luke85

Thinking Of Working Abroad For A Few Years - A Few Questions.....

48 posts in this topic

Hi everyone, long time lurker to HPC and I have read here almost daily for many years. I am looking for a bit of advice from people on here as I may have a job oppertunity to leave the country.

Basically I have been in my current job (a subsidary of rolls royce turbines) for 8 years, the only job I have had since leaving college with my HNC in electrical engineering. I have worked my way from shifts to be a team leader in charge of maintaining our most complicated machines on site. My salary is 31k before overtime and seen as I still live at home I have been hammering the overtime, working 6 days a week almost constantly, taking my salary to around £40k. I feel fed up with the long shifts and 1 day a week off, but at the same time I really want to move out and have my freedom.

Seen as house prices are still stubbornly high here, I refuse to blow my hard earned deposit on a house that I feel is still way over priced. I have been approached by the manufacturer of one of our mahines, with an offer of working for them. Basically it would be based in Germany where assembly and programming takes place, then 4-6 months comissioning at the customers site per project.

Pay would be around 80k euros per year.

If I take this up, would I still be paying UK income tax rates? I feel this country is going nowhere fast and it would be a good chance to build the deposit faster and get to see different parts of the world at the same time. How difficult is it to work for a foriegn company as far as taxes and accounts are concerned? Also it would mean learning at least the basics of the German language which I would be willing to put the time in and do.

Im sure many peope on here have done this and Im just looking for opinions really, is the grass always greener on the other side or should I take the chance while Im young? (26)

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Hi everyone, long time lurker to HPC and I have read here almost daily for many years. I am looking for a bit of advice from people on here as I may have a job oppertunity to leave the country.

Basically I have been in my current job (a subsidary of rolls royce turbines) for 8 years, the only job I have had since leaving college with my HNC in electrical engineering. I have worked my way from shifts to be a team leader in charge of maintaining our most complicated machines on site. My salary is 31k before overtime and seen as I still live at home I have been hammering the overtime, working 6 days a week almost constantly, taking my salary to around £40k. I feel fed up with the long shifts and 1 day a week off, but at the same time I really want to move out and have my freedom.

Seen as house prices are still stubbornly high here, I refuse to blow my hard earned deposit on a house that I feel is still way over priced. I have been approached by the manufacturer of one of our mahines, with an offer of working for them. Basically it would be based in Germany where assembly and programming takes place, then 4-6 months comissioning at the customers site per project.

Pay would be around 80k euros per year.

If I take this up, would I still be paying UK income tax rates? I feel this country is going nowhere fast and it would be a good chance to build the deposit faster and get to see different parts of the world at the same time. How difficult is it to work for a foriegn company as far as taxes and accounts are concerned? Also it would mean learning at least the basics of the German language which I would be willing to put the time in and do.

Im sure many peope on here have done this and Im just looking for opinions really, is the grass always greener on the other side or should I take the chance while Im young? (26)

The grass isn't always greener, but it doesn't always almost double your salary either!

FFS man, unless you have serious friend/family ties get your frickin ass over there! Learn to see an opportunity when it head-hunts you :P

Or, more constructively:

Pros:

Double Salary (nearly)

Learn a new language

Change to live in another country for a few years

Plenty of new skills and experience to add to your CV

Cons:

You might hate it and want to move back.. you'd have to find another job.

In response to your question, no you shouldn't pay income tax over here.. you would pay income tax (and all other tax) in Germany. If they are a half decent company they will help you with this side of things anyway.

Good luck..

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If you move to another EU country, you simply pay taxes into their system. It's only if you go outside the EU that I believe the tax implications can start to get complex.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the implications of not paying NI in the UK while you're gone. Does paying its equivalent in Germany mean that the stamps are paid on your behalf as far as the UK social security system is concerned? If not, I'm guessing that your state pension entitlement and entitlement to NHS treatment might be affected after a certain period of non-payments.

