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Taxation Law Articles

Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Taxation.

Excise Tax Fraud

Excise taxes are taxes on the purchase of a particular quantity of a particular item, such as gallons of wine or gasoline, much like a sales tax. An excise tax, however, is very different from a sales tax. A sales tax is paid by the buyer; an excise tax, by the manufacturer or retailer. A sales tax is not included in the purchase price; an excise tax is. A sales tax is generally state or local, not federal; an excise tax may be state or federal.


Finance ministers and Central Bank governors of European Union Member States debated during the last informal Economic and Financial ECOFIN Council of September 17, the current condition of the economy and the situation in sovereign bond markets. The debate on the European Union’s financial stability was also attended by representatives of European financial oversight authorities.

Malta Permanent Resident Scheme to be replaced by High Net Worth Individuals Scheme

Malta’s finance minister Tonio Fenech announced this morning that a High Net Worth Individuals Scheme will be replacing the now obsolete Permanent Residency Scheme.

Sunset of Tax Relief Bill Looms

Without being partisan in any way, the fact is that the results of the midterm elections had a lot to do with the extension of the Bush tax cuts.

Do Not Make This Major Estate Planning Mistake

Most people know that the proceeds of a life insurance policy are generally free of income taxes. What many do not realize, however, is that life insurance proceeds are included in their estate for estate tax purposes.

Paying Your Business Payroll Taxes Is Tough - The IRS Is Tougher

In difficult economic times just maintaining enough sales to keep your doors open and business operation can be a real challenge. So it's easy to see why many businesses under financial pressure to either buy the supplies they need to continue fulfilling orders, pay their employes or other essential operating bills or skip make sure they are able to pay the payroll taxes.

Tax-Free Educational Gifts & The Estate Tax

The estate tax is one of the first things that you should take into consideration when you are planning your estate.

Israel Tax Treaties with Malta and Panama

A treaty for the avoidance of double taxation has been signed between Israel and Malta, and a treaty for the avoidance of double taxation has been initialed between Israel and Panama. These treaties will enter into force on completion of ratification proceedings in the two countries.

A Look at Gift/Estate Tax Exemption

One of the reasons why it is advisable to retain the services of an experienced estate planning attorney is to guide you in a manner that enables you to gain tax efficiency

Generation-Skipping Trust Can Provide Estate Tax Relief

There are a lot of people who think that the estate tax is fundamentally unfair for a number of different reasons.

Exchange of Tax Information between the Czech Republic and Bermuda

The Czech Republic has concluded another agreement on exchange of information on tax matters (TIEA). Following the signing of similar agreements with the British Virgin Islands on 13 June 2011 and the Isle of Man on 18 July 2011, the Czech Republic concluded and signed a TIEA with Bermuda on 15 August 2011.

Malta Tax Treatment of Royalties Derived from Patents

Royalties accruing to a person ordinarily resident and domiciled in Malta would be subject to tax in Malta – regardless of the source of such royalties. However, should non-Malta source royalties accrue to a person who is not both ordinarily resident and domiciled in Malta, such royalties would not be chargeable to tax in Malta except to the extent that they are received in Malta.

Estate Tax Relief Is Not Permanent

People who are interested in estate planning are well aware of the fact that there were some significant changes to the estate tax parameters included in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

Roth Conversions

As you probably know, beginning January 1, 2010, Washington loosened rules for converting traditional IRAs (with taxable withdrawals) to “Roth” IRAs (with tax-free withdrawals). The full amount you convert (minus any “basis” in nondeductible contributions) is taxed as ordinary income now when you convert. However, future withdrawals will be tax-free.

Are You Ready for Retirement

Unfortunately, many of the latest statistics suggest that the majority of Americans nearing their 60s are not ready for retirement. Although recent findings indicate that people are better prepared for retirement than they were less than a decade ago, all is still not well.

Ignore Your Retirement at Your Own Risk

There are those who are under the impression that they will somehow automatically retire when they reach their mid-60s. They think that they will enjoy their golden years and all of the free time they will have on their hands.

