TABL5551 Taxation Law - 2020

Term 2
6 Units of Credit
Taxation & Business Law
The course outline is not available for current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives .

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

The complexity of the Australian taxation system means that tax considerations are of major importance in most business and investment decisions. After briefly outlining tax policy considerations, this subject concentrates on the substantive and technical income tax rules in Australia. Topics include:

  • concept of income and assessable income;
  • capital gains and their inclusion in assessable income;
  • allowable deductions including the general deduction rule;
  • deductions under the capital allowance regimes;
  • deduction regimes that supplement the general deduction rule;
  • deduction denial regimes; tax treatment of trading stock;
  • taxation of taxable income made through partnerships, trusts and corporations;
  • an introduction to the cross border operation of the Australian income tax;
  • brief coverage of the goods and services tax (GST)

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

​The aim of this course is for you to understand and be able to apply relevant Australian tax legislation, cases, rulings and principles, to the solution of typical tax-related professional problems.

Pre-Requisites or Co-Requisites

Either one of the following courses are pre-requisites for this course:
  • TABL 5511 - Legal Foundations of Business
  • TABL 5512 - Legal Foundations for Accountants

If students choose to study either TABL 5511 (Legal Foundations of Business) or TABL 5512 (Legal Foundations for Accountants) as a co-requisite for other law courses with the School of Taxation & Business Law, it is strongly recommended that the  course chosen is studied as a co-requisite with TABL 5541 (Corporations and Business Associations Law). The reason for this recommendation is that students would benefit from the incremental exposure to legal issues gained from studying these courses first (i.e. before studying TABL 5551). Note also that students are not permitted to study three courses (three law courses) from the School of Taxation & Business Law in one semester.

Relationships to other Courses

There is a strong relationship between generally accepted accounting principles (GAAPs) and Australia’s taxation rules. For example, it is arguable that understanding tax-effect accounting is made easier when one appreciates the taxation rules that create timing differences. Further, while some differences will always remain, there is a discernible trend towards the accounting and tax rules converging.

One theme of this course is to build awareness of the similarities between the tax rules and the accounting rules. Indeed, identifying areas of similarity between the tax rules and the accounting rules (e.g. treatment of trading stock, treatment of depreciable assets) can provide a substantial aid in building understanding of the tax rules, as our study of some of the tax rules builds on your prior knowledge and experience. Nonetheless the tax rules are often set out in detail in legislation and in some instances differ from the accounting rules even when they produce an equivalent end result.

The tax law influences investment decisions, investment patterns and the structure of financial products. Indeed, it would be a very unusual occurrence for tax advice not to be sought in regard to any major investment decision. Further, some financial products predominantly exist because of the taxation law rules. Accordingly, this course provides an excellent knowledge base for those of you studying a major in finance or contemplating a career in financial services.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeProfFiona Martin Room 2054D, Quadrangle Building93859558By appointment
TutorProfJohn TaylorRoom 2060, Quadrangle Building
By appointment
TutorMrsSmita Khakhar
By appointment

Administrative Matters

You should contact the lecturer-in-charge (Fiona Martin) for any administrative issue(s) concerning the course. Before sending an email enquiry, please check this Course Outline as the answer to your query might be contained in this document.

Note also that UNSW staff can only officially respond to your official UNSW email address.

Technical Enquiries about course material

Consultation with Professor Fiona Martin is by appointment via email. Fiona Martin encourages communication and questions by email.
Method of contacting staff

In accordance with official UNSW policy, you should only make contact with teaching staff through their official UNSW email address (above).

Fiona will attempt to answer your technical tax questions over email, but please note that questions requiring longer answers are best handled through a discussion with you in person or over the phone.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

One philosophy of teaching and learning underpinning this course is one of problem based learning.  Students will be encouraged to apply tax law principles in the context of hypothetical situations raised in lectures, tutorial problems and a problem based assignment.  

Another philosophy of teaching and learning underpinning this course is to promote deep learning by examining the reasons why rules exist rather than merely examining the content of rules.  This will be done by examining the evolution of particular rules through a lecture program and tutorial problems that build incrementally.  

Students will be encouraged to read widely and think critically about whether Australia’s taxation laws are consistent with tax policy objectives expressed by successive governments.  

