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Aussie company to repay ATO $15.6m in JobKeeper

Eliza Bavin
·2-min read
Woman shopping with face mask on
Premier Investments confirms it will reimburse the ATO for JobKeeper payments (Source: Getty)

The owner of iconic Australian retail stores like Portmans, Just Jeans and peteralexander, has agreed to reimburse the Australian Taxation (ATO) Office $15.6 million in JobKeeper payments.

Parent company Premier Investments recognised it had received $15.6 million in JobKeeper payments that it said would be used “to fund the wages of employees who may be stood down” during the COVID lockdowns.

In a release the company said it had used the funds from JobKeeper to support staff through the most recent snap lockdows in Western Australia and Queensland.

“Critically, following the lockdowns and upon reopening, increased trading from the combined States has fully offset the cost of supporting our teams through these lockdowns,” Premier said.

“Therefore, the ‘JobKeeper 1’ funds were ultimately not required to support our teams.”

The Premier board said the funds were there as a safety net in the case that staff were unable to work, but since making the money back, it will reimburse the ATO in full.

“The Premier Board, having regard to these outcomes, combined with the success of the Commonwealth and State Government’s management of COVID-19, has determined that it is now appropriate to refund the net JobKeeper benefit of $15.6 million to the Australian Tax Office,” it said.

“The Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper initiative has been fundamental to Australia’s world leading economic growth during this once in a century global health crisis reflected in the very high level of consumer confidence and strong employment growth.”

Additionally, the company said it so long as there are no “significant” national and state-wide lockdowns, it is confident it’s on track to make $318 million in FY21.

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