Deutsche Post DHL has been hit with a tax bill for more than half a billion euros, after a ruling by German financial authorities.

DHL will need to make an additional €516m VAT payment after a review of how it handled tax relating to postal services.

The period investigated ran from 1998  until July 2010, when the law governing VAT and postal services was revised.

In a statement DHL says: “A large part of the additional payment amount relates to tax issues, for which the group had already partially formed reserves.

“In addition, the financial authorities had retrospectively examined several postal services for tax liability, which were previously exempt from VAT.”

DHL intends to make its one-time payment to satisfy the bill in the third quarter of 2012, bringing the issue to an end.