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Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
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berserk Offline
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Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
http://taavikotka.wordpress.com/2014/05/...s-by-2025/

Quote:Estonian citizens are able to perform nearly every public and private sector transaction in digital form, including signing any document. Until now, this ability has not extended to foreigners who are permanent residents of countries other than Estonia. Therefore, on April 24th, 2014, the Government of the Republic decided to approve the concept of issuing digital IDs to non-residents. This forms a basis for the growth of the international competitiveness of the Estonian state in the fields of economy, science, education, healthcare, etc.

For example, the adoption of non-resident ID cards is an additional argument in favor of investing in Estonia. Today, it is difficult for a foreign investor to actively participate in the executive management of a company (that is, to fulfill the tasks of a Member of the Board). The non-resident ID card and digital signature would provide the necessary flexibility.

Here is another example. There are entrepreneurs and investors both within and outside the European Union who are looking for opportunities to create their own company or investment vehicle in the EU. The ability to incorporate and open a bank account (not just in Estonia, but in the EU!) within a single day is only one of the services that Estonia can offer to holders of non-resident ID cards. Not to mention the simple, fully digital tax system, flexibility in attracting highly qualified (digital) labor, etc.

In addition, reinvested profit is tax-free in Estonia, and the highly developed e-banking environment gives you immediate control of your assets from a distance. This means that Estonia has the potential to be attractive to entrepreneurs who need an investment account (vehicle), and this would result in additional customers and capital for Estonian businesses.


E-residence provides a unique opportunity to create a globally innovative suite of public and private services that are usable irrespective of location: convenient incorporation, bank transactions, tax reporting, medical counseling, etc. This can be based on existing Estonian e-services, developing them further and adding new ones.

Looks very interesting for people with online businesses.

Zero percent corporate tax rate and 21% on dividends (flat) is very attractive but not as attractive as Hong Kong.

What is attractive though is the ability to fully open, control and bank with a company in Estonia without having to go through leech lawyers and middlemen. Not to forget Estonia isn't a bad place to spend the summer. For those who haven't been to the Baltics, think Scandinavia with less feminism and slimmer more feminine women and same shitty weather. High on the blonde count too for those with such inclinations.

New base for RVF members?
(This post was last modified: 10-21-2014 04:02 PM by berserk.)
10-21-2014 04:01 PM
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Buddha Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
This could be an interesting thread. I currently have an Estonian long term visa (I outlined how to get the visa for Canadians in my Budapest Relocation Journal thread). Also Estonia does not set permanent residency quotas for American citizens and citizens of select developed non-EU countries (Source : the Estonian immigration website)

I am seriously considering setting up Tallinn as my 2nd home base after Budapest to divide my time between 2 cities considering the above factors that Berserk pointed out.

Possibly one of the easiest places to set up a business from the convenience of your own computer with minimum red tape. Also an economy with super healthy macroeconmics which is driven by one of the most intelligent workforce in Europe or the world (as rated by PISA performance ratings)

The region also has a dynamic startup scene and the Zero % tax on retained profits is golden for attracting foreign capital. Hence many Scandinavian companies have offices there.

Estonians opted for a tax regime that favors liberty & independence instead of those overbearing welfare societies of the Nordics. So this is good for those of us that hate high taxes and nanny states like Denmark. It's no wonder that the Estonian economy has been performing very well.

The major downside is that it is getting expensive to live there year by year. In a few years the city will be as expensive as Berlin. Last time I checked, it was only marginally cheaper in Tallinn versus most 2nd tier Western cities but i feel that the quality of life and business opportunities make up for the premium.

As far as the girls, we all know that the Russian girls there are top notch. Estonian girls are probably not as slutty as their Finnish neighbors but I heard that they are similarly pleasant personality wise (I have a close friend in Tallinn).

