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In the excitement of the introduction of sweeping superannuation changes on 1 July 2017, a new superannuation contribution opportunity may have gone unnoticed by many investors. From that date, anyone eligible to make personal super contributions can claim that contribution as a personal tax deduction, regardless of their work status. This change is a result of the removal of the ‘10% test’ which generally meant you had to be self-employed or have no employment income in order to claim a deduction for your super contributions.
In previous years, the self-employed and those who derive their income primarily from passive sources would often make super contributions close to the end of the financial year in order to claim a tax deduction. This is the first financial year that anyone – including people who work for an employer - can also use this strategy. You can use this strategy even if your employer offers salary sacrifice; in fact you can use it even if you are already making salary sacrifice contributions.
This could give you the opportunity to make lump sum or regular contributions up to 30 June in order to maximise your use of the $25,000 concessional contribution cap and potentially reduce your personal tax liability.
There are a few things to remember:
As many employees will not have been through this process before, it is important to note the process that must be undertaken.
Firstly, you will need to make your super contributions before 30 June 2018 if you want to ensure they are counted towards the 2017/18 contribution cap. As a general guide, a super contribution is made when it is received by the super fund. For example, you are contributing electronically via BPAY, the contribution is deemed to have been made when the funds are credited to the super account, not the day you make the BPAY transaction. Individual super funds will also have specific requirements and deadlines that need to be taken into account when making super contributions towards the end of the financial year, which they will usually have published on their websites. If you have an SMSF, you should consider timing your transfer to ensure it will be received in your account by 30 June.
In addition, you will need to lodge a ‘Notice of Intent’ form with your super fund by the earlier of:
Your fund cannot accept a Notice of Intent if:
This Notice of Intent is critical to ensuring you can claim a deduction for your contribution, so if you have any questions about how it operates, contact your super fund or your financial adviser.
Claiming a deduction for personal contributions to super may not be for everyone, and it’s worth noting that salary sacrifice may still be a more attractive strategy for many people. The good news is that as you can make a contribution under these rules at any time up to 30 June, so you have time to seek advice and ensure your affairs are in order to make the most of this new opportunity.