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CRA VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE PROGRAM (VDP) in Canada

When pursuing a VDP, you don’t need a tax lawyer. At Faris CPA, we’ve been providing VDP assistance and saving taxpayers unnecessary legal fees for over a decade.

When it comes to filing taxes, mistakes can happen. However, if they’re not rectified, you or your business may be on the hook for additional interest and penalties and may even risk a criminal record.

The Voluntary Disclosure Program in Canada was created by the CRA to give Canadians the chance to rectify past financial mistakes and offers relief from significant financial and criminal penalties.

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VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE EXPERTS IN TORONTO

Voluntary Disclosure Experts in Canada

Faris CPA is proud to be a top CPA in Canada specializing in CRA Voluntary Disclosure Program assistance.

We work with Canadian individuals and businesses to help balance their personal and professional finances, including guiding them through the process of voluntary disclosure and providing opportunities and incentives to correct past mistakes. 

A tax lawyer will need to hire a tax expert CPA to assist you with a VDP. Work with Faris CPA directly to avoid the unnecessary legal fees that come with a tax lawyer.

With over 10 years of industry experience and expertise, we understand each client’s financial situation is unique. Our accounting specialists will provide the tools and resources to help you start fresh next tax season. We proudly service all provinces across Canada, including Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

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Voluntary Disclosure Programs in Canada

The Voluntary Disclosure Program in Canada was designed to allow Canadians to present any financial withholdings or oversights that were not present on previous tax returns.

It’s important to be mindful that not all Canadians are eligible for the VDP. To be accepted under the general or limited program, the disclosure must be voluntary, which would mean the CRA does not have any prior knowledge about taxes owed. Your disclosure must be complete, ensuring all incomplete or inaccurate filings are accounted for, and the information must be overdue by a minimum of one year.

To determine if you’re eligible to fill out a voluntary disclosure form, ask yourself if you have done any other the following:

  • Didn’t declare income when you were paid in cash?
  • Deducted personal expenses from your income?
  • Made a mistake when calculating your taxes?
  • Led astray by an unscrupulous tax preparer?
  • Overlooked amounts that should have been reported?
  • Simply got the law wrong or misunderstood it?
  • Worried your hard-earned money will be taken away from you and your family?

If you answered yes to the above questions, or if you have failed to file your returns, the Voluntary Disclosure Program may be your best solution. The Voluntary Disclosure Program is the Canadian taxpayers’ method of correcting past tax mistakes. This program gives you a second chance.

If your Voluntary Disclosure application is accepted by the CRA, you will still have to pay any taxes owed in addition to any interest either in part or in full. However, by using Canada’s Voluntary Disclosure Program, you’re protected from penalties and get relief from prosecution.

There is no limitation period for income taxes. In some cases, then the CRA can assess or reassess the taxpayer affected at any time – meaning the CRA can go back five, 10, 15, or 20+ years. Although the CRA can go back as far as it wants to, the Voluntary Disclosure Program in Canada can only provide penalty (and interest) relief going back 10 years from when you come clean. That said, a CRA voluntary disclosure form will protect you against criminal prosecution no matter how long ago the misrepresentation was made.

A professional accountant may also be able to limit the CRA’s inquiries to the last five to 10 years, giving you the full benefit of the Voluntary Disclosure Program’s Tax Amnesty. A successful disclosure will often require you to only pay the taxes you had to pay.

However, you have to ensure that your disclosure beats the CRA to the audit punch. Once you’re under a tax audit by the CRA, or a request is made of you to file returns not previously filed, you’re unable to take advantage of the program. When pursing a VDP, Faris CPA is well equipped to assist you, removing the need for a tax lawyer.

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Eligibility for a Voluntary Disclosure Program in Canada

For an individual to be eligible for a Voluntary Disclosure, the disclosure has to meet the following qualifications:

  • The disclosure has to be voluntary;
  • The disclosure has to be complete;
  • The taxpayer has to be at risk of penalties;
  • The disclosure has to include information that is at least a year past due or a correction of previously filed information.