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

Lectures: In week 1 there will be 2 lectures of 2 hours duration. For weeks 2 to 5 there will be one lecture of 2 hours duration. There will be no lectures in week 6. For weeks 7 to 11 there will be one lecture of 2 hours duration each week.

Tutorials of 2 hours duration will be held in weeks 2 to 5 and 7 to 10. Tutorials will consist of discussion of case studies and short discussion questions. Each student will have one case study allocated to them. Students are not expected to prepare written answers to the allocated case study but should be prepared to respond to questions that the tutor asks them in the relevant tutorial. Allocating case studies to students is to encourage discussion and to provide students with formative feedback. It is strongly recommended that you perform to a satisfactory standard in this component. Importantly, preparing well for this component provides you with a good opportunity to engage with the tax problem solving process, which is central to success in the course.

5. Course Resources

​The income tax rules studied in this course are derived from legislation and case law. In addition, Australian Taxation Office (ATO) rulings and ATO practice also provide useful and substantial guidance on the operation of Australia’s income tax rules (and these rulings can effectively become the tax law in certain situations: see Week 1 lecture).

Prescribed materials are books that you must have ready and ongoing access to so that, for example, you can underline, annotate, etc.

Subject to one overriding comment, we recommend that you do not purchase or use an old edition of any of the prescribed materials - aspects of the taxation law can change dramatically from one year to the next, and an old edition may be out-of-date on important points.

The overriding comment is that you should only use old editions if you are prepared to do the detailed (and time consuming) work of incorporating into the old edition all amendments, new cases and other developments etc, which have occurred since the date of the old edition.

Given that the Final Examination is an open book examination, you can if you wish underline, annotate, etc, your textbook or other prescribed materials from the start of the course.


The main piece(s) of legislation studied in the course are the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936) and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997).

Reference is made to the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act) for the lecture in Week 10 on the goods and services tax (GST).

Most of the legislative materials required for this course are contained in S Barkoczy, Core Tax Legislation & Study Guide latest edition - Oxford University Press

It should be noted that a small number of legislative references in the Lecture Program, Reading Program and Study Guide have not been reproduced in the Core Tax Legislation & Study Guide. In such cases, you are responsible for locating those legislative provisions. The full text of the relevant legislation is available on the CCH database, which can be accessed via the UNSW library website. The Thomson Reuters database, also accessible through the UNSW library, also has the full legislation, as does the comlaw website and the ATO website.


  • R H Woellner, S Barkoczy, S Murphy, C Evans and D Pinto, Australian Taxation Law , latest edition, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2019
  • Stephen Barkoczy, Australian Tax Casebook, latest edition., Oxford University Press.

Note: You are able to purchase the Core Tax Legislation & Study Guide, Australian Taxation Law and the Australian Tax Casebook in the “Core Student Taxpak” from the Bookshop at UNSW, and it may be cheaper to purchase these three books collectively in a Taxpak, rather than purchasing them separately.

If purchasing other texts or casebooks, ensure (subject to the comments above) that you obtain the latest edition published.

Additional Texts, Casebooks

  • J Taylor, M Walpole, M Burton, T Ciro, and I Murray, Understanding Taxation Law 2020, Lexis Nexis Butterworths, 2020
  • Julie Cassidy, Concise Income Tax, latest edition., The Federation Press
  • Kerrie Sadiq, Cynthia Coleman, Principles of Taxation Law , latest edition,  Thomson Reuters.
  • M Kobetsky, R Krever, A O’Connell and M Stewart, Income Tax: Text, Materials and Essential Cases, latest edition, The Federation Press.
  • P Burgess, G S Cooper, M Stewart and R J Vann, Cooper, Krever & Vann’s Income Taxation: Commentary and Materials, latest edition, Thomson Reuters.
  • R L Deutsch, M L Friezer, I G Fullerton, P J Hanley and T J Snape, The Australian Tax Handbook 2020, Thomson Reuters, 2020
  • R Krever, Australian Taxation Law Cases,  latest edition, Thomson Reuters.