A Will is Not Enough: Create a Letter of Intent

Many parents choose to create a will so that their minor children are always protected. While a will allows you to appoint a guardian for the care of your minor children, it doesn’t allow you to fully explain the level of care that is needed.

No Will No Control

If you want to have some control over your future, then you need to create a will. Many people assume that their wishes will be respected, even if they don't have a will in place

Law Decree No. 70 (So Called “Development Decree”) – VAT News

1 Introduction: The Law Decree dated 13.5.2011 no. 70 (called “Development LD”), enforced on 14.5.2011, has been converted in the Law dated 12.7.2011 no. 106, enforced on 13.7.2011.

Payroll Taxes Are Very Different than All Other Types of IRS Problems

With some tax problems - like not paying or even not filing personal income taxes - it can take the IRS a while (even years) to “catch on”. And even when they do finally realize there’s a problem, they may not react so quickly.

Exchange of Tax Information between the Czech Republic and the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man and the Czech Republic signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) on 18 July to regulate and facilitate the exchange of tax information between them. The TIEA will enter into force after both parties have completed all required ratification procedures and exchanged corresponding notifications. Most of its provisions will then take effect immediately, with the remainder taking effect on the following 1 January.

Response To Estate Tax Educational Gifts

You may have heard that the estate tax exclusion was raised to $5 million with a maximum tax rate of 35% as a result of the passage of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

Gift Giving, Medicaid, and the Estate Tax

A lot is said about the complexities of estate planning, but in the end it is a relatively simple matter.

The 2011 Tax Law

While most folks can breathe a sigh of relief regarding the provisions of the 2011 tax law, this relief will only last for the years 2011 and 2012. If you’re not planning on giving away all of your assets or dying during the next two years, the 2011 tax law will likely affect you and your family.

Retired? Don’t Forget These Tax Deductions

Money issues tend to take on more significance as you enter retirement.

New Year Ushers in Revised Estate Tax

The estate tax was repealed in 2010 due to a provision that was contained in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. This was a welcome respite from what many derisively refer to as the “death tax,” but it was scheduled to return in 2011. When the tax was last in effect in 2009, the exclusion was $3.5 million, and the top rate of the tax was 45%.

Estate Tax Looms Large; Gifts Can Help

One of the first things that you need to determine when you are planning your estate is whether or not it is exposed to the estate tax.

What Is the Generation Skipping Tax?

Many of the estate tax laws address property that is passed from one generation to the next, such as from a parent to a child.

Reducing Estate Tax Liability

One of your top priorities when you are planning your estate is going to be to determine whether or not your heirs will be exposed to the estate tax

11 Reasons You Need Estate Planning

If you've been putting off your estate planning, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. Without a plan, you will have no control over the future and you won't be protected during unexpected events.

Can I Do Estate Planning on a Budget?

More people are looking for new ways to save and this often leaves many people looking for low-cost estate planning options.

The Basics of Estate Taxes (and How You Can Avoid Them)

Death and taxes may indeed be inevitable, but paying a so-called “death tax” is not. "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." —Benjamin Franklin

New Tax Law

When a person dies, federal estate tax may be due. These are taxes that are due when the assets are passed to another person. Most people refer to this tax as the “death tax.” You may be aware that there are new laws regarding this tax. It is important to stay on top of the new tax law so that you know how you may be affected. Will you have to pay estate taxes?

Financing Independent Film: Tax Credits for Independent Film

Independent film financing and tax credits are linked and play a huge role in making a successful film. Understanding where these credits are and how to obtain them is vital. Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, experienced entertainment lawyers can help with this. This article lists the credits available in the United States by jurisdiction.

Advance Directives & Estate Planning

Estate planning has everything to do with making sure that your loved ones are properly provided for after you pass away.

Is A Last Will The Right Choice?

One of the things that you are going to have to decide upon when you are planning your estate is the primary vehicle or vehicles of asset transfer that you want to utilize.

Small Business Partnerships & Succession Planning

When you are a partner in a small business succession planning can be a bit tricky.

Gift Tax Exemptions

There are gifts that you can give to people, other than your spouse, that are not subject to the Federal Gift Tax

Should Your Child Inherit Money While They Are Young?