These criteria are far from clear-cut. Whether or not a disclosure is voluntary can be a difficult question. For example, if you know that the CRA is investigating a company you are dealing with, and these dealings are taxable but not reported by you, you might not be seen as coming clean voluntarily.

Another important question is whether your disclosure is complete. Sometimes you don’t need to report revenue or transactions on your tax returns, while other times you’re required to. Some funds received are taxable and others are not. You have to disclose all events that must be reported and that have tax consequences. The income tax act imposes a large number of penalties in particular circumstances.

The act also provides exceptions to these penalties in certain cases. Whether or not you meet the risk-of-penalty hurtle can also be challenging. However, if your circumstances leave you open to any potential penalties, you will successfully pass this hurdle. The final criterion of having the information be at least one year past due or a correction of previously filed information is easily analyzed.

Filing a Voluntary Disclosure Application

There are two ways of filing a CRA Voluntary Disclosure Application. The first is by revealing your identity and the other is anonymous. Your tax professional will help you determine which route is best for you. The CRA, however, is under no obligation to commit to a binding outcome. There are also two programs under the VPD – the general and the limited program.

The limited program, if successfully applied to, means that the taxpayer is not subject to criminal prosecution and is exempted from the more serious penalties which would otherwise apply in situations involving gross negligence on the part of the taxpayer. Interest on outstanding tax balances, however, must be paid and penalties will be levied. Those taxpayers whose conduct is not in line with the limited program will be considered under the VDP’s general program.

The CRA considers numerous factors when deciding whether or not the limited or general program applies. These elements include the sophistication of the taxpayer, the dollar amounts involved, the number of years of non-compliance, and whether efforts were made to avoid detection through the use of offshore vehicles or other means.

Under the general program, no criminal prosecutions will take place and no penalties will be charged. The CRA will give partial interest relief, most specifically, for the years related to three most recent periods of non-compliance. This relief is usually equal to about 50% of the interest owed.

The CRA wants you to come clean and correct mistakes and they are willing to provide an incentive to do so. Although the decision to give relief is discretionary, where you clearly meet the published criteria for the Voluntary Disclosure Program, they have to grant you the relief advertised.

 A CPA will know what circumstances may disqualify a disclosure as not being “voluntary”, what items must be reported (and how to ensure that the disclosure is “complete”), and whether your circumstances leave you open to the possibility of a penalty. Without the need to hire a tax lawyer, you will be able to save on unnecessary legal fees. Avoid the sleepless nights and uncertainty, and contact a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) who is an expert in tax disputes with CRA.

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Other Services

Faris CPA is proud to offer a wide variety of tax-related services, not limited to:

FAQ

What is the Voluntary Disclosure Program?

Voluntary disclosure is the name of the CRA Tax Amnesty Program. This program allows Canadian taxpayers to correct back tax problems, including unfiled tax returns or unreported income. Taxpayers can submit their voluntary disclosure application along with corrected or missing tax returns to avoid tax penalties or prosecution.

When should I make a voluntary disclosure?

At Faris CP, we recommend utilizing the Voluntary Disclosure Program from the CRA if you’re facing any of the related tax situations:

  • The previous year’s tax return was not filed;
  • Income earned was under-reported or not reported at all on a tax return that’s been filed;
  • Any employee source deductions were not submitted, including pension plans or deductions from employment insurance;
  • Taxable income from foreign sources was not reported on an already-filed tax return;
  • GST/HST was not collected, charged, or reported for any eligible reporting period;
  • Ineligible GST/HST input tax refunds, rebates or credits were claimed;
  • Failed to report any foreign property and must now fill out form T1135 on their voluntary disclosure form.

Our accounting specialists will work with you to determine if you qualify for the CRA Voluntary Disclosure Program and help you fill out the appropriate forms for submission.

How can you help me correct my tax issues?

Faris CPA is proud to provide tax and accounting services, specializing in CRA voluntary disclosure assistance. We’ll review your filed tax returns and advise if there are mistakes. If we are able to identify any mistakes, our firm will determine if you’re eligible to fill out a voluntary disclosure form to submit to the CRA. 

