NEWS

2021 TAX LETTER

FEBRUARY 26, 2022

Hello valued clients & friends!

2021 has come and gone, another year filled with COVID issues. On the tax front, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) wants us all to know it’s ‘Tax Season’ again. We at Ohlmann & Associates want to help you to be ready. Here is some information to build your knowledge on some key tax points.

*TAX DROP-OFF DEADLINE - APRIL 21, 2022*

As we note each year, our office is VERY busy during tax season, and we do not want to let our clients down. For us to be able to serve everyone seeking our help, we need to receive as many tax returns in March as possible, and less in April - we are humbly asking for your help to achieve this. Please note we are NOT asking anyone to bring their returns in before they have everything they are waiting on - BUT for those who DO have everything available in March please bring it in ASAP. Thank you for this help!

Since we want to be able to assist all our clients in time, we need to take this opportunity to communicate our TAX RETURN DROP OFF DEADLINE OF APRIL 21, 2022. Beat the rush and come earlier if you can, HOWEVER, we can only ensure completion by the April 30, 2022, filing due date for returns we receive by the end of April 21, 2022.

REST ASSURED - we will always do all we can to serve you, and we will do our very best on any returns that come in after April 21, but we cannot assure their completion by April 30! Thank you for your support and understanding.

In this letter, we’ll briefly cover some tax considerations.

 

 1. Tax Rates & Limits

Good News! 2021 tax rates remain unchanged with no increases in each bracket. The upper bracket sits fixed at 53.5% in B.C for income over $222,420. The combined (Federal & Provincial) rate for middle income earners in B.C. ($84,369 - $96,866) remains at 31%. Further, the basic personal amount for individuals has increased from $13,299 to $13,808.

2. Work From Home Expenses Credit

As the pandemic carries on in the world, many people continued working from home in 2021. As such, the CRA has

extended to 2021 and 2022 the working from home deduction and the temporary flat rate deduction. The maximum yearly claim for the flat rate has increased to $500 (from $400 in 2020). Those who worked from home for at least 50% of the year for at least four consecutive weeks will be able to claim home office expenses. The T777S and T2200S forms are very similar to the 2020 forms. If working from home because of COVID is new to you for 2021, the CRA has created a simplified form, the T2200S. Bring this form to your employer’s attention for them to sign promptly. We can then work with you on what expenses to tally (per the attached guidance) and provide to us so they can be used as deductions against your income. However, this approach is detailed and there is a temporary $2 a day “Flat Rate” or “Simplified” method that may be a better fit for your situation (easier, without the need to get an employer signed document or retain various receipts). Please note you cannot claim expense amounts that an employer reimbursed you for. See the attached document for more details.

3. One-time $500 OAS payment

For our senior clients who were 75 or older as of June 30, 2021, please remember that you received a one-time $500 OAS payment in August 2021. Take note this will be considered taxable income to you this year (no deductions were withheld) and will be reported on a separate T4A slip (in box 205). This is in addition to the T4A(OAS) that you will also be receiving. In addition, the government announced that regular OAS payments to individuals 75 and older will increase by 10% permanently in July 2022.

          

4. Disability Tax Credit (DTC)

We try to ensure that all our clients who we believe might be eligible for the DTC are aware of it and the application process involved. However, there are certainly situations where you (or a loved one) may qualify, and this has not yet been identified or acted upon. The DTC is a valuable tax credit that is transferrable between spouses for unused amounts, or between family members you support with the necessities of life. We would always take health over a tax credit, but where a disability arises, this credit can assist. The bar to be qualified is rather high (a Dr. needs to determine the person is “markedly restricted” due to their impairment in being able to manage the basic functions of life without assistance (functions include: breathing, eating, dressing, seeing, hearing, going the bathroom, mobility, and a few others). It is often much harder to qualify for than CPP Disability, EI Disability, Provincial Disability, or other Disability Pensions. However, if you suspect you or someone close may qualify, please contact us. Applications may not be fully processed during tax season, but when approved it has the potential to be retroactive and adjustments to claim it in prior years can be made. This year, the government has expanded eligibility, providing some broader access to the DTC. Specifically, the definition of mental functions/impairment is being expanded as well as loosening the restrictions of life-sustaining therapy requirements. We want to make sure all our clients are aware of the substantially updated T2201 Disability Tax Credit Certificate form and the new digital application form for medical practitioners to fill out. If you think you or a loved one you know may now qualify for the DTC, let us help you make application and adjustments to any prior year tax returns impacted by the DTC you may now qualify for (likely following the current Tax Season).