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It is very hard not to pay UK tax even if you do not set foot in the country for 12 months - even having a simple thing like a direct debit in the UK, a mobile phone contract, a sky or virgin subsicription, a magazine subscription can be used by HMRC as proof of you being UK domicile and hence a tax payer. I kid you not.

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It is very hard not to pay UK tax even if you do not set foot in the country for 12 months - even having a simple thing like a direct debit in the UK, a mobile phone contract, a sky or virgin subsicription, a magazine subscription can be used by HMRC as proof of you being UK domicile and hence a tax payer. I kid you not.

I'm not sure it's quite like that within Europe, particularly if you can prove that you are paying tax in another jurisdiction. I think they only get funny if they think you are trying to avoid paying tax altogether.

The company should be able to sort out the financial details for him TBH.

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FYI: Taxation in Germany

Income tax rate in 2010

No income tax is charged on the basic allowance, which is €8,004 for unmarried persons and €16,008 for jointly assessed married couples. Beyond this threshold, the marginal tax rate increases linearly from 14% to 24% for a taxable income of €13,469 (€26,938 for married couples). In the subsequent interval up to a taxable income of €52,881 (€105,762 for married couples), the marginal tax rate increases linearly from 24% to 42%. The last change of rates occurs at a taxable income of €250,730 (€501,460 for married couples) when the marginal tax rate jumps from 42% to 45%. The course of the marginal tax rate and the resulting average tax rate are depicted in the graph to the right.

On your expected salary you would pay about 32-33% tax (as far as Ii can tell) as an average over your entire earnings. They seem to have something called "solidarity surcharge" a bit like NI for us that kicks in at higher salaries and adds an extra 5.5% at the top end.

Overall you are looking at a similar overall tax burden to the UK I'd guess.. perhaps slightly less.

To follow up on TMT's point, you shouldn't need to worry:

Double taxation agreements

Germany has reached tax treaties with about 90 countries to avoid double taxation. These agreements fall under public international law and aim to avoid that one taxpayer is charged similar taxes more than once on the same income for the same period. The basic structure of the double taxation agreements which Germany has signed follows the "Model Tax Convention" drawn up by the OECD.

Edited by libspero

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It is very hard not to pay UK tax even if you do not set foot in the country for 12 months - even having a simple thing like a direct debit in the UK, a mobile phone contract, a sky or virgin subsicription, a magazine subscription can be used by HMRC as proof of you being UK domicile and hence a tax payer. I kid you not.

Not so - this is a myth. As long as your presence in the Uk is less than 90 days in any tax year and are resident elsewhere then you are tax exempt for income purposes. If you have wifey and kids in UK maybe HMRC will look at it differently but a monthly subs to Country life ain't going to jeopardise your non dom status ;)

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If you move to another EU country, you simply pay taxes into their system. It's only if you go outside the EU that I believe the tax implications can start to get complex.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the implications of not paying NI in the UK while you're gone. Does paying its equivalent in Germany mean that the stamps are paid on your behalf as far as the UK social security system is concerned? If not, I'm guessing that your state pension entitlement and entitlement to NHS treatment might be affected after a certain period of non-payments.

Yes, tax would be payable in Germany, not in the UK. I don't know how much, but you seem to be earning good money!

As for standard of living, it's high. Renting a flat is good there: I got a very nice flat in Nurnberg for the price of a pretty basic one anywhere in the UK (or a bedsit in London), but YMMV.

NI is optional. That is to say, as an expat in another EU country, you can contribute NI either here or there. At least, that was my experience working in Italy. But then I was employed by a UK company there: you might find it harder to pay UK NI if employed by a german company. I don't know.

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The company should normally organise your contributions. You will pay income tax, solidarity tax (for the reunification), health insurance, care insurance, unemployment insurance and pension. Church tax is optional - be careful not to put down a religion unless you want to contribute. As a rough guess you would pay a bit over 40% of your salary in total.

