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  • Carry-forward unused concessional contributions

    From 2019–20, carry-forward rules allow you to make extra concessional contributions – above the general concessional contributions cap – without having to pay extra tax.

    The carry-forward arrangements involve accessing unused concessional cap amounts from previous years. An unused cap amount occurs when the concessional contributions you made in a financial year were less than your general concessional contributions cap.

    Example: Carry-forward concessional contributions (one year)

    Anna's concessional contribution cap for the 2019–20 year is $25,000. Concessional contributions during that year, including her employer's SG payments, were $15,000. Anna's total super balance for the previous financial year was $328,000.

    In January 2021, she receives a company bonus of $10,000 which, as part of a valid salary sacrifice agreement is paid into her super. Anna knows that she also will earn more in 2020–21 and that her employer contributions and her other salary sacrifice contributions will add up to $25,000 (the general concessional contributions cap).

    However, as Anna has $10,000 worth of unused concessional cap amounts from 2019–20 she will not exceed her cap for the 2020–21 year

    End of example

    To use your unused cap amounts you need to meet two conditions:

    • Your total super balance at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year is less than $500,000.
    • You made concessional contributions in the financial year that exceeded your general concessional contributions cap.

    The amount of unused cap amounts you will be able to carry-forward will depend on the amount you have contributed in previous years, starting from 2018–19. You can use caps from up to five previous financial years.

    The oldest available unused cap amounts are used first. For example, unused cap amounts from 2018–19 would be applied to increase your cap first before unused cap amounts from 2019–20.

    Unused cap amounts are available for a maximum of five years and will expire after this. For example, a 2018–19 unused cap amount which is not used by the end of 2023–24 will expire.

    If, after applying all your available unused cap amounts, you still have excess concessional contributions, you may need to pay extra tax.

    Division 293 tax

    For Division 293 tax purposes, we count your concessional contributions but not your excess concessional contributions.

    If your concessional contributions cap has increased due to the use of unused cap amounts, and your combined income and concessional contributions are above the Division 293 threshold, you would have to pay, or pay a higher amount of, Division 293 tax.

    How to view your carry-forward concessional contributions

    You can view and manage your concessional contributions and carry-forward concessional contributions using ATO online services through myGov.

    Log in to ATO online services, select Super, then navigate to Carry-forward concessional contributions.

    Be aware that due to the reporting timeframes of funds, especially SMSFs, the latest information may not be available in ATO online services. You can contact your super fund for the most up to date information.

    See also:

    Example: Carry-forward concessional contributions – Sam

    Sam's concessional contributions cap is $25,000 per year.

    Because Sam and his employer have been making smaller contributions each year (less than his $25,000 cap) he has accumulated unused caps he can access for up to 5 years.

    He was not able to make additional contributions until 2021–22 but there are rules that determine what he can contribute.

    Working out Sam's super contributions cap amounts

    Working out Sam's super contributions cap amounts
    Working out Sam's super contributions cap amounts

    Financial
    year

    Contributions from Sam and his employer

    TSB at end of previous financial year

    Unused concessional cap accumulation

    Sam's options

    2018–19

    $5,000 super guarantee (SG)

    $480,000 and growing

    $25,000
    − $5,000
    $20,000

    Sam has no money to contribute

    2019–20

    $3,000 SG

    $490,000 and growing

    $20,000
    + $22,000
    ($25,000
    − $3,000)
    $42,000

    Sam has no money to contribute

    2020–21

    $0

    $505,000

    $42,000
    + $25,000
    = $67,000

    Sam has money to contribute but can’t carry-forward the unused cap amounts because his TSB is over $500,000

    2021–22

    $10,000 SG
    + $20,000 salary sacrifice
    + $15,000 personal contributions
    = $45,000

    $490,000
    Fund experiences negative earnings leading to a decline in Sam's TSB

    $67,000
    + $27,500
    $94,500

    Sam has money to contribute. Because his TSB at 30 June 2021 is now less than $500,000, he can use the unused cap amounts and contribute up to $94,500

     

    Example: Carry-forward concessional contributions – Bailey

    At the start of 2024–25, Bailey:

    • is planning on making extra concessional contributions to his super fund
    • knows that there is an annual general concessional contribution cap of $27,500
    • knows he can access unused cap amounts from up to five previous years.

    He uses ATO online services to check the amounts of his:

    • concessional contributions at the start of 2024–25
    • unused carry-forward concessional contribution caps.

    He also contacts his super fund to check he has the most up to date information.

    Now Bailey can work out how much he can contribute during 2024–25 without having to pay extra tax.

    Bailey can go ahead with his plan if at the end of the 2023–24 year his TSB is less than $500,000.

    Note: Unused concessional contributions cap for a year is equal to $25,000 minus concessional contributions made during that year.

    Bailey's concessional contributions cap amounts – 2018–19 to 2023–24

    Financial year

    Concessional contributions made during year

    General concessional contributions cap

    Unused concessional contributions cap for year

    Cumulative unused cap available to carry-forward to next year

    2018–19

    $20,000

    $25,000

    $5,000

    $5,000

    2019–20

    $15,000

    $25,000

    $10,000

    $15,000

    2020–21

    $0

    $25,000

    $25,000

    $40,000

    2021–22

    $10,000

    $27,500

    $17,500

    $57,500

    2022–23

    $15,000

    $27,500

    $12,500

    $70,000

    2023–24

    $24,000

    $27,500

    $3,500

    $68,500

     

    End of example

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      Last modified: 30 Sep 2021QC 19749