5. Zero Emission vehicles

As we have pointed out in the past, if you purchased a zero-emission vehicle there is a VERY generous business deduction

(for small corporations, self-employed individuals, partners in partnerships and those claiming employment expenses). The deduction has not only increased to a maximum $59,000 CCA write off in the year of purchase, but the government has extended this accelerated capital cost allowance to a wider array of eligible zero-emission automotive equipment and vehicles. This now includes arm’s length purchases of used zero-emission vehicles meeting certain criteria. This is significant as previously this credit was only available on new zero-emission vehicles. These changes will take effect as of January 1, 2022

6. Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency (CC) is certainly a hot topic these days, although it remains mysterious to some people (and with respect to taxes, can be quite confusing). CC is a digital representation of value that is not legal tender. It is a digital asset that can work as a medium of exchange of goods and services. Cryptocurrencies in general take many forms. The best known CC is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is not controlled by any particular party, and operates independently of any central bank, central authority, or government. In some ways it is useful to think of CC a bit like gold. Gold has been an asset that holds value over long periods and is used to hedge against market downturns and tumultuous events- an alternative to currency or other investments. CC is “younger” but is an asset that people also use to store value (or grow in value) and hedge against

economic uncertainties.

A disposition of CC triggers a reportable and taxable transaction. The proceeds in Canadian dollars at the time of disposition need to be determined for reporting purposes. The exchange of CC for other goods and services, rather than for cash, is a barter transaction which involves a disposition of the CC that also must be reported at fair market value. The value in Canadian dollars at the time of one of these transactions (sale or exchange for goods) can be determined from the exchange broker (if one is used) or an average of midday values across several high-volume exchange brokers. However, taxpayers must track all their purchases and dispositions/exchanges throughout the year and be consistent in the method of pricing/valuation used in their record keeping. The responsibility to do this always rests with the taxpayer. This is really the same as with buying/selling stocks. However, stock prices and transactions are generally presented in monthly statements and annual summaries to a taxpayer from an investment advisor or stockbroker, whereas it is up to the individual to keep all details on purchases/dispositions/exchanges through the year when it comes to CC.

As we have noted before, if you have CC transactions, please track them (all purchases and dispositions/exchanges) and provide them to us when you supply your tax materials to us.

A significant question for our clients is whether to record these CC transactions as “business income” or “capital gains.” If the holding and disposition of CC is a part of a business (or regular pattern of buying and selling that resembles business activity), the profits are fully included as business income. If the activities do not constitute carrying on a business, the determination of whether the taxpayer realizes ordinary income, or a capital gain will depend on other factors.

CRA has indicated that they generally treat CC’s as commodities and that speculators in commodities may report all their gains and losses on such transactions as capital gains or losses, provided they do so consistently from year to year. CRA can always take an alternate view on this emerging area of taxation based on the facts of a taxpayer’s specific situation, but most will likely have CC transactions treated as capital gains/losses. We’ve posted a longer writeup on our Facebook page.

   

7. US Economic Impact Stimulus Payments

Americans living in Canada who received this U.S. government assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic will not

have to include these amounts on their Canadian tax returns. This was confirmed by a CRA technical interpretation dated August 31, 2020 “the amount of any Advance Payment received, or Tax Credit claimed, under the US Economic Income Payment Program (EIP) by a Canadian resident individual, would not be required to be included in the individual’s income under the Income Tax Act.” Some individuals with cross border tax obligations may have received some of these payments in 2021.