Once your child reaches 18 years of age, they are legally considered to be an adult

Choosing a Guardian for Your Minor Children

For parents of young children, the most important element of the estate plan is choosing a guardian for them

Estate Planning Strategy For Small Business Partners

One of the things that you must understand about estate planning is the fact that there is no universal, one-size-fits-all approach

Taxation of Profits of Foreign Construction Companies - Belarus

As far as entering of a foreign company into the construction market of the Republic of Belarus is concerned, taxation of foreign construction companies’ profits, operating in the Republic of Belarus through the permanent establishment is one of the problematic issues.

Thailand: The Underestimated Importance of Accounting

An article regarding the legal, tax and business aspects of a prudent accounting in Thailand.

A QPRT Can Reduce Estate Tax Exposure

The provisions contained within the tax relief bill that was passed through Congress and signed into law around the middle of December of last year are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. If no new laws are passed to change the status quo, the estate tax exclusion will return to $1 million in 2013, and the tax will carry a 55% maximum rate.

Estate Tax Changes Will Be Revisited

We heard a lot about the legislation that was passed in the middle of December that is now being called the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 as we were ushering in the new year. As a result of this action the Bush era tax cuts were extended and the Social Security payroll tax was reduced by nearly a third for 2011. As has been widely reported there were also some changes that affect the estate tax.

Preserving Wealth With Generation Skipping Trusts

The recently passed Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 that brought the estate tax rate down to 35% has been a hot topic of late. In case you are unaware of the back story, the rate of the tax was scheduled to revert to the 55% that was in effect in 2001 upon the “sunset” of the Bush era tax cuts at the beginning of 2011. The tax was repealed for 2010, but from 2007 to 2009 the rate of the tax was 45%.

Donor Advised Funds Provide Tax Efficiency

Optimizing your assets is one of the goals of estate planning, and depending on the circumstances this can often times be challenging.

The Golden Ages of Retirement: 59½, 62, 65, 70½

Do you know the best age to start withdrawing from your retirement account? Do you plan to work for a few years after you're eligible for Social Security withdrawals? Is there an age by which you must withdraw money from your IRA?) You're nearing retirement age, but maybe you're unsure at what age you can begin using that money you've socked away all these years.

The End of Cross-border Tax Obstacles for EU Citizens?

The European Commission, in its Communication published 20 December, aims to make Member States tax systems more compatible in order to facilitate cross-border activities between citizens from neighboring States. Eventually new measures could make it easier for individuals living, working or moving abroad to confront double taxation, tax refunds reclaim, cross-border income, inheritance taxes, dividend taxes, car registration taxes and E-Commerce.

Panama and the USA Sign an Agreement for Tax Cooperation and the Exchange of Information Relating to Taxes

On the 30th day of November of 2010, the governments of the Republic of Panama and of the United States of America (“USA”) signed an “Agreement for Tax Cooperation and the Exchange of Information relating to Taxes” (“the Agreement”).

Administrative Cooperation in the Field of Taxation (Council Directive 2011/16/EU of 15 February 2011) - Cyprus

In April 2009, the European Commission issued a Communication on “Good Governance in Tax Matters” with the intention to launch a debate about concrete actions that could be taken to better promote the principles of good governance in the tax area (transparency, exchange of information and fair tax competition). The aim of the Commission to improve synergies between tax and development policies becomes concrete with the Council Directive 2011/16/EU of 15 February 2011.

Mortgage Debt Forgiveness and the IRS

Debt reduced by a mortgage loan modification, short sale or foreclosure will often result in the issuance by the lender of an IRS Form 1099–C, Cancellation of Debt. Under the Internal Revenue Code if you borrow money from a lender who later cancels or forgives the debt, you may have to include the cancelled amount in income for tax purposes.

Changes in Utah’s Film Production Rebate, Tax Credit, and Other Incentives

Nationwide, tax incentives for films typically take on one of three characteristics: (1) tax rebates, (2) tax credits, or (3) a hybrid of rebates and credits. Utah incorporates some form of each popular tax incentive available. Utah offers a hybrid of tax rebates and credits for qualifying productions. The state currently offers productions 20% maximum on dollars spent in Utah, which they term “dollars left in the state.” The new bill will increase this amount to 25%.

