Show download pdf controls
  • Are you eligible to claim a deduction?

    You are eligible to claim a deduction for personal super contributions if:

    • contributions made prior to 1 July 2017 were made to a complying super fund or a retirement savings account (we'll refer to both as 'your fund')
    • for contributions made on or after 1 July 2017, you made the contributions to your fund that was not a              
      • Commonwealth public sector superannuation scheme in which you have a defined benefit interest
      • Constitutionally protected fund (CPF) or other untaxed fund that would not include your contribution in its assessable income
      • super fund that notified us before the start of the income year that they elected to either treat all member contributions to the              
        • super fund as non-deductible
        • defined benefit interest within the fund as non-deductible
         
       
    • contributions made prior to 1 July 2017 your earnings as an employee were less than the maximum allowed
    • you meet the age restrictions
    • you have given your fund a Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal contributions form (NAT 71121)
    • your fund has validated your notice of intent form and sent you an acknowledgement

    Earning income as an employee

    For contributions made prior to 1 July 2017 you cannot claim a deduction if, during the income year, you obtained 10% or more of the total of the following as an employee:

    • your assessable income
    • your reportable fringe benefits
    • your total reportable employer superannuation contributions.

    This is the case regardless of whether your employer has paid super on your behalf.

    From 1 July 2017 the requirement that you derive less than 10% of your income from employment sources has been abolished and regardless of your employment arrangement you may be able to claim a tax deduction. Those aged 65 to 74 will still need to meet the work test in order to be eligible to make a contribution and claim a tax deduction.

    Example 1

    Hannah is employed as a sales manager and, during 2017–18, earns $45,000 in salary and wages.

    Hannah made personal (after-tax) super contributions of $3,000, gave her fund a notice of intent form to claim this amount as a deduction, and received an acknowledgment of that notice.

    Hannah meets all the other eligibility criteria and can claim a deduction for her personal super contributions of $3,000 in her 2017–18 tax return.

    End of example 

    Example 2

    During 2016–17, Marcelle makes a contribution of $100,000 to the CPF. Marcelle intended to claim a deduction for her contribution, gave her fund a notice of intent form to claim this amount as a deduction, and received an acknowledgment of that notice. She meets all the other eligibility criteria and can claim a deduction for her personal super contributions in her 2016–17 tax return.

    Marcelle’s concessional contributions in 2016–17 are nil as the contribution made to the CPF is not included in her concessional contributions.

    During 2017–18, Marcelle chooses not to make any personal contributions to the CPF, as she is no longer entitled to claim a deduction for her personal super contributions made to a CPF.

    End of example

    See also:

    Age restrictions

    If you are aged 75 years or older, you can only claim a deduction for contributions you made before the 28th day of the month following the month in which you turned 75.

    If you are under 18 years old at the end of the income year in which you made the contribution, you can only claim a deduction for your personal super contributions if you also earned income as an employee or a business operator during the year.

    Work test

    There are age-related conditions under which your super fund can accept your contributions. If you are under 65 years old when you make a contribution, you don't need to satisfy the work test in order for your fund to accept the contribution from you. Once you turn 65, you must satisfy the work test in order for your super fund to accept a contribution for which you can claim a deduction.

    If you are 65–74 years old at the end of the income year in which you made the contribution, you need to satisfy a work test in each financial year that you make a contribution in order for your fund to accept the contribution for which you can claim a deduction. To satisfy the work test, you must work at least 40 hours during a consecutive 30-day period each financial year in order for your fund to accept a personal super contribution for which you can claim a deduction.

    Example 3

    Kumiko is 67 years old. During 2017–18 she works 20 hours per week for six months as a data analyst, and earns $26,000 in salary and wages.

    As Kumiko is over 65 years old, she must satisfy the work test for 2017–18 to be eligible to claim a deduction for her personal (after-tax) super contributions.

    Kumiko satisfies the work test because she was gainfully employed for at least 40 hours during a consecutive 30 day period in 2017–18.

    Kumiko gave her fund a notice of intent form to claim $2,000 as a deduction, and received an acknowledgement of that notice. She meets all the other eligibility criteria and can claim a deduction for her personal super contributions of $2,000 in her 2017–18 tax return.

    End of example

    See also:

    What you can’t claim

    You cannot claim deductions for