These books may be very helpful when researching your answer to the assignment.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Rulings

The ATO has published a number of Public and (edited) Private Rulings on Australia’s income tax, fringe benefits tax and the goods and services tax. These rulings provide readers with the ATO’s view on various aspects of the respective taxes and, in some cases, are binding (effectively become the law) on the ATO. This will be discussed in the Week One lecture. They are a valuable source of information. Indeed, a number of rulings are referred to in the prescribed textbook.

In addition, some rulings are listed in the Lecture Program, Reading Program and Study Guide as important readings. The rulings are available on the ATO’s website, yet strangely they can be accessed quicker through the google search engine.

Taxation Journals/Bulletins

There are a number of journals relevant to domestic taxation law published in Australia. They include:

  1. Taxation in Australia
  2. The Tax Specialist
  3. Australian Tax Review
  4. The Journal of Australian Taxation
  5. Revenue Law Journal
  6. Australian Tax Forum and
  7. e-Journal of Tax Research.

These journals contain articles on Australia’s income tax regime, as well as the fringe benefits tax. You are not required to read any of the articles in these journals for the purpose of lectures or tutorials. However, it could be useful to identify and read relevant articles in such journals to support your answer to some issues in the Assignment.  

Electronic Databases

The UNSW library subscribes to several electronic databases. Of particular relevance to this course are the CCH and the Thomson Reuters (Checkpoint) databases on tax publications (e.g. legislation, cases, ATO rulings services, tax commentary services).  Access to the Taxation Institute of Australia's database can also be obtained via the UNSW Library on-line.

The UNSW library database can be accessed either on Level One of the Law Library, or via the UNSW website. As a UNSW student, you are entitled to use this database.

It should also be noted that the library has hard copies of most tax reports listed in this course outline. As a general comment, you are not required to read the full case(s) in the tax reports or law reports.


Be cautious if you decide to use the Australasian Legal Information Institute website for tax legislation. On a number of occasions, admittedly some years ago, this website did not contain up-to-date tax legislation.

Hardcopies of Tax Cases

Note also that hardcopies of most tax cases, not only CCH cases, are available in the law library. In fact, this is the only way to access cases reported in Australian Tax Decisions (ATDs); ATDs are not available on line. Note again the point made above about generally not having to read the full case in a tax report.

Course Documents

All the course documents (including this Course Outline) for this course are available on Moodle.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

The School and the faculty actively responds to this feedback. For example, feedback from previous students indicated that the class sizes were too large. As a result of this feedback, the class sizes this term are smaller than previous terms.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 1 June 2020Lecture, no tutorials

Note, there is 4-hours of lecture time this week. For the rest of the term, the lecture is 2-hours per week

1.1 Course administration

1.2 The functions and objectives of taxation and policy considerations

1.3 Sources of Australian tax law

1.4 Income Tax Formula and Calculation of Liability to ATO

1.5 Jurisdictional Aspects of Australia’s Income Tax

1.8 Ordinary income


No tutorials this week. Tutorials commence in Week 2 of term and continue every week (aside from Week 6).

The material and the problems discussed in the tutorial reflects material covered in previous lectures and readings relating to previous lectures

Week 2: 8 June 2020Lecture, tutorials

2.1 Income from business



Tutorials commence this week

Week 3: 15 June 2020Lecture, tutorials


3.1 Capital gains tax

Week 4: 22 June 2020Lecture, tutorials

4.1 Deductions - the General Deduction provision

Online Quiz will be held this week

Week 5: 29 June 2020Lecture, tutorials

5.1 Deductions - Specific Deduction provisions

5.2 Tax Accounting

Week 6: 6 July 2020Reading Week; no lecture and no tutorial this week

There is no lecture this week

There is no tutorial this week

Week 7: 13 July 2020Lecture, tutorials

7.1 Taxation of income derived through intermediate entities - an overview

7.2 Taxation of Partnerships

7.3 Taxation of Trusts

Week 8: 20 July 2020Lecture, tutorials

8.1 Taxation of companies

The assignment is due this week

Week 9: 27 July 2020Lecture, tutorials

9.1 Taxation of Companies - Part 2

Week 10: 3 August 2020Lecture, tutorials

10.1 Taxation of companies continued

10.2 The Goods and Services Tax (GST)


8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

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