Capital Gains Tax in Nigeria: Exemptions and Reliefs

Capital Gains Tax accrues on an actual year basis.

German Tax Law: Estate Tax, Gift Tax, and Inheritance Tax in Germany

A brief introduction to German estate tax, gift tax, and inheritance tax law. Easy to follow explanation and information in plain English on taxation of estates, heirs, and beneficiaries in Germany.

Perspectives of the Eurozone’s Future

The presentation of a “Pact of Competitiveness” at the EU summit on 4 February by Germany and France was the plan for the Eurozone Member States to agree on a closer economic convergence in order to restore competitiveness to the euro area.

Duty to Report Money Being Brought Into or Out of Israel

According to the Money Laundering Prohibition Law, and the Prohibition on Money Laundering Ordinances (Methods of Reporting Monies Entering and Leaving Israel) 5761-2001, it is mandatory to report the flow of money in and out of Israel.

Tax Avoidance Or Tax Planning? - Cyprus

Tax planning is a legitimate method of minimizing your tax liability and should not be confused with tax avoidance. For any individual or company that trades or wants to make business in Europe, Russia, Middle East or Asia, Cyprus offers incredible advantages as an international business center.

Notifications under the Merchant Shipping (Fees and Taxing Provisions) Law of 2010 Cyprus

The Merchant Shipping (Fees and Taxing Provisions) Law of 2010 (the Tonnage Tax Law) left certain issues of detail to be determined by the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping ("DMS"). The DMS has now issued Notifications setting out requirements for qualifying ship managers and prescribing the arrangements for calculation and payment of tax by owners and charterers of foreign ships and ship managers. A summary of their main provisions is given below.

The New Double Tax Agreement between Cyprus and Russia Moves Closer to Ratification

Following the visit of Russian President Medvedev to Cyprus and the signing of the Protocol to the double taxation agreement on behalf of the governments of both countries, it was expected that the amended treaty would be ratified by the Parliaments of the two countries before the end of 2010 and would become effective from 1 January 2011. This timetable was not realised and, assuming the amended treaty is ratified during 2011, it will take effect on 1 January 2012.

Can I Discharge a Tax Debt in Bankruptcy?

One of the most frequently asked questions by consumers who are contemplating filing bankruptcy is: Can I Discharge a Tax Debt in Bankruptcy? This article answers these questions and more on the subject of what tax debts can be discharged by the filing of a chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Cyprus-Russia Double Taxation Agreement

Circulars issued by the Russian tax authorities in 2010 clarify their interpretation of certain aspects of the existing Cyprus-Russia double taxation agreement, specifically the presence required to give rise to a permanent establishment, the deeming of excessive interest as dividends and the treatment of the proceeds of liquidation of a Cyprus company in the hands of Russian taxpayers.

Corporate Taxes and Company Registration in Bulgaria

Major advantages of setting up a company in Bulgaria.

Unification of the Taxation of Foreign Enterprises, Foreign Invested Enterprises and Domestic Enterprises - China

The State Council issued the Notice on Unifying the City Construction Tax and Educational Surcharge of the Foreign Invested Enterprises, Foreign Enterprises, Foreign Individuals and Domestic Enterprises (the "Notice") on October 18th, 2010.

Tax Administration on Foreign Enterprise Representative Offices

The Provisional Measures for Tax Administration of Foreign Enterprise Representative Office ("Provisional Measures") was issued by the State Administration of Taxation on February 20th, 2010 and became effective since January 1st, 2010.

China Adopts Tax Measures and Disclosure Rule Relating to Share Transfers by Non-Resident Enterprises

The PRC State Administration of Taxation issued the Notice on “Strengthening the Management of Enterprise Income Tax Collection of Income from Share Transfers by Non-resident Enterprises”, on December 10, 2009 (the "Notice").

Notice on Interpretation and Determination of Concept of "Beneficial Owner" for Application of Tax Treaties

The State Administration of Taxation issued the “Notice on Interpretation and Determination of Beneficial Owner under Tax Treaties” (the "Notice"). The Notice intends to regulate the acts of foreign companies preventing them from taking advantage of the “double taxation arrangements” signed by China.