We proudly offer voluntary disclosure assistance across Canada, including Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Is income tax voluntary in Canada?

The income tax system is based on voluntary compliance because the government knows tax laws are unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. There is no question that voluntary compliance is the cornerstone of the Canadian self-assessment taxation system.

How to apply for voluntary tax disclosure

If you’re interested in applying for the Voluntary Disclosure Program with the CRA, the first step is to consult with a licensed tax accountant to ensure you qualify. They will guide you through the necessary qualifications and help you fill out the appropriate disclosure form.

Form RC199 must be filled out and submitted by the taxpayer or an authorized representative. Your accountant will ensure the information included is accurate before submitting your CRA voluntary disclosure form.

How long does a VDP application take?

The process of applying for the CRA voluntary disclosure program varies depending on the full scope of your application, including the volume of documents being submitted. The full timeline for the CRA to resolve a VDP claim can be up to 350 days on average.

At Faris CPA, our accounting experts will work with you to determine the scale of information required to submit your application and guide you through the submission process. We ensure you understand the current processing timelines and will answer any questions related to voluntary disclosure through the CRA.

Can the CRA go back ten years?

In most cases, the CRA will go back three years to review information on your taxes to correct any discrepancies. The agency can go back further than three years if they believe that fraud has occurred and that a taxpayer has misrepresented themselves through carelessness or willful neglect.
pro-tip

Pro Tip

ACCESSING THE SMALL BUSINESS DEDUCTION IN YOUR BUSINESS

The Small Business Deduction gives businesses a tax deduction on the first $500,000 of income. This saves an eligible corporation around up to $50,000 in income taxes. There are a number of conditions that have to be met to be eligible for this deduction.

