Several parcel deliverers who worked in Belgium for PostNL, among others, may have committed millions of euros in tax fraud.

According to the Belgian business magazine

De Tijd

, the Belgian tax authorities have imposed millions in receivables when investigating various subcontractors, including for non-payment of taxes and social contributions.

A spokesperson for the Belgian Tax Authorities says that a special inspection service handles 29 files about courier services in Belgium.

"Of these, 21 have already been settled, resulting in 11.7 million euros in assessed (claimed) taxes. These are indeed subcontractors of PostNL, for example," said the spokesman, who does not want to give any further details.

De Tijd

managed to obtain a number of documents from PostNL Parcels Belgium, which contain the names of subcontractors who delivered parcels in Belgium on behalf of PostNL.

According to the newspaper, these so-called trip lists raise questions.

For example, a list from early 2019 includes two companies that had already been declared bankrupt in previous years.

Several firms on the lists also officially have other business activities, such as construction companies or pubs.

Insiders tell the newspaper that a lot of cash is also paid out to the couriers.

Some drivers wouldn't even have a bank account.

In addition, the subcontractors can mutually outsource and invoice trips to each other.

Valid receipts, order forms, contracts, transport documents or even commercial correspondence are sometimes missing, says

De Tijd

.

A spokeswoman for PostNL Parcels Belgium, which is the largest player on the Belgian parcel market after Bpost, says that contracts with subcontractors are drawn up with "the expectation that Belgian law will be complied with, among other things in terms of tax and social security".

According to her, a courier is checked by PostNL "within the statutory framework".