8. Electronic Notice of (Re)Assessments (NOA- Notice of Assessment / NORA- Notice of Reassessment)

CRA has announced that they will begin the process of switching to electronic NOA’s / NORA’s in 2022. Taxpayers who netfile or efile their returns will receive their NOA / NORA electronically through the netfile software or efile service provider and / or through My Account. If the return is filed on paper, the NOA / NORA will be provided through My Account if the taxpayer provided CRA with an email address or by mail if no address was provided. We want to advise that you consider making 2022 the year to prepare for this conversion and establish a My Account, if not already done so. If you have any questions do not hesitate to call us after May for assistance. We are happy to assist as best we can, but unfortunately, the demands of Tax Season will not allow us to help with this during the next few months.

9. Administrative relief for Canadian & US resident cross border workers

In 2020 the CRA provided administrative relief in respect of the 183-day test in the employment article of the Canada- United States income tax treaty. This was in respect of for US-resident individuals present in Canada and exercising their employment duties in Canada solely due to the travel restrictions, and likewise Canadian resident individuals forced to perform their employment duties from their home in Canada instead of at the office of their Unites States employer. CRA stated that those days would not count toward the 183-day test for employment income. For the 2021 tax year, the CRA has extended this relief to the earlier of the lifting of travel restrictions and December 31, 2021. Therefore, individuals “stuck” on one side of the border for more than 183 days would not necessarily be deemed residents of that country for tax purposes.

10. COVID Benefits – Repayment of and related tax slips

During the pandemic, the government, to support impacted Canadians, introduced many forms of emergency benefits – Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Employment Insurance benefits, Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). These benefits represent taxable income and will be reported on T4A and T4E statements issued to recipients to include their income. Later on you may have found out you weren’t actually eligible and repaid it. If this is the case, you will be receiving a T4A slip and the repayment amount will appear in Box 201.

11. Pensioners' Income Splitting
Pensioners can still split up to 1/2 of qualifying pension income with no expected changes in this option.

12. RRSP & Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) Limits
The maximum RRSP deduction is 27,830 for the 2021 tax year ($29,210 - 2022). Contributions must have been made by March 1, 2022, to deduct in 2021- those made after will be for 2022. The TFSA contributions limit is held at $6,000 for 2021 & 2022. Tip: Ensure you have available RRSP/TFSA contribution room first overcontributions are penalized.

 

The CRA released this TAX TIP for everyone to take note of given the numerous scammers out there:

CONCERNED ABOUT “CRA SCAMS?” How to tell you’ve actually been contacted by a REAL CRA employee.

  • TELL the caller that you first want to verify their identity.

  • ASK for, and note the caller’s name, phone number and office location.

  • CALL the CRA phone number from the official CRA website to confirm that the call was legitimate (Individuals:

    1-800-959-8281, Businesses: 1-800-959-5525): and

  • CALL the CRA employee back.

  • If you think you’ve encountered a scammer, visit antifraudcentre.ca or call 1-888-495-8501.

Thanks folks, have an excellent and safe 2022. As always, we want to THANK you for your business and trust.

We continue to work hard to do the best that we can. If you're happy tell a friend, but if you aren't please tell us.

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KELOWNA CRANE COLLAPSE

JULY 12, 2021

Thank you to our clients and friends for your kind and thoughtful inquiries in the wake of this tragedy.

Our team was on site at the time of the accident, but were completely safe.  Our thoughts, wishes and prayers remain for those individuals who affected, and their families.

We are aware some people may have attempted to contact us in the period we were evacuated from the building and non-operational.  If you telephoned in the period of July 12 – July 21, 2021 you would not have got an answer (and no voicemail, as electricity was off to our building and systems were disrupted).  We apologize for this gap in availability,  and ask that if you needed to contact us that you reach out now that things have returned to a more normal state.We would be happy to assist.

Once again, we are grateful for the concern and kindness expressed to us, and wish you all the best at this time.

 

Robert and The Ohlmann & Associates Team

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2020 TAX LETTER

MARCH 7, 2021

Hello valued clients & friends! 2020 flew has ended (thankfully) it’s ‘Tax Season’ again & we want to help you be ready.