Conrad
Conrad
1719343900
Sam was absolutely amazing, I was in desperate need of urgent tax help with little time left and he managed to get everything done flawlessly in the last 2 weeks! He is incredibly thorough and honest in his work. Truly appreciate him! Thanks Sam!
Ellie B
Ellie B
1719013463
I met with Sam seeking advice on how to approach a realestate transaction properly in order to prevent any future issues with CRA. Sam was very knowledgeable and helpful in guiding me in the right direction. He patiently answered all my questions and provided his expert advice. I am very happy to have come to him.He is very honest, and not just after making a profit from his clients, but to genuinely help them. Thank you Sam.
Khaled Darwish
Khaled Darwish
1719001561
I was referred to Sam Faris by a business partner who had an excellent experience before. I found that Sam and his team are experts with CRA issues and resolved my issue on timely basis. More importantly his fee is very reasonable. Many thanks and I will definitely recommend the firm to others.
Vrej Nersesian
Vrej Nersesian
1718992542
Mr Faris helped me to resolve a very complicated audit with CRA. He came up with a brilliant strategy to win my case against CRA. Thank you Sam for all your hard work and I will recommend everyone who has issues with the CRA to hire your firm.
Shiraz Tufenkji
Shiraz Tufenkji
1718979011
Sam Faris is very pleasant to deal with. I was referred to him by a well known tax lawyer in the city. After dealing with Sam and knowing his expertise with CRA disputes, I decided to fire the tax lawyer as Sam did it all and achieved the best results. I ended up wasting 15k in legal fees when I could have saved it if I met Sam before.
Sam was great. He really helped me with my situation. Highly recommend him. When its time sensitive, he's the go to guy.
Dallas Young
Dallas Young
1718761499
Sam Farris is an exceptional CPA who provided outstanding service when I needed tax preparation assistance.What sets Sam apart is his ability to clearly explain complex tax laws and financial strategies in easy-to-understand terms. He took the time to educate me on the implications of different options so I could make fully informed decisions. His proactive approach identified opportunities for tax savings that I hadn't even considered.Sam is extremely responsive, accessible and genuinely cares about his clients' best interests. He made me feel like a priority and was always available to answer any questions I had, no matter how minor. The peace of mind this provides is priceless.
Sean E
Sean E
1718660820
Sam is a pleasure to work with. He is efficient and diligent. He is very skilled when it comes to CRA and taxes. Highly recommended.
Nicole Calnan
Nicole Calnan
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Sam Faris is fast and reliable and on top of tax topics. I am looking forward to his knowledgeable and competent support.
Alex G
Alex G
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Excellent work from Sam with a difficult tax issue I had. Would definitely recommend his services!
Shahbaz Mirza
Shahbaz Mirza
1718409854
Thank you Sam for all your help. I dont know what i would do without your help and support regarding my tax matter.
Sam Faris helped me deal with a tricky situation with the CRA involving taxes paid in the USA. He seems pretty knowledgable of both Canada and USA tax laws and regulations. During the initial phone call, he proposed a plan to address the situation, and didn't over-promise. In the end, the resolution was much better than what was initially proposed. Communication was timely and reliable. I'd gladly use his services again in the future if the need arises.
Mesut Atalay
Mesut Atalay
1717960926
Second to none firm once it comes to accounting and tax issues with the CRA. I have tried to work with three professionals including a tax lawyer before approaching Sam Faris. Unlike Sam, they never met their promises. Sam met every single promise he made. His performance exceeded expectations. Don’t waste your money and time and hire Sam. He is super efficient, and highly knowledgeable with tax problems and will protect you from CRA with the least cost possible.
can can
can can
1717959796
Faris CPA is a firm with high business standards. The firm looked after my best interest and achieved the best results by minimizing taxes owing and provided a business structure to optimize taxes as much as possible. I am grateful for all the help the firm provided.
Baran SOLMAZ
Baran SOLMAZ
1717778800
i can confidently say that Sam Faris is the best out there who can handle problems with the CRA. he helped me to resolve a complicated and massive audits with my companies and got me the best results. he did a perfect reorganization after and now feel i am well protected having him on board.
I approached Sam Faris as I had a complicated case with the CRA regarding my residency status. Sam has performed a detailed and in depth analysis and submitted his findings to the CRA. In conclusion, Sam was able to convince the CRA that I am not a resident and I did not have to file tax returns in Canada. Super happy with Sam service and of course with the outcome.
Essam Alftayh
Essam Alftayh
1717274326
Sam Faris filed my many years of outstanding tax returns under the voluntary disclosure program. As a result, significant penalties were waived and more importantly the my many years of sleepless nights and living in fear are over now. Thank you Sam and I highly recommend him to family and friends.
