History of the museum

The Tax & Customs Museum was founded in 1937 by Prof. J. Van der Poel, Director of Direct Taxes and Inspector of Import & Excise Duties. Van der Poel was also the founder and head of the National Tax Academy and he wanted to use objects and stories to teach students about the history of taxes. He believed that tax inspectors could not do their job properly unless they had knowledge of the past. He built up a collection at the tax office on the Boompjes (avenue in Rotterdam). ‘His’ academy was also located here. In May 1940, the tax office and the museum collection were destroyed by fire.

During and after the war, Van der Poel built up a new collection which still forms the basis of the museum’s current collection. Parklaan 14 became the museum’s home in 1948. Since then, various extensions as well as a complete renovation and modernisation of the building have resulted in today’s state-of-the art interactive museum, housing a special and rare collection.

In a film message dating from 1939, founder Prof. Van der Poel promoted the museum to the general public and answered the question of why we should pay taxes: Because a well-ordered society without taxes is inconceivable and the state would not be able to fulfil its duties without taxes.


In 2012, the museum reopened its doors with a themed, interactive display that allows visitors to experience the value of the Netherlands, the history of taxes and the world of customs in a contemporary way.



4.1.1. Historie van het museum foto 4