*TAX DROP-OFF DEADLINE - APRIL 21, 2021*

As we have noted before, we are lucky enough to have a special “problem” in that our office is VERY busy during tax season and we do not want to let our clients down. For us to be able to serve everyone seeking our help, we need to receive as many tax returns in March as possible, and less in April- we are humbly asking for your help to achieve this. Please note we are NOT asking anyone to bring their returns in before they have everything they are waiting on- BUT for those who DO have everything available in March please bring it in ASAP. Thank you for this help!

Since we want to be able to assist all of our clients in time, we need to take this opportunity to communicate our TAX RETURN DROP OFF DEADLINE OF APRIL 21, 2021. Beat the rush and come earlier if you can, HOWEVER, we can only ensure completion by the April 30, 2021 filing due date for returns we receive by the end of April 21, 2021.

REST ASSURED - we will always do all we can to serve you, and we will do our very best on any returns that come in after April 21, but we cannot assure their completion by April 30! Thank you for your support and understanding.

In this letter, we’ll briefly cover some tax considerations. We hope the following information is helpful for you.

1. Tax Rates

2020 tax rates have changed with increases in each bracket and an upper bracket of 53.5% in B.C for income over $222,420. The combined (Federal & Provincial) rate for middle income earners in B.C. ($84,369 - $96,866) remains at 31%.

2. Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Repayment & 2020 Income Tax Debt Interest Relief

On Feb. 9, 2021 it was announced that self-employed persons who applied for the CERB would have qualified based on their gross income and won’t be required to repay CERB provided they met all eligibility requirements. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Service Canada will return any repaid CERB payments to self-employed individuals whose net self- employment income was less than $5,000 and who have already voluntarily repaid their CERB over the coming months.

Of important note: The government will also provide interest relief to Canadians who received COVID-related income support benefits. Once individuals have filed their 2020 income tax and benefit return, they will not be required to pay interest on any outstanding income tax debt for the 2020 tax year until April 30, 2022.

In order to qualify for this targeted interest relief, individuals must have had taxable income of $75,000 or less in 2020 and have received income support in 2020 through one or more of the following COVID-19 measures:

 

• the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB);

• the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB);

• the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB);

• the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB);

• the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB);

• Employment Insurance benefits;

 

The CRA will automatically apply the interest relief for individuals who meet these criteria. Interest will still be applicable on tax debt if no COVID benefits were received by the taxpayer during 2020. Additionally, any CRA- administered credits and benefits, such as the Canada Child Benefit and the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax credit, will not be applied to reduce individuals’ tax debt owing for 2020.

3. Work From Home Expenses Credit

Many more people were working from home with COVID restrictions, and the CRA has formalized that those who worked from home for at least 50% of four consecutive weeks will be able to claim home office expenses. If working from home is new to you for 2020, the CRA has created a simplified form, the T2200S; bring this form to your employer’s attention for them to sign promptly.

       

We can then work with you on what expenses to tally (per the attached guidance) and provide to us so they can be used as deductions against your income. However, this approach is detailed and there is a temporary “Flat Rate” or “Simplified” method that may be a better fit for your situation (easier, without the need to get an employer signed document or retain various receipts). Please see the attached document for more details.

4. Zero Emission vehicles

We want to remind that if you purchased a zero emission vehicle there is a VERY generous business deduction (for small corporations, but also for self-employed individuals, partners in partnerships and those claiming employment expenses). The deduction is a maximum $55,000 depreciation write off all in one year. The vehicle must be for business use and must be a “full zero emission vehicle” (many “green” cars do not meet the standards of being “fully electric, a plug-in hybrid with battery capacity of 15kWh, or be powered by hydrogen”). The vehicle must also not have been used before being acquired. Few will qualify for this credit, but support is available for “green vehicles”- perhaps with more to come.

5. Pensioners' Income Splitting
Pensioners can still split up to 1/2 of qualifying pension income with no expected changes in this option.

6. RRSP & Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) Limits
The maximum RRSP deduction is $27,230 for the 2020 tax year ($27,830 - 2021). Contributions must have been made by March 1, 2021 to deduct in 2020- those made after will be for 2021. The TFSA contributions limit held at $6,000 for both 2020 & 2021. For RRSP & TFSA ensure you have available contribution room first - overcontributions are penalized.