Rent & house prices depend a great deal on where you are living. Some parts of Germany can be very expensive, you'd need to check it out in e.g. house search. Food & eating out are pretty reasonable here & you'd still have a good opportunity to save when you're commissioning as long as the conditions are good.

I haven't paid any UK NI contributions since I left. It is one thing to consider as you are only entitled to a German pension after you have contributed for 10 years or more. If you leave before then you have the option of requesting the pension contributions to be refunded (you'd probably then have to pay tax on them though).

With such a large salary increase I think you should give it a go here - just expect that you will have to go through lots of small hassles with finding accomodation, learning the language and also the German mentality.

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I haven't paid any UK NI contributions since I left. It is one thing to consider as you are only entitled to a German pension after you have contributed for 10 years or more. If you leave before then you have the option of requesting the pension contributions to be refunded (you'd probably then have to pay tax on them though).

AFAIK, state pension entitlements are transferable within the EU, i.e. the contributions you paid in Germany can be transferred to the UK once you move back to the UK. In the end you will get the state pension of the EU country were you work and live the last 5 years before retirement, but all years spent in other EU countries working will be counted.

To the OP I would say go for it, it will be a great experience, it will enhance your CV, and you never know you might end up liking it so much that you stay permanently.

Edited by awake_eagle

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This sounds like a great opportunity, the one downside is that it sounds like you will have to do a lot of travelling with the on site work. That kind of work is well paid but (like doing lots of overtime) gets wearing after a while.

Jobs like that can be great to do for a year or 3, you can set yourself up financially and bang a few nice german girls. Something to bear in mind though is that if you decide you want to move back to the UK, thats much easier to do if you are 29 and still single than if you are 35 with a German family.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that emigration should be a permanent decision or that if you return its a 'failure' in some way - it still a valuable experience to have on the CV.

Also 8 years is long enough with one company, statistically if you stay with the same employer for 10 years you will most likely stay with them until retirement or redundancy.

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It is very hard not to pay UK tax even if you do not set foot in the country for 12 months - even having a simple thing like a direct debit in the UK, a mobile phone contract, a sky or virgin subsicription, a magazine subscription can be used by HMRC as proof of you being UK domicile and hence a tax payer. I kid you not.

Bullsh1t. If you live full time in another country - particularly one with a dual tax treaty with the UK - there is no issue at all. I know this for a fact as I've done it three times now and I know dozens of other people who have too. You will pay UK tax only on UK employment income (e.g. if your employer continues to pay you through UK payroll) and I think there's some special rules for rental income but that's it. The HMRC rules you're thinking of are about catching people who effectively live and work in the UK but try to avoid tax by spend just over 6 months in a low tax country like Monaco. Even if they tried to apply the same rules to someone living 10 months a year in Germany, which they don't, they'd get nothing or next to nothing as the person would already have paid the full rate of German tax and would be able to offset that against any UK requirement under the tax treaty. As an non-resident, you can even apply to not pay income tax at source on bank account interest although you'll still have to pay tax wherever it is you live of course (e.g. Canada for me).

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Hi everyone, long time lurker to HPC and I have read here almost daily for many years. I am looking for a bit of advice from people on here as I may have a job oppertunity to leave the country.

Basically I have been in my current job (a subsidary of rolls royce turbines) for 8 years, the only job I have had since leaving college with my HNC in electrical engineering. I have worked my way from shifts to be a team leader in charge of maintaining our most complicated machines on site. My salary is 31k before overtime and seen as I still live at home I have been hammering the overtime, working 6 days a week almost constantly, taking my salary to around £40k. I feel fed up with the long shifts and 1 day a week off, but at the same time I really want to move out and have my freedom.

Seen as house prices are still stubbornly high here, I refuse to blow my hard earned deposit on a house that I feel is still way over priced. I have been approached by the manufacturer of one of our mahines, with an offer of working for them. Basically it would be based in Germany where assembly and programming takes place, then 4-6 months comissioning at the customers site per project.

