Helmut Pikmets

Helmut Pikmets

Partner, Head of Tax
Tallinn, Estonia

Helmut Pikmets is endorsed as the "king of tax disputes in Estonia" by reputable international legal directories Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, according to which he proposes "quick and effective solutions, always with a couple of alternatives to choose from", and is "absolutely brilliant" at tax matters, being "pretty much the No.1 choice when you need someone to solve the most complicated tax disputes".

chambers europe 44 v2      legal 44 v2

  • About

    Helmut Pikmets has extensive practical experience in day-to-day tax advisory as well as advising corporate acquisitions, restructurings and reorganisations as well as property and investment transactions, for example, he has advised Orlen Estonia, Swedbank, Fortum, Unibet, Luminor (formerly Nordea Bank), Turkish Airlines, Michelin and Tallink Group.

    Helmut Pikmets has been involved in numerous high-profile tax disputes, many of which have led to landmark decisions in the Supreme Court of Estonia. The most significant ones being a tax dispute related to Sylvester, which was the largest tax dispute in the Baltics concerning the taxation of the transfer of shares, and a case in the Supreme Court dealing with constitutionality of fuel retailers’ tax bonds. Helmut Pikmets has long-time experience in representing clients in criminal proceedings related to tax crimes (most recently in a court case concerning fictitious invoicing in Tartu, including approximately 90 witnesses) and representing taxpayers in the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Major Projects
    • Representing former shareholders of Stora Enso Timber in the largest tax disputes of the Baltics

      Successfully representing a group of former shareholders of Stora Enso Timber (formerly AS Sylvester) in the largest tax dispute in the Baltic States.

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    • Representing Tallink Group in the Supreme Court and the European Commission

      Representing the largest passenger transport group in the Baltics, Tallink Group, in the Supreme Court and the European Commission concerning excise duties on packaging and potentially unlawful state aid arising from the packaging deposit act.

    • Representing a fuel retailer in the Supreme Court

      Representing Kõrveküla Petrol Station in the Supreme Court and over 20 fuel retailers in the administrative court in a dispute against the Estonian Tax and Customs Board regarding tax collateral stipulated in the Liquid Fuel Act, the many provisions of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

    • Representing Bauhof Group in the Supreme Court

      Representing one of the largest DIY retail chain in Estonia, Bauhof Group, in the Supreme Court regarding taxations of management fees.

    • Advising Turkish Airlines regarding the establishment of Estonian and Lithuanian branches

      Advising Turkish Airlines on tax matters regarding the establishment of its Estonian and Lithuanian branches, including cross-border employment taxation issues. The firm also analysed the application of the Estonian-Turkish tax convention.

    • Representing Amalfi in a complex legal dispute with the tax board

      Representing Amalfi in a complex legal dispute with the tax board in the first case of its kind where the tax authority imposed income tax on Amalfi, regarding an immovable in the possession of a shareholder as dividends paid to the shareholder.

    • Advising Sanofi regarding the VAT rules of Estonia and the EU

      Advising the Estonian subsidiary of a global pharmaceuticals company Sanofi regarding the VAT rules of Estonia and the European Union.

    • Compiling a legal analysis for the supervisory board of Eesti Pank

      Compiling a legal analysis for the supervisory board of the Estonian central bank Eesti Pank on legal aspects of interest taxation for private housing loans as well as proposed alternatives for changing the current regulation.

    • Advising Energate on tax aspects regarding acquiring

      Advising Energate, investment arm of Baltcap Private Equity Fund L.P., regarding tax aspects when acquiring a gas infrastructure company and wind park operator.

  • CV

    Professional career

    Since 2017
    Partner, law firm TGS Baltic
    1994 – 2017
    Partner, law firm Varul

    Education

    1994
    University of Tartu, Faculty of Law, Master of Law
    1992
    Stockholm School of Economics, Commercial Law

    Membership

    2008
    International Fiscal Association
    1996
    Estonian Bar Association