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Massive tax evasion by PostNL subcontractors uncovered

Credit: Belga

The Special Tax Inspection Service (ISI) has unearthed massive tax fraud by PostNL subcontractors in Belgium, De Tijd newspaper reported on Saturday.

The ISI has been investigating many subcontractors that deliver packages for PostNL in Belgium. According to De Tijd, millions of euros in taxes have already been recovered and the ISI also believes it has uncovered a VAT fraud scam involving companies authorised by PostNL.

The Flemish newspaper was able to consult internal ‘PostNL Paketten België’ documents. These are daily planning lists for 2017, 2018 and 2019 containing the names of companies which, as subcontractors, delivered packages from PostNL warehouses in Belgium.

The lists include companies that had already declared bankruptcy but continued to deliver packages for PostNL as authorised sub-contractors. The tax authorities found out that many of them failed to pay VAT, taxes and social security contributions. Additionally, one gave its last address as that of a social welfare centre.

Subcontractors of PostNL Pakketten België can bill and subcontract deliveries to one another. However, some of these transactions lacked valid receipts, invoices or other required correspondence. Many payments are also made in cash, which makes it difficult for the tax authorities to determine the identities of the payees.

Tax service spokesperson Francis Adyns confirmed to De Tijd that ISI was conducting investigations into 29 cases related to delivery companies. “Of this number, 21 have been settled, which represents €11.7 million in taxes received. These are, in fact, subcontractors of PostNL, for example,” he said.

The Brussels Times