Can you claim a tax deduction for super contributions?
Changes made following the 2017 Federal Budget mean that employees who make personal superannuation contributions may now claim a tax deduction for those contributions. This is great news for people who’ve been topping up their super from their after-tax pay!
Until the rules changed, contributions made by people who are employees could not claim a tax deduction for any personal super contributions unless they passed a test known as the 10% earnings test. Most employees failed this test and therefore didn’t get a tax deduction. That has changed now so employees no longer have pass the test to claim a tax deduction.
WLF partner Marg Marshall sets out a few frequently asked questions on this issue.
Am I eligible?
- Do you make personal superannuation contributions from your after-tax pay?
This could be an arrangement whereby your employer takes extra superannuation as a deduction from your pay. Note this is not a salary sacrifice arrangement, but rather a deduction from your after-tax pay.
- Do you make personal contributions from your bank account?
You might be making a contribution directly to your superannuation fund by bank transfer or another direct method.
If you’ve answered yes to either of these questions, you are eligible to claim a tax deduction.
How do I make a claim?
In order to make a claim for personal superannuation contributions, you need to advise your superannuation fund that you intend to make the claim. This must be done before you lodge your income tax return. Most superannuation funds will send you the form – usually early in July, but you can also download it from the ATO website – here at WLF when we prepare your return, we will be asking you if you have any contributions to claim and making sure that you have the relevant paperwork.
Are there any limits to how much I can claim?
Contributions that a tax deduction can be claimed for are capped at $25,000 per year. This includes the contributions that your employer is obliged to make on your behalf. It is therefore important that you know how much has been contributed by your employer before you determine your personal claim. If the combined amount of your employer contributions and your personal contributions is greater than $25,000, you should reduce your claim by the excess.
Does this mean I should be making extra contributions to super?
This is a great question, but unfortunately not one that can be answered in FAQs. The answer to this question will depend on many and varied factors, and is best directed to your financial adviser.
Remember, if you’re making personal contributions to your super, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for them. Be sure to ask about it when you’re having your tax return done!