May 20, 2019 / linn

Hacking taxes by complying with the law

In Estonia, we are so used to getting our taxes done online within few clicks and minutes. But when doing business cross-border, things might get a bit more complicated. From where to find all the relevant information and guidance to figure out all the European Union laws and requirements?
Worry no more! 8 teams with different backgrounds, nationalities and skill-sets were formed in Palo Alto Club in Tallinn to find a solution to tax-related issues and to disprove the proverb about death and (complicated) taxes to be something we have to accept as they are. 11 ideas were pitched out of which 8 teams were formed to take up the challenge of simplifying the tax systems across the EU.

The European Commission has started a Single Digital Gateway initiative, which is an access point for citizens and businesses who want to live, travel, work or do business in another EU country. The challenge in Tallinn was to either design an interface for accessing VAT information for business or a user interface for accessing company tax information.

Kaur Virunurm from Messente and his team of five from Montonio Finance created UI to look up exactly when and how to pay VAT to other companies in EU member states. Both of the companies (Messente and Montonio) are doing business cross-border, so this was a relatively personal matter for the young entrepreneurs. “This cross border VAT calculator idea came from our own experience when dealing with selling goods or services in the EU. As one of the jury members from the Estonian Tax and Customs office was really surprised with the end results, then we are definitely going to take this project further and hopefully offer this as a service in the near future,” shared the winner.

And we from Garage48 side know that this usually tends to be a key for winning a hackathon - tackling the issue that you face in your everyday life and need a solid solution for. So let us present the Single Digital Gateway WINNERS - EUnomia!

EUnomia was awarded with 5000 EUR from the European Commission. 
Team members: Kaur Virunurm, Karel Nappus, Markus Lember, Rasmus Õisma and Kristofer Turmen.

Even though death and taxes might still be certain, the teams sure did work hard to make the latter more convenient for us all! Thank you, dear participants!

And a huge thanks to all the mentors, we couldn't have done it without you: Evelyn Liivamägi, Head of Tax Department @ the Tax and Customs Board; Kristo Madrus, Chief Expert @ Customs and Excise Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance; Helen Pahapill, Adviser @ Tax Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance; Johannes Siig, Full-Stack Developer @ GrabCAD, Jana Viia, Head of User Experience (NUX) @ Nortal and Martin Verrev, Creative Engineer @ Littlebit and lecturer @ TalTech.

The Single Digital Gateway is series of high-level hackathons hosted in cities across Europe where citizens, businesses, professionals, students, NGOs - all creative minds put their heads together to map out and shape the all-in-one digital gateway for smarter e-services and information anywhere in Europe.
Thank you European Commission and VO Europe for bringing in the initiative and expertise!