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Asbestos hazards

Tax ruling will help out Australian mesothelioma victims

James Hardie, maker of building products and a long-time seller of asbestos goods, had agreed with the New South Wales government to establish a compensation fund for people with asbestos diseases. The questions was whether the fund would be considered a charity for tax purposes. If it was not, the tax man would take a share and result in less money available to victims, or else James Hardie would have to pay out more, which they claimed they couldn’t.

The tax authorities have decided the compensation fund does could as a charity and will therefore be tax-exempt.