we also have dialogues with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, with industry groups and employer organizations on a continuous basis about interpretation of, and compliance with tax laws and regulations.