Only five profitable companies have repaid all of their JobKeeper windfalls

Australia’s largest and most profitable companies have paid back over $60 million in JobKeeper to date, according to new Australian Tax Office data.

So far, 33 public companies have pledged to pay back $160 million in government handouts, the ATO told Senate Estimates on Wednesday.

But most of those companies are only handing back part of their total JobKeeper take, according to new analysis by The New Daily that has identified just five businesses that have paid back all of their handouts.

In our second analysis of the ways in which ASX-listed companies have used the $90 billion wage subsidy scheme, TND is shining a light on the companies that have repaid taxpayers.

Our earlier analysis, covering dozens of profitable companies that did not repay JobKeeper, has also been updated to include new companies, including Myer and Premier Investments.

According to the ATO, each of the 33 companies that has approached them to voluntarily repay JobKeeper so far has been large and publicly listed.

But our analysis, and a narrower investigation by Ownership Matters, has found far fewer have actually told shareholders about their intention to repay JobKeeper.

Companies that pledged to partially repay JobKeeper took a few different approaches.

Some companies, including Collins Foods, decided only to repay the JobKeeper payments that subsidised the wages of staff who weren’t stood down, arguing that payments to stood-down staff delivered no benefit to them.

Other companies, such as Super Retail Group, elected to repay JobKeeper for the six months ended December, and to keep the payments received between April and June 30.

A few companies, including Domino’s and Nine Entertainment, paid back money related only to their wholly-owned subsidiaries.

The number of companies returning JobKeeper will increase over time, and the ATO is expected to provide further updates about how much of the $160 million pledged to be returned is actually handed back.

TND will update this story as more information becomes available.

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