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ATO won’t pursue $180m in jobkeeper paid to ineligible businesses due to ‘honest mistakes’

Decision fuels criticism about treatment of profitable businesses while thousands of welfare recipients ordered to pay back $33m

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The Australian Tax Office has opted not to pursue $180m in jobkeeper paid to ineligible businesses due to “honest mistakes” by employers claiming the money.

At a Senate inquiry hearing on Friday, independent senator Rex Patrick said the decision contrasts with the government’s approach to social security recipients, with thousands of individuals asked to pay back money they received during the Covid pandemic.

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