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Regardless of what we think of them, taxes are undeniably a cornerstone of society. The term “business critical” takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to the system authorities use to makesure everyone pays the proper tax. The Value-Added Tax (VAT) is the Swedish government’s largest individual source of income, but it is common knowledge that cheating on VAT declarations is, well, common practice. To develop a system to examine and “red flag” questionable company taxdeclarations, the Swedish National Tax Authority selected Smalltalk as the development tool – as they had several years earlier when theAuthority had developed a similar system for examining income tax returns.
The Authority chose Smalltalk because of their resultant ability to recycle and reuse parts of the earlier system inthe new VAT checking system – and thus, reduce costs. In addition, developers’ proven productivity in and preferences for the Smalltalk environment also pulled it to the top in the selection process.