7. Home Buyers Plan (HBP) & Home Buyers Credit (HBC)

On March 19, 2019 HBP limits increased. This means those eligible to participate (first time home buyers) can withdraw up to $35,000 from their RRSP. Therefore, a couple could withdraw a combined $70,000 from their RRSPs to buy their first property. Please advise us if you bought your first home so that we can help you or your spouse claim the first time Home Buyer’s Credit (HBC) of a $750 reduction in tax owed.

8. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin is very relevant these days. We offer a reminder that, when purchased and later sold, transactions in these items create a capital gain or loss. Please track these and provide them to us when you bring your tax materials to us.

9. Disability Tax Credit (DTC)

If you or a loved one have significant ailments that “markedly restrict” (or significantly impair) the basic functions of life (eating, breathing, seeing, dressing, going to the bathroom or having basic mobility) and they require support for these, they may be entitled to apply for the DTC. Please contact us about this in May or June so we can help apply (it will not be processed in time for the 2020 tax returns, but we can help file adjustments to claim for earlier years when approved).

10. Canada Training Credit

This is a new and complicated credit to recognize education for those aged 26-65. Given its complexity, please see the description on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/oandacpa/) or the government’s page.

TAX TIP: Make collecting medical expenses easier and (more importantly) more accurate for 2020!

Medical practitioners you visit regularly (such as Pharmacists, Dentists, Orthodontists, Podiatrists, Registered Massage Therapists, Physiotherapists and Chiropractors) will usually provide you an annual summary of payments made for use in completing your taxes if you ask (a phone call to them will often be all it takes). You save significant time as opposed to looking for receipts and have the confidence of knowing all expenses are included. Please note also that extended health insurance providers can generate summaries that show total expenses made on medical items and the amount that insurance reimbursed- making clear tax deductible amounts. We strongly encourage use of these tools!

 

Thanks folks, this has been a very brief summary. As always we want to THANK you for your business and trust. We continue to work hard to do the best that we can. If you are happy, please let others know, and us if you aren’t.

 

We are optimistic that the pandemic may soon be behind us - and we are wishing you all a SAFE and prosperous 2021!

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2019 TAX LETTER

FEBRUARY 20, 2020

Hello valued clients & friends! 2019 flew by & it’s ‘Tax Season’ again & we want to help you be ready. 

 

*TAX DROP-OFF DEADLINE- APRIL 21, 2020: NEW THIS YEAR* 

As we have noted before, we are lucky enough to have a special “problem” in that our office is VERY busy during tax season!  We are grateful to have this challenge but do not want to let our clients down. Unfortunately, this year our team has experienced challenges beyond anyone’s control and as a result we are at the foot of tax season and we do not have the same level of staffing resources we have had in other years.  This creates issues for our capacity- particularly in the month of April. In order for us to be able to serve everyone seeking our help, we need to receive as many tax returns in late February and March as possible, and fewer in April- we are humbly asking for your help to achieve this.  Please note- we are NOT asking anyone to bring their returns in before they have everything they are waiting on. BUT we are asking those who have everything in February & March to bring it ASAP please. 

 

While to date, we haven’t needed to turn clients away late in the tax season, the capacity issues discussed above create challenges this year in April. 

Since we want to be able to help all of our clients we need to take this opportunity to communicate our TAX RETURN DROP OFF DEADLINE OF APRIL 21, 2020. Beat the rush and come earlier if you can, but we can only ensure completion by the April 30, 2020 filing due date for returns we receive by the end of April 21, 2020.

 

REST ASSURED- we will always do all we can to serve you, and we will do our best on any that come in after April 21, but we cannot assure their completion by April 30! Please beat the rush and bring tax returns in as early as possible. Thank you for your support and understanding.

 

In this letter, we’ll briefly cover some tax considerations. We hope the following information is helpful for you.

 

1. Tax Rates​

2019 tax rates are unchanged from 2018 with slight increases in the income subject to each bracket. As an average example, the combined (Federal & Provincial) rate for middle income earners in B.C. ($81,416 - $93,476) is still 31%, with the rate on taxable income of over $210,371 (the “top rate”) remains at 49.8%. 