Pay would be around 80k euros per year.

If I take this up, would I still be paying UK income tax rates? I feel this country is going nowhere fast and it would be a good chance to build the deposit faster and get to see different parts of the world at the same time. How difficult is it to work for a foriegn company as far as taxes and accounts are concerned? Also it would mean learning at least the basics of the German language which I would be willing to put the time in and do.

Im sure many peope on here have done this and Im just looking for opinions really, is the grass always greener on the other side or should I take the chance while Im young? (26)

Do it, the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work out and you'll have to come back. You'll regret it forever if you don't go having had the opportunity.

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If I take this up, would I still be paying UK income tax rates?

Assuming you're paid in Germany and live there most of the time, then no. Having said that, German tax rates are broadly similar to the UK so you won't notice much difference anyway (aside from the pay rise of course). If you have UK savings, you can also get the bank to pay you interest without taking off basic rate tax if you fill in the right form - you'll still need to declare it and pay tax in Germany of course. More details here:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/faqs_general.htm

The income tax point being covered here:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/faqs_general.htm#2nr

Note this definition too:

Q3. In what circumstances would I become non-resident?

A3. Normally if you leave the UK to work abroad full-time, you will become not resident and not ordinarily resident in the UK if:

  • your absence and employment from the UK covers a complete tax year (that is 6 April to 5 April)
  • you spend less than 183 days in the UK during the tax year
  • your visits to the UK do not average 91 days or more a tax year over a maximum of four years

From 6 April 2008, days when you are in the UK at the end of the day, that is midnight, are normally counted as days spent in the UK.

Note also that you can apply for part year treatment as a non-resident so long as you're not expecting to come back (i.e. you don't get clobbered for UK tax just because you leave half way through the year).

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Good luck to the OP, I'd say go for it

Can I just ask:

I am in Poland short-term so far, if I were to become resident in Poland and pay income tax in Poland on my UK savings account interest I reckon I would be worse off as their earnings threshold is lower than the UK's

I prefer to be taxed in the UK on my savings interest earned in UK banks for the above reason -

is that still possible if I become non-res in the UK (as yet I am still res in the UK) ?

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Hi everyone, long time lurker to HPC and I have read here almost daily for many years. I am looking for a bit of advice from people on here as I may have a job oppertunity to leave the country.

Basically I have been in my current job (a subsidary of rolls royce turbines) for 8 years, the only job I have had since leaving college with my HNC in electrical engineering. I have worked my way from shifts to be a team leader in charge of maintaining our most complicated machines on site. My salary is 31k before overtime and seen as I still live at home I have been hammering the overtime, working 6 days a week almost constantly, taking my salary to around £40k. I feel fed up with the long shifts and 1 day a week off, but at the same time I really want to move out and have my freedom.

Seen as house prices are still stubbornly high here, I refuse to blow my hard earned deposit on a house that I feel is still way over priced. I have been approached by the manufacturer of one of our mahines, with an offer of working for them. Basically it would be based in Germany where assembly and programming takes place, then 4-6 months comissioning at the customers site per project.

Pay would be around 80k euros per year.

If I take this up, would I still be paying UK income tax rates? I feel this country is going nowhere fast and it would be a good chance to build the deposit faster and get to see different parts of the world at the same time. How difficult is it to work for a foriegn company as far as taxes and accounts are concerned? Also it would mean learning at least the basics of the German language which I would be willing to put the time in and do.

Im sure many peope on here have done this and Im just looking for opinions really, is the grass always greener on the other side or should I take the chance while Im young? (26)

This is a complete no-brainer IMO.

The only reason you need to ask is because you haven't moved away from the apron strings before, so you're a bit nervous.

Tax etc will be fine, some on here are afraid to go 10 miles from their backyard, don't listen to them.