Tax Issues When Dividing Property Incident to Divorce

Although most transfers between spouses or former spouses in the context of a marital dissolution will be non-taxable, there are some important exceptions. These exceptions are discussed below. The importance of obtaining records showing the tax basis in the asset received through divorce is also highlighted.

Avoiding Tax Problems through Accurate Record Keeping

A good way to avoid tax problems is through detailed record keeping, which provides up-to-date information on your finances and spending patterns.

What Happens During a Tax Audit?

A tax audit is performed to asses the validity of the information on your tax return.

Can I Stop the IRS Seizure of Individual Property?

If you failed to pay your federal taxes, the IRS may seize your property. To find out more about alternatives to an IRS seizure of individual property, you can get the help of a tax attorney.

Houses for Children: Protection for Parent - Canada

Protecting your property is an important thing. How do you do it? Why do you do it?

2011 Tax Legislation

A brief summary of the new tax legislation passed by Congress.

Digital Communication to the Italian Tax Authority for VAT Relevant Exchanges over Euro 3,000.00

With the measure of the Italian Tax Authority dated December 22nd 2010, a new digital communication has been introduced in the Italian regulatory system for all exchanges relevant for the Value Added Tax (VAT) equal or exceeding the amount of 3,000.00 Euro, as foreseen by the art. 21 of the Law Decree no.78/2010 turned into the Law no. 122/2010.

Cyprus- Kuwait Double Taxation Agreement

Details of the new double tax treaty between Cyprus and Kuwait have now been made public. The new treaty, signed on 5 October 2010, will take effect when it has been ratified by both countries. Until then the existing treaty, which dates back to 1984, will continue in effect.

Cyprus-Denmark Double Taxation Agreement

Details of the new double tax treaty between Cyprus and Denmark have now been released. The new treaty, signed on 11 October 2010, will take effect when it has been ratified by both countries. Until then the existing treaty, which dates back to 1981, will continue in effect.

Cyprus-Slovenia Double Taxation Agreement

Following its emergence as an independent state, Slovenia adopted the double taxation agreement dated 29 June 1985 between the former Yugoslavia and Cyprus. A new double taxation agreement has now been agreed between Cyprus and Slovenia. It was signed on 12 October 2010 and will take effect when it has been formally ratified by both countries. Until then the existing 1985 treaty will continue in effect.

First Notifications under the Merchant Shipping (Fees and Taxing Provisions) Law of 2010 - Cyprus

The Merchant Shipping (Fees and Taxing Provisions) Law of 2010 (the Tonnage Tax Law) left certain issues of detail to be determined by the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping. The Department has now issued Notifications setting out the arrangements for payment of tonnage tax by owners of ships on the Cyprus Register, the definition of Community ship for the purposes of the Tonnage Tax Law and the towage and dredging activities which qualify for taxation under the tonnage tax regime.

Cyprus Removed from All Italian Tax ‘Blacklists’

The additional protocol to the Cyprus – Italy agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, which was signed on 28 May 2009, has now been ratified by both countries and has come into effect. The additional protocol provides for the exchange of bank and other information based on the OECD Model Tax Convention.

Mining Duties, Royalties and Taxes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mainly, the mining industry comes under the control of is the Mining Code and the ancillary Mining Regulation. This legislature is in general application throughout the entire country and offers some tax advantages and incentives available to private parties that perform mining activities.

Should the Confession of a Person Accused of Tax Crimes Be Admissible? - Israel

Recently, the Magistrate's Court in Ashdod was asked to discuss the admissibility of a statement given in the course of the interrogation of a suspect in tax-related offenses, including theft, conspiracy to commit a crime, accepting property obtained criminally, and evasion of tariff payments owed.

Tips on Making Gifts of Property in a Will - Canada

There are different ways of disposing of personal effects in a will, one of which is making specific gifts to named beneficiaries. Sometimes people mistakenly believe that verbally telling their prospective executors how assets are to be distributed or writing the names of various relatives’ on masking tape and labeling items are effective ways of planning for the subsequent distribution of the items.