D Schrager
D Schrager
1717025313
Sam of Faris CPA is an expert with CRA issues. I have waisted significant amount of money by hiring other professionals who never delivered. Sam’s promises are solid and he never disappointed me. Sam’s work quality exceeds expectations. Many thanks Sam and I will absolutely recommend your service to family and friends.
Before hiring Faris CPA, I shopped around and I hired a CPA firm who offered significantly cheaper fee than Faris CPA. I must admit that this was a mistake. That firm promised the moon and they did not deliver. I learned by accident that the firm outsourced my file to a firm in India. I was very upset as I did not consent to have my returns done in India. I lost trust in the firm as the firm mislead me by making me believe that my file is being handled properly and efficiently by CPAs who are knowledgeable in Canadian taxes. I had to fire them immediately and hired Faris CPA. Sam Faris and his team dealt with my case efficiently and on timely basis. As a result, my many years of outstanding personal and corporate tax returns have been filed as promised. The taxes that I ended up owing are way less than what I expected. Sam Faris and his team performed a good tax planning strategy which saved me taxes. Faris CPA fee is very reasonable considering the quality of work that has been delivered and the tax saving that was achieved.Don’t hire a firm who provides cheaper fee as you will end up paying twice. In my situation, I ended up paying to a firm who outsourced my file to India and I came back and hired Faris to complete the job properly. Save your money, time and emotions and hire Faris CPA and they will get the job done to your satisfaction.
Kate Miller
Kate Miller
1716575760
Thanks Sam for your help with our CRA issues. You were very easy to contact and deal with and did what was needed very quickly. Thanks so much.
It was my pleasure to work with Sam Faris closely to resolve my tax issue with the CRA. Sam was efficient and resolved it to my satisfaction. Unlike other professionals that I dealt with regarding the same tax matter, whatever he promised, he delivered with the least time and with a reasonable fee. Thanks Sam for all your help.
Lisa Lisa
Lisa Lisa
1716551738
I highly recommend Sam--he is a true expert--knowledgeable and professional. He is highly skilled, quick to respond, and an expert at any CRA matter. I honestly don't know where I would be without having hired him. Five stars for sure.
Rob Miller
Rob Miller
1716489740
Sam responded very quickly to my request for his assistance with my CRA submission. We spoke by zoom. He then processed the paperwork and has submitted it straight away. I would thoroughly recommend Sam to people anywhere in Canada who needs timely and efficient help with their tax issue.
Rasha Makhoul
Rasha Makhoul
1716055095
Faris CPA helped me to navigate a very difficult tax matter. I would recommend the firm to anyone who needs tax experts with high business standards.
Sam is a kind man and gave me honest advice! Was very easy to get a consultation as well!
Luba A
Luba A
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Very impressive. I wish I met Sam many years back. He would have saved us money and saved our time from dealing with professionals who promised the moon but never delivered. Thanks Sam for all your help. You deserve every dollar you charged us.
Lila Saba
Lila Saba
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Highly recommend Mr. Faris for any problem with the CRA. He is efficient and creative and has his own strategies to get favorable results. Thanks Sam for alll your help.
Shadi Hakawaty
Shadi Hakawaty
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I was referred to Mr Faris by a friend of mine who happened to be his client for more than 10 years .I was struggling with the CRA regarding HST audit .CRA claimed that I owe significant amount of hst .Mr Faris was able to preform a detailed analysis which is backed up with previous court cases .as a result mr FARIS was able to convince CRA that the property was not subject to hst and the case was closed with zero hst owing.Thank you mr FARIS for all your hard work 🙏
Rosa hanna
Rosa hanna
1714918257
Sam Faris helped me and helped my family to deal with a very complex audit with the CRA. His performance exceeded expectations and his fee is reasonable.
Kevin Eatz
Kevin Eatz
1710287499
Was very professional and fast with helping me file taxes that I have missed over the years. Highly recommend :)
Ria Frith
Ria Frith
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Excellent service! Sam helped make a stressful, complicated situation much easier to deal with, showing great patience and compassion. I'm very grateful.
farshid tayyeb
farshid tayyeb
1709600147
Sam and his team helped me with filing my complicated corporate tax. He is very informative, and knowledgable and most importantly always available to answer your questions and concerns. He is very detailed and spent a lot of time preparing my tax file and fixing my previous accountant’s mistakes. I should also mention that his fee was very fair. Thank you so much Sam!
Vero Land
Vero Land
1708810543
Had a meeting with Sam regarding my tax matter with the CRA. Sam was informative and provided an excellent advice to handle the situation.
David Kline
David Kline
1708785450