Nordics girls have been the most pleasant when we met them at Szimpla here in Budapest. 2 Finnish girls that me & Readysetgo talked to earlier this week were the most friendly we've encountered. They were leaving in the morning and one of them had a boyfriend. But both of them let us feel them up and give small kisses nonetheless. The single one is in fact coaxing Readysetgo to book a flight to Helsinki. I was gaming the chick with a boyfriend. Therefore, we might scout out Tallinn-Helsinki this Winter for a week or two. Banana
10-23-2014 12:44 AM
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
Many thanks for sharing this. I would think that the benefits of having a European office would be very high for those of us wishing to expand our services/supply chain into Europe.

(10-21-2014 04:01 PM)berserk Wrote:  Zero percent corporate tax rate and 21% on dividends (flat) is very attractive but not as attractive as Hong Kong.

In a global operation, why not reinvest the profits derived by the Estonian entity, and pay the dividends out in Hong Kong? It seems there are a variety of ways to structure this sort of an arrangement. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Quote:New base for RVF members?

See you this summer.

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10-23-2014 02:03 AM
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Buddha Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
"One stop shop" information portal by the Estonian Investment Agency:

http://www.investinestonia.com/en/investment-guide

The more I think about it, the more I feel that planting flags in 2 great cities according to the seaons is ideal.

Cities that you can enjoy for pleasure & business. In the end, women will give you limited happiness and a man has to focus on making money and cutting his business tax burden.
(This post was last modified: 10-23-2014 05:09 AM by Buddha.)
10-23-2014 04:52 AM
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Akula Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
(10-23-2014 04:52 AM)Buddha Wrote:  "One stop shop" information portal by the Estonian Investment Agency:

http://www.investinestonia.com/en/investment-guide

The more I think about it, the more I feel that planting flags in 2 great cities according to the seaons is ideal.

Cities that you can enjoy for pleasure & business. In the end, women will give you limited happiness and a man has to focus on making money and cutting his business tax burden.

Wondering just why exactly you need to do this and can't just keep your Hungarian gig going and maybe just spend like 3 months in Estonia (i.e. the 90 day rule). Is it because you need to spend a maximum of 6 months in each country so as to not set off the "permanent resident" taxation trigger? The way I read Estonia's personal tax regime is that if you are there full time (i.e. over 6 months each year) you are taxed on global income.

Also am wondering how easy it would be for me as an American to get some kind of non-resident permit in Estonia (or anywhere else for that matter). I guess with this e-residency program it's super easy to set up a business there (and cheap too). And can't someone just run their online business all over the globe and not really be domiciled in any one place as long as they don't overstay?

I guess I can always just enter the EU via Poland and set up shop in Talinn and then fly to Poland every 90 days. Laugh

2015 RVF fantasy football champion
(This post was last modified: 12-07-2014 12:04 AM by Akula.)
12-07-2014 12:00 AM
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Buddha Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
After my initial months in Budapest I've fallen for the city and decided to make this my semi-permanent European base. Estonia is still on my radar but I can't imagine spending more than 4 months out of the year in Tallinn with the major incentive being the favorable corporate tax rates and the attractive venture capital environment in the Nordic-Baltic region. (My work is in Quantitative Finance)

There are ways for Americans/Canadians to gain permanent residency in both Hungary & Estonia.

A lot worry about double-taxation but international tax treaties ensure that you are taxed only once per income source (even though you have to report all income where you are a resident for tax purposes)

I'd seek tax advice from a qualified tax lawyer. There have been some mongers on RVF spreading false info to scare people.
12-11-2014 12:59 PM
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
(12-11-2014 12:59 PM)Buddha Wrote:  There are ways for Americans/Canadians to gain permanent residency in both Hungary & Estonia.

What are the ways? Can you share?
12-11-2014 01:01 PM
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Buddha Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
In Estonia you have to start a business. Low capital requirements and easy to set-up. You have to show business plans and relevant qualifications to get the visa and for renewal, you also need to prove that the business is generating income.

In Hungary, as far as I am aware of, the application is made at the local immigration office. You need to have a 12-month lease contract, bank account statement proving that you are financially solid, and a legally drafted letter from a Hungarian lawyer which vouches for your long-term interests in Hungary whether it be for setting up a business or scouting for new business opportunities.

Also, if you can lend the Hungarian government 250,000 Euros in the form of government bonds, you get automatic permanent residency...You get the money back I believe after 5 years with coupon interest payments.

I will most likely take the Estonia route and divide my time between 2 countries. At the moment, I have a long-term visa issued by Estonia.
(This post was last modified: 12-11-2014 01:21 PM by Buddha.)
12-11-2014 01:18 PM
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aguirre Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
settle down an online business in estonia having into consideration the hot girls over there..is a good idea Smile
01-30-2015 05:40 PM
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AeroDev Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
I leave Wednesday from Texas to head over for a few weeks to do this very thing. I'll try to remember to post something about the process once I have finished.

My understanding is that it's a breeze. Just show up, fill out a form, take two pics and record your biometrics. Pay 50 Euro then wait up to 2 weeks for your background check and the ID card and reader to be ready.
01-30-2015 05:52 PM
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
A very interesting and appealing offer indeed. I'll look into it; as the OP said, Estonia isn't a bad place to spend the summer.
02-01-2015 11:08 PM
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evilhei Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
Welcome Smile If you have any question about business, specially IT business, in Estonia let me know, im happy to answer them.

The IT and start up scene here is quite hot at the moment. Last week I visited couple of coding houses with interest of ordering some software from them. Im talking around 100k euros project. 2 of them haven't send me any quote till today and the the one that did send is not making quote for the whole project but just selling weekly iterations. To be honest I was actually trying to sell myself to these companies so I would get the software instead of listening to their pitch. Development price here right now that companies are charging is around 70 euros per hour and its quite impossible to find any good developers to work for you, the wages are starting from 3-5k euros per month.
(This post was last modified: 03-23-2015 02:21 PM by evilhei.)
03-23-2015 02:21 PM
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
Awesome to see a forward-thinking country offering something like this. 21% flat rate on dividends is pretty appealing.

From some of the visa and company regulations for foreigners in many countries, you'd think they just don't want your money.

It's like... guys... I want to be there, I want to work online, spend my money in your country, maybe even employ some talent. Why are you making this so difficult?!

I hope more places follow suit.
(This post was last modified: 03-23-2015 09:36 PM by RichieP.)
03-23-2015 09:23 PM
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
double post!
(This post was last modified: 03-23-2015 09:46 PM by RichieP.)
03-23-2015 09:44 PM
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Rendőrség Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
As I read, you just have to pay a unique VAT of 21 % and then 21 % of the total revenue...Does anybody know something about social security and so on?
04-24-2016 08:40 AM
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LatinoViking Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
In order to set up a business in Estonia you need a physical adress in Estonia ( at least a mailboxthis costs like 200 Euros a year).
And you should need to hire a local accountant as well, on top of that you have to pay 100 euros for E-residency and you need to have an estonia bank account ( in order to have an estonian bank account you have to meet up physically in the bank).
09-17-2016 04:56 PM
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Kid Twist Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
Did anyone open up an e-residency here for banking or other monetary handlings/diversification? PM me if you have particular experience or insights, thanks.

Get your passport ready!
05-18-2018 09:27 AM
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nola Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
Talk to a lawyer I'm actually a dual citizen of the US and Estonia. E-residency is getting conflated with citizenship a lot. An E-resident of Estonia does not reap all the same benefits as a citizen.
05-18-2018 11:23 AM
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BlackFriar Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
I will be in Estonia on June 5, 2018. I am planning a meetup on June 14-17 or anytime at all, that I am there.

Pm me if anyone will be around.
05-18-2018 04:25 PM
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Avadhuta Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
18/12/2017: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/...l-republic

Quote:Estonia, the Digital Republic

Its government is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future?

By Nathan Heller

(...)

It was during Kotka’s tenure that the e-Estonian goal reached its fruition. Today, citizens can vote from their laptops and challenge parking tickets from home. They do so through the “once only” policy, which dictates that no single piece of information should be entered twice. Instead of having to “prepare” a loan application, applicants have their data—income, debt, savings—pulled from elsewhere in the system. There’s nothing to fill out in doctors’ waiting rooms, because physicians can access their patients’ medical histories. Estonia’s system is keyed to a chip-I.D. card that reduces typically onerous, integrative processes—such as doing taxes—to quick work. “If a couple in love would like to marry, they still have to visit the government location and express their will,” Andrus Kaarelson, a director at the Estonian Information Systems Authority, says. But, apart from transfers of physical property, such as buying a house, all bureaucratic processes can be done online.

Estonia is a Baltic country of 1.3 million people and four million hectares, half of which is forest. Its government presents this digitization as a cost-saving efficiency and an equalizing force. Digitizing processes reportedly saves the state two per cent of its G.D.P. a year in salaries and expenses. Since that’s the same amount it pays to meet the NATO threshold for protection (Estonia—which has a notably vexed relationship with Russia—has a comparatively small military), its former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves liked to joke that the country got its national security for free.

(...)

“This PIN code just starts the whole decryption process,” Piperal explained. “I’ll start with my personal data from the population registry.” She gestured toward a box on the screen. “It has my document numbers, my phone number, my e-mail account. Then there’s real estate, the land registry.” Elsewhere, a box included all of her employment information; another contained her traffic records and her car insurance. She pointed at the tax box. “I have no tax debts; otherwise, that would be there. And I’m finishing a master’s at the Tallinn University of Technology, so here”—she pointed to the education box—“I have my student information. If I buy a ticket, the system can verify, automatically, that I’m a student.” She clicked into the education box, and a detailed view came up, listing her previous degrees.

“My cat is in the pet registry,” Piperal said proudly, pointing again. “We are done with the vaccines.”

Data aren’t centrally held, thus reducing the chance of Equifax-level breaches. Instead, the government’s data platform, X-Road, links individual servers through end-to-end encrypted pathways, letting information live locally. Your dentist’s practice holds its own data; so does your high school and your bank. When a user requests a piece of information, it is delivered like a boat crossing a canal via locks.

Although X-Road is a government platform, it has become, owing to its ubiquity, the network that many major private firms build on, too. Finland, Estonia’s neighbor to the north, recently began using X-Road, which means that certain data—for instance, prescriptions that you’re able to pick up at a local pharmacy—can be linked between the nations. It is easy to imagine a novel internationalism taking shape in this form. Toomas Ilves, Estonia’s former President and a longtime driver of its digitization efforts, is currently a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford, and says he was shocked at how retrograde U.S. bureaucracy seems even in the heart of Silicon Valley. “It’s like the nineteen-fifties—I had to provide an electrical bill to prove I live here!” he exclaimed. “You can get an iPhone X, but, if you have to register your car, forget it.”

X-Road is appealing due to its rigorous filtering: Piperal’s teachers can enter her grades, but they can’t access her financial history, and even a file that’s accessible to medical specialists can be sealed off from other doctors if Piperal doesn’t want it seen.

“I’ll show you a digital health record,” she said, to explain. “A doctor from here”—a file from one clinic—“can see the research that this doctor”—she pointed to another—“does.” She’d locked a third record, from a female-medicine practice, so that no other doctor would be able to see it. A tenet of the Estonian system is that an individual owns all information recorded about him or her. Every time a doctor (or a border guard, a police officer, a banker, or a minister) glances at any of Piperal’s secure data online, that look is recorded and reported. Peeping at another person’s secure data for no reason is a criminal offense. “In Estonia, we don’t have Big Brother; we have Little Brother,” a local told me. “You can tell him what to do and maybe also beat him up.”

Business and land-registry information is considered public, so Piperal used the system to access the profile of an Estonian politician. “Let’s see his land registry,” she said, pulling up a list of properties. “You can see there are three land plots he has, and this one is located”—she clicked, and a satellite photograph of a sprawling beach house appeared—“on the sea.”

The openness is startling. Finding the business interests of the rich and powerful—a hefty field of journalism in the United States—takes a moment’s research, because every business connection or investment captured in any record in Estonia becomes searchable public information. (An online tool even lets citizens map webs of connection, follow-the-money style.) Traffic stops are illegal in the absence of a moving violation, because officers acquire records from a license-plate scan. Polling-place intimidation is a non-issue if people can vote—and then change their votes, up to the deadline—at home, online. And heat is taken off immigration because, in a borderless society, a resident need not even have visited Estonia in order to work and pay taxes under its dominion.

(...)

Today, the old fatuities of the nation-state are showing signs of crisis. Formerly imperialist powers have withered into nationalism (as in Brexit) and separatism (Scotland, Catalonia). New powers, such as the Islamic State, have redefined nationhood by ideological acculturation. It is possible to imagine a future in which nationality is determined not so much by where you live as by what you log on to.

Estonia currently holds the presidency of the European Union Council—a bureaucratic role that mostly entails chairing meetings. (The presidency rotates every six months; in January, it will go to Bulgaria.) This meant that the autumn’s E.U. Digital Summit was held in Tallinn, a convergence of audience and expertise not lost on Estonia’s leaders. One September morning, a car pulled up in front of the Tallinn Creative Hub, a former power station, and Kersti Kaljulaid, the President of Estonia, stepped out. She is the country’s first female President, and its youngest. Tall and lanky, with chestnut hair in a pixie cut, she wore an asymmetrical dress of Estonian blue and machine gray. Kaljulaid took office last fall, after Estonia’s Presidential election yielded no majority winner; parliamentary representatives of all parties plucked her out of deep government as a consensus candidate whom they could all support. She had previously been an E.U. auditor.

“I am President to a digital society,” she declared in her address. The leaders of Europe were arrayed in folding chairs, with Angela Merkel, in front, slumped wearily in a red leather jacket. “Simple people suffer in the hands of heavy bureaucracies,” Kaljulaid told them. “We must go for inclusiveness, not high end. And we must go for reliability, not complex.”

Kaljulaid urged the leaders to consider a transient population. Theresa May had told her people, after Brexit, “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere.” With May in the audience, Kaljulaid staked out the opposite view. “Our citizens will be global soon,” she said. “We have to fly like bees from flower to flower to gather those taxes from citizens working in the morning in France, in the evening in the U.K., living half a year in Estonia and then going to Australia.” Citizens had to remain connected, she said, as the French President, Emmanuel Macron, began nodding vigorously and whispering to an associate. When Kaljulaid finished, Merkel came up to the podium.

“You’re so much further than we are,” she said. Later, the E.U. member states announced an agreement to work toward digital government and, as the Estonian Prime Minister put it in a statement, “rethink our entire labor market.”

(...)

Seagulls riding the surf breeze screeched. I asked Kaevats what he saw when he looked at the U.S. Two things, he said. First, a technical mess. Data architecture was too centralized. Citizens didn’t control their own data; it was sold, instead, by brokers. Basic security was lax. “For example, I can tell you my I.D. number—I don’t fucking care,” he said. “You have a Social Security number, which is, like, a big secret.” He laughed. “This does not work!” The U.S. had backward notions of protection, he said, and the result was a bigger problem: a systemic loss of community and trust. “Snowden things and whatnot have done a lot of damage. But they have also proved that these fears are justified.

“To regain this trust takes quite a lot of time,” he went on. “There also needs to be a vision from the political side. It needs to be there always—a policy, not politics. But the politicians need to live it, because, in today’s world, everything will be public at some point.”

We gazed out across the blinding sea. It was nearly midday, and the morning shadows were shrinking to islands at our feet. Kaevats studied his basketball sneakers for a moment, narrowed his eyes under his crown of spiky hair, and lifted his burning cigarette with a smile. “You need to constantly be who you are,” he said.

Interesting but I believe Estonia's plan will never be rolled out in its current form for the whole EU as it is too "perfect" and seems to rather be a preamble to an open and voluntary EU-AI-surveillance program. France have already announced they will be fitting face recognition across the country.
(This post was last modified: 09-24-2018 05:01 PM by Avadhuta.)
09-24-2018 05:01 PM
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OnlySightseeing Offline
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RE: Estonia offering e-citizenship and 0% tax rate
But if you are say, a citizen of the US, and are making money through Amazon, you still have to pay tax to the US... so unless you’re going to give up US citizenship, it’s not that great, yeah?
09-26-2018 05:36 AM
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