The only drawback I can see is the 6 months at the client sites, but some of those will be interesting as well, depending on where they are.

With a little work, you could become multi-lingual.

Make sure you get decent terms for your 6-month stints at client sites, if you're not used to negotiating they'll try and put you up in a Formula 1 hotel with 1 flight a month.

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I work part of the year abroad and part of the year in the UK, and the tax situation has been a bit of a nightmare, to be honest. HMRC aren't too bad, but the NI people don't seem to know their **** from their elbow. To paraphrase Descartes, the only thing that is certain with tax is that nothing is certain...they seem to do things on a case by case basis. Hopefully your German employers can sort it out for you, if not, be prepared for a lot of hanging on the phone etc.

Don't let that put you off though, I'm glad I did it.

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Go - Germany is class. (unless you're a veggie)

Germany is just fine for a veggie, too.

Last time I was there, I booked myself into a random Gasthof. Went down for an evening meal, looked at the menu, and they had a whole page of menu devoted to recipes based on ... 220px-Cantharellus_cibarius.jpg

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Thanks for the info and advice everyone, genuinely appreciated.

Im going to go for it and see what comes of it, if nothing else it should be an intersting learning exercise.

Will update the thread with any more news and pictures of hot german ladies where necessary

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Germany is just fine for a veggie, too.

Last time I was there, I booked myself into a random Gasthof. Went down for an evening meal, looked at the menu, and they had a whole page of menu devoted to recipes based on ... 220px-Cantharellus_cibarius.jpg

But are you aware that they use lard with everything?

As a veggie you have to explicitly tell them not to use lard for your dish, otherwise they will most likely use it.

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Hi everyone, long time lurker to HPC and I have read here almost daily for many years. I am looking for a bit of advice from people on here as I may have a job oppertunity to leave the country.

Basically I have been in my current job (a subsidary of rolls royce turbines) for 8 years, the only job I have had since leaving college with my HNC in electrical engineering. I have worked my way from shifts to be a team leader in charge of maintaining our most complicated machines on site. My salary is 31k before overtime and seen as I still live at home I have been hammering the overtime, working 6 days a week almost constantly, taking my salary to around £40k. I feel fed up with the long shifts and 1 day a week off, but at the same time I really want to move out and have my freedom.

Seen as house prices are still stubbornly high here, I refuse to blow my hard earned deposit on a house that I feel is still way over priced. I have been approached by the manufacturer of one of our mahines, with an offer of working for them. Basically it would be based in Germany where assembly and programming takes place, then 4-6 months comissioning at the customers site per project.

Pay would be around 80k euros per year.

If I take this up, would I still be paying UK income tax rates? I feel this country is going nowhere fast and it would be a good chance to build the deposit faster and get to see different parts of the world at the same time. How difficult is it to work for a foriegn company as far as taxes and accounts are concerned? Also it would mean learning at least the basics of the German language which I would be willing to put the time in and do.

Im sure many peope on here have done this and Im just looking for opinions really, is the grass always greener on the other side or should I take the chance while Im young? (26)

It seems there is nothing 'forcing' you to go - such as onerous debts or precarious employment - if so this can be a slight disadvantage because it will require perhaps a little more courage to 'pull the trigger' and go. If you don't go - you may regret it bitterly in years to come. Change can be a bit unnerving - but worth embracing - and as your only 26 there should be plenty of other overseas opportunities for you if this turns out not to suit. The zero tax regimes of most middle east countries may be worth exploring.

Kurt Barlow was right regarding the 90 day rule regarding domicile status. Also - you can continue to pay NI insurance contributions while you are away - and IMO it's well worth doing so. The UK is in ruins - even worse than it was in the early 80's. Don't think twice - get out while you can - there is a whole new and exciting world out there - this ship is going down - don't get sucked under.

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Hi everyone, long time lurker to HPC and I have read here almost daily for many years. I am looking for a bit of advice from people on here as I may have a job oppertunity to leave the country.