The State Duty Is Subject to Return

Persons conducting entrepreneurial activities often pay state duties while dealing with different state bodies. It is necessary that the citizens paying duties are aware of the cases when the paid duty is subject to return. It is also desirable to clarify the procedures of returning the duty.

Overview of Collection Due Process

If the IRS plans to take a collection action against you, there is a Collection Due Process (CDP) that the IRS must follow.

A Step toward Tax Equality for Registered Domestic Partners

The treatment of California Registered Domestic Partners under federal tax law as compared to spouses is far from equal, but 2010 private letter ruling by the IRS is major step toward the application of federal law in a way that is consistent with the rights granted RDPs under California law.

Taxation of Computer Software: the Israeli Tax Authority Position

The Israeli Tax Authority position regarding the classification of transactions involving computer programs has been published in a special Circular (hereinafter: the Circular).

Private Investments Funds (ICIS) in Cyprus: the New Trend

Cyprus is definitely on the map as a prominent forum for the establishment of private investment funds, also known as private International Collective Investment Schemes (private ICIS). An ICIS can also be formed as a public fund, however the purpose of this brief is to provide a general overview of the primary advantages of a private ICIS.

Israeli Tax Incentive for Foreign Residents

Israel offers several exemptions from tax to foreign residents

Repeal of Estate Tax Likely to be Short-Lived

As December 31 came and went, so did the federal estate tax - or at least for the time being. The estate tax, or the "death tax" as it is more affectionately known, is a tax imposed on the property and assets (i.e. "the estate") that an individual leaves behind at death. Under 2009 rates, the first $3.5 million of the estate was exempt from the tax while any amount over this was taxed at 45 percent.

Film Tax Incentives: Renewal of Federal Rule 181 of the I.R.S. Code

Will Section 181 permitting a 100% federal tax write-off on film investment be renewed?

Depreation: Israeli Tax Rules

This article focuses on the Israeli tax rules on depreation concerning various assets.

Overview of a Tax Levy

If you fail to pay your taxes in Baltimore, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may issue a tax levy against you.

Tax Planning Strategy for Foreign Investors - Israel

New Israeli tax law provides an exceptional tax planning strategy for foreign investors. Such investors can use an Israeli company as the owner of their global investments and have full exemption from Israeli tax and tax reporting requirements.

Energy Efficiency Federal Tax Credits

  By Hg.org
The federal government has incentives in place to encourage us all to be more energy efficient. These include tax credits for the purchase of certain energy-efficient products or renewable energy systems for your home.

Corporate Tax Refund: A New Concept in Nigeria?

The emergence of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Establishment Act may bring smile to the faces of corporate tax payers if the provision that introduces tax refund will be given the necessary push and attention.

Tax Harmonization Is Not Music to the Ears - Canada

The Ontario attempt to harmonize its provincial sales tax regime with the federal GST has the charity sector struggling to understand the impact these sweeping changes will have on the various types of charities within the sector.

The Giving Spirit Meets the Tax Advisor - Canada

This year may be particularly beneficial for individuals in the latter category because of the unique opportunity afforded donors in the Conservative government's tax changes announced in the May 2006 budget. The most prominent of the changes allowed for the donation of shares in public companies to public charities (i.e. all but private foundations) on a tax free basis.

Charities - Be Careful What You Ask For! - Canada

After the 2006 Budget, many observers expected that the elimination of tax on the donation of publicly listed securities to "public" charities would be extended to private foundations, and, indeed, Budget 2007 lived up to this prediction.

Canadian Charities Operating Overseas

Overseas operation is fundamental to the operation of many charities, especially religious charities, and so it is important for these charities to have a good understanding of the law regarding carrying out charitable activities overseas. Given that the government subsidizes registered charities to the extent that it gives tax credits for the amount donated, it should not be surprising that the CRA attempts to exert as much control over funds spent overseas as funds spent domestically.

Disputes with the CRA - Canada

Since June 2005, the Canada Revenue Agency has had the power to impose penalties on charities for breaking certain rules which stop short of revoking the charity's registered status. These intermediate penalties range from a $500 penalty for not filing a charitable information return to paying 110% of an undue benefit bestowed upon a third party.

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