The move comes after Nick Scali announced its results for the six months ending 31 December 2020 on 4 February 2021.
In a statement to the ASX, Nick Scali said it has benefited from the increased consumer confidence that the JobKeeper program has created, which resulted in the company having record sales and net profit after tax.
“The Board of Directors and management have considered the $3.6 million wage subsidy received in the half-year ended 31 December 2020 and decided to refund this amount to the federal government,” the company said.
Nick Scali noted it was able to pay employees through the Victorian lockdown through August, September and October, as well as pay employees in full during other COVID-related closures in South Australia and Western Australia.
The trend has led shadow assistant treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh to call for an inquiry into the JobKeeper scheme to “get to the bottom of how many firms saw increased profits in 2020 despite receiving JobKeeper”.
“The information’s at the fingertips of the Tax Office. They simply need to disclose it to the Australian people,” Dr Leigh said.
“The thing about JobKeeper is the eligibility required was simply a brief downturn. Many firms that shut their doors in March of last year received JobKeeper.”
The Auditor-General subsequently established a review into the ATO’s administration of JobKeeper, in particular whether the regulator effectively administered the rules for the JobKeeper scheme, implemented effective measures to protect the integrity of JobKeeper payments, and effectively monitored and reported on the operational performance of the scheme.
The Australian National Audit Office is expected to table the report in October 2021.