Basically I have been in my current job (a subsidary of rolls royce turbines) for 8 years, the only job I have had since leaving college with my HNC in electrical engineering. I have worked my way from shifts to be a team leader in charge of maintaining our most complicated machines on site. My salary is 31k before overtime and seen as I still live at home I have been hammering the overtime, working 6 days a week almost constantly, taking my salary to around £40k. I feel fed up with the long shifts and 1 day a week off, but at the same time I really want to move out and have my freedom.

Seen as house prices are still stubbornly high here, I refuse to blow my hard earned deposit on a house that I feel is still way over priced. I have been approached by the manufacturer of one of our mahines, with an offer of working for them. Basically it would be based in Germany where assembly and programming takes place, then 4-6 months comissioning at the customers site per project.

Pay would be around 80k euros per year.

If I take this up, would I still be paying UK income tax rates? I feel this country is going nowhere fast and it would be a good chance to build the deposit faster and get to see different parts of the world at the same time. How difficult is it to work for a foriegn company as far as taxes and accounts are concerned? Also it would mean learning at least the basics of the German language which I would be willing to put the time in and do.

Im sure many peope on here have done this and Im just looking for opinions really, is the grass always greener on the other side or should I take the chance while Im young? (26)

A bit about double taxation here

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/international/dta-intro.htm

Run like the wind.... if you don't go you will never know.

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I'm a UK citizen and I lived and worked in Hessen for 6 years from 1999 and since then in Benelux region. There is absolutely no complexity on taxation.If you are employed in Germany and paying into Germany NI and Taxation then there is no tax to pay in the UK.

You just need to advise HMRC when you are leaving. There is no 90 day limit in the UK as long as you are not working here and remain registered in Germany and can be seen to pay tax an NI there. As long as that is the case you can argue that the centre of your economic activity is there and you are just here on holiday. There is however a 183 day limit that if you cross makes you resident in the UK .....although how they'd know I don't know. You'll get more holidays in Germany than the UK but not 6 months......

A few things to watch out for...

When in the year you move will impact your tax. Germany will count all income regardless of where it was earned in the tax year that you move there...... The UK will only count the tax on UK earnings until you leave but you'll get the full year allowance on the part year earnings.. So you'll get a tax rebate from UK and a penalty from Germany when you do your tax bill at the end of the year. so keep the UK money to pay the Germans.

I was married with a kid and was poorly advised to take out Privat Heath Insurance(PrivatKrankenkasse), I should have opted for the state system as we were a family. It may be cheaper for a single guy to be in privat system but get quotes, the company will help. Once you opt out to Privat its almost impossible to get back into state system so choose carefully Its a fair amount so watch it.

Tax wise you'll get a rough idea from site below but you won't pay less taxes than you do in the UK. Don't pay the church tax, say no religion on anything you fill in.

http://www.parmentier.de/steuer/incometax.htm

Most people rent and its very easy, you don't even need a deposit as the bank will arrange a bond for you and you pay something like 0.5% of the value annually. If you get chance of a company car take it, tax is nowhere near as onerous as in the UK. Plus its less hassle and no need to be left holding a LHD if you decide to move back.

Be careful about thinking about pulling contributions back to the UK from Germany, German OAP is likely to be better than UK for year on year contriutions. I'm not even sure its possible. You can be paid an EU pension anywhere in the EU.

I found it a great experience and I would move back to Germany but only to certain Lander. Personally in my view the further south you go the better the weather but the funnier the folk. Bayern or Baden Wuertemburg are very nice , especially in the south.

Take language lessons before you go, you'll need them. I was advised before I went that people who work abroad for at least 5 years are 75% likely to earn at least 50% more than their peers at home should they return as the international experience carries a lot of weight with employers. I thought it was BS as I was already well paid but I would not agree that its the case after 12 years and having spoke ot other UK folk who have lived abroad for extended periods..

Edited by abroad

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