CRA audited me based on net worth audit. This audit lasted almost 2 years. I suffered emotionally and financially as a result. Bringing Sam and his team into the picture was the best decision that I have ever made. Sam followed a very unique strategy which led to dropping the taxes to my satisfaction. Thanks Sam for all your hard work.
Tomer Pitel
Tomer Pitel
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I wish I met Sam of Faris CPA many years ago. He would have saved me lots of money and kept me out of troubles with the CRA. His performance exceeded expectations. 10 stars
Madison Wortman
Madison Wortman
1708657850
Sam is the man to handle any CRA dispute. Very happy with his services and the results that he achieved for me.
Gwen Meador
Gwen Meador
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Sam Faris helped me with the HST audit which involved building a new houses. CRA proposed to assess the houses that I built higher than it should be. Sam approach was convincing and knock down the assessment significantly. Thanks to Sam that I did not have to file objection and the issue was settled at the audit stage with the least cost.
Rafa Vargas
Rafa Vargas
1706749169
Hire Sam if you have any tax issue with the CRA. He is highly reliable and trust worthy and will absolutely look after your best interest. Mark my word on this as this is based on my recent experience having Sam dealing with my issue with the CRA.
Joseph Qassis
Joseph Qassis
1706481745
Extremely helpful and high work ethics. Thank you for all your help Sam for solving my tax issues.
NewLeaf Dental
NewLeaf Dental
1706381674
I was referred to Sam Faris by a tax lawyer in the city. Sam helped me with a very complicated tax audit by the CRA. Results exceeded expectations and now I can focused more in my business as Sam is defending me with the CRA problems.
John S
John S
1706380825
Best CPA and tax expert in the country. Sam helped me with a very complicated tax problem which involved voluntary disclosure. CRA accepted Sam argument and submission without a single question asked. He saved me the penalties and interest. Highly recommend Sam and his team.
Loris Layus
Loris Layus
1706153940
Very happy with Sam services. Sam helped me to resolve a complex tax audit by CRA. Results exceeded expectations and highly recommend Sam and his team.
Angela Simpson
Angela Simpson
1705181007
Great experience, very informative, and knowledgable!
Sam Faris helped us with a serious matter with CRA. He is extremely knowledgeable, efficient and more importantly has very high work standards. I would highly recommend Sam to anyone who is facing an issue with CRA.
Rey459
Rey459
1704088130
Sam helped me with a very difficult tax issue which involved voluntary disclosure. He submitted a perfect package where CRA did not bother to ask any question. My package was approved from the first time with no issue at all. I must admit that after shopping around, Sam’s fee was the most reasonable fee among all the professionals including 2 tax law firms. Thank you Sam for all your hard work.
Soysal Realty
Soysal Realty
1704086408
A trusted tax firm who handled my complicated tax problems perfectly with the least cost. Sam and his team exceeded expectation. Highly recommend.
Waseem Khoury
Waseem Khoury
1702982945
Luckily I was referred to Sam and his team by a friend of mine. After wasting time and money with a tax lawyer, finding Sam was a big relief. He was able to resolve my tax issue with CRA on timely basis and with the least cost. Many thanks Sam.
maria martins
maria martins
1702833053
Super professional with high work and ethics standards. Highly recommend Sam and his team. Thanks for the hard work.
Seth Woodard
Seth Woodard
1702580217
Sam was super helpful and responsive, extremely fast, and very easy to work with. Would recommend to anyone. Thanks Sam!
MARIA FUDA
MARIA FUDA
1701962330
Without doubts, the team at Faris CPA is the best out there to dispute CRA decisions. They are focused on details and are second to none. Their fee is fair and more importantly, they are honest, reliable and meeting their promises. Don't bother to hire other professionals and of course no need for tax lawyers who charge you excessive legal fees. Hire Sam and his team and they can get the job perfectly done and on a timely basis with the least cost. Very grateful to Sam for all the hard work on my file. I am lucky to know you and because of you, I have no concerns whatsoever if CRA tries to attack me and attack my business in the future.Thank you Sam.Maria Fuda,Litewave Communications
Paulina R
Paulina R
1701920055
Very helpful and super efficient. Sam is an expert with tax problems and will help you in every aspect with the least cost. Thank you so much for all your hard work!!
jonathan sousa
jonathan sousa
1701786708
Sam is a wealth of knowledge. I would highly recommend his services to friends and family.
Scott Dalziel
Scott Dalziel
1701716742
Sam and Edward were extremely helpful and very timely in providing their services! They provided great service at a very reasonable price.
David Lonergan
David Lonergan
1701716732
Sam Faris and his team are EXPERTS in fighting the CRA / Canada Revenue Agency. I cannot say enough good things! Save your money and don’t hire a tax lawyer. They can do it ALL and save you the legal fees. Sam and Team will get you the best outcome for a very reasonable fee. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
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