2. Pensioners' Income Splitting

Pensioners can still split up to 1/2 of qualifying pension income with no expected changes in this option.

 

​3. RRSP & Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) Limits

The maximum RRSP deduction limit is at $26,500 for the 2019 tax year ($27,320 for 2020). Contributions must be made by February 29, 2020 to deduct for 2019- but ensure you have available contribution room first. The limit for TFSA contributions held at $6,000 for 2019, remaining at $6,000 for 2020. 

 

​4. Home Buyers Plan

Effective March 19, 2019 limits have been increased. This means those eligible to participate (first time homebuyers) can withdraw up to $35,000 from their RRSP, up from $25,000 in previous years. Therefore a couple could withdraw a combined $70,000 from their RRSPs to buy their first property

 

5. Zero Emission Vehicles​

Also effective March 19, 2019, if you purchased a zero emission vehicle there is a very generous business deduction 

(for small corporations, but also for self-employed individuals & partners in partnerships). The deduction is a maximum $55,000 depreciation write off all in one year.  The vehicle must be for business use and must be a “full zero emission vehicle” (many “green” cars do not meet the standards of being fully electric, a plug-in hybrid with battery capacity of 15kWh, or be powered by hydrogen).  The vehicle must also not have been used for any other purpose before being acquired.  Few will qualify for this, but it indicates the support available for green initiatives.

 

​6. Tax on Split Income (TOSI) Rules

Just a reminder that as of 2018, the (still relatively new) TOSI rules apply to Canadians.  As previously mentioned in last year’s letter the rules are extremely complicated and will be very hard for the tax community and Canada Revenue Agency to navigate in the years to come. However it is important to know that (particularly if you own a small business corporation), the ability for a spouse active in the business to split income with a non-active spouse/family member has become extremely limited.

 

​7. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

A reminder that, when purchased and later sold, transactions in these items create a capital gain or loss.  Please track these and provide them to us when you bring your tax materials to us.

 

​8. Deductibility of Service Animal Expenses

The Service Animal Medical Tax Credit has been expanded and now includes costs associated with specially trained animals that assist in coping with a severe mental impairment. This means many Canadians who require psychiatric service dogs for a host of issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can receive a tax break. Most Canadians won’t be affected as animals that provide comfort or emotional support but have not been specially trained to perform specific tasks above will not be eligible. 

9. Foreign Property (Asset) Disclosure

It is crucial to advise if you own ANY foreign property over $100K Cdn (land, US stocks, foreign bank accounts etc.).  Severe penalties for failure to report exist- please contact us if you require a refresher.

 

​10. Missing T Slip Penalties

If you fail to report a T slip for income in any two years out of four, you are subject to a 10% penalty (Federal and Provincial) of the income- even if no income tax is payable. Please be sure to include all slips.

11. Canada Training Credit

This is a new and complicated credit to recognize education for those aged 26-65. Given its complexity, please see the description we will post on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/oandacpa/ or the government’s page.

 

TAX TIP: Make collecting medical expenses easier and (more importantly) more accurate for 2019!

Medical practitioners you visit regularly (such as Pharmacists, Dentists, Orthodontists, Podiatrists, Registered Massage Therapists, Physiotherapists and Chiropractors) will usually provide you an annual summary of payments made for use in completing your taxes if you ask (a phone call to them will often be all it takes). You save significant time as opposed to looking for multiple receipts and will have the confidence of knowing all expenses are included. Please note also that extended health insurance providers can generate summaries that show total expenses made on medical items and the amount that insurance reimbursed- making clear the tax deductible amount. We strongly encourage clients to use these tools!

 

**U.S. citizens who’ve not been U.S. filing taxes (IRS) while resident in Canada should do so- please inquire.**

 

Thanks folks, this has been a very brief summary.  We encourage you to contact us with questions. As always we want to THANK you for your business and trust. We’ll continue working hard to do the best that we can. If you are happy, please let others know, but if you’re not, please tell us. 

Wishing you a safe and prosperous 2020!

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