Marek Helm receives highest honor from Estonian Tax and Customs Board

by Nortal HQ, December 4, 2017

Nortal’s Marek Helm becomes the fifth person in Estonian history to receive highest decoration of honor from Estonia’s Tax and Custom’s Board (ETCB) for his outstanding work on modernizing tax collection and implementing e-solutions.

Helm, Nortal’s Head of Public Finance and Change Management, and former Director General at ETCB received the high honor for his contributions in leading the development and implementation of modern tax collection and e-tax solutions. The First Class Badge was presented last week by the Estonia’s Minister of Finance, Toomas Tõniste.

Nortal’s Business Consultant Kaido Lemendik, who built a successful career over 16+ years at the ETCB, was presented with the Third Class Badge for long-term and outstanding work in his domain, playing a key role in various projects contributing to improving tax collection and reducing unfair competition.

According to Tõniste, Helm’s contribution to implementing VAT return additions and employment register solutions have transformed the competitive environment for Estonian entrepreneurs making it considerably fairer.

“In the case of tax collection in general, but especially in the case of VAT collection, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board is one of the most effective and successful institutions in Europe,” added the Minister of Finance.

Tõniste especially highlighted Helm’s role and contribution to cooperation with entrepreneurs and partner organizations, which has helped to maintain a high level of societal trust in the ETCB.

Helm: I’m proud to export Estonian e-success

Both Helm and Lemendik expressed gratitude in receiving such high-level recognition. According to Helm, he is truly thankful for this high honor, expressing high appreciation to his colleagues for the years spent and the work done with them at ETCB.

“I’m proud to contribute to exporting Estonian e-government success stories that we are well known globally. Participating in helping to build and improve tax systems abroad is a great job,” added Helm.

Before joining Nortal in January 2017, Marek Helm enjoyed a successful career of 15 years at the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, serving five years as Director General and being the architect of the current strategy of the board.

While giving out the honors, the ETCB described Helm as an inclusive manager for the team that led the development and implementation of important modern tax collection solutions and e-tax services. The ETCB’s characterization reads: “Helm has a lot of faith, will and ‘backbone’ necessary to make great ideas happen, involving the best experts in the team.”

The ETCB emphasized Helm’s role in supporting and helping to implement projects such as reducing value added tax (VAT) evasion and fraud, limiting unreported cash wages, the initiative to reduce bureaucracy, the new modern e-tax service and initiating the pan-European information system for customs.

Nortal has extensive experience in carrying out mission-critical and high-impact projects across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and is a partner and vendor for some of the most efficient tax organizations in the world.

The company has built roughly a third of Estonia’s e-government solutions, as well as played a substantial role in helping to create an acclaimed tax solution ranked as the most competitive tax system in the OECD, according to a Tax Foundation report.

Currently, among other projects Nortal is working with Oman to introduce VAT in the best possible way for the government and society, using its extensive experience with modern technology and analytics. At the same time, Nortal is creating a new tax management and revenue collection solution for the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) to increase revenue collection and reduce administrative burden.

Marek Helm

Marek Helm, the Head of Public Finance Advisory and Change Management at Nortal, is a true opinion leader who has introduced tangible change and improvements in several countries. He was the Director General of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board for six years. During that time, the organization became one of the most trusted government organizations in Estonia, VAT fraud was almost eliminated and the OECD ranked it within the TOP 3 most efficient tax organizations. To go into more detail about how governments can digitize tax authorities and boost economy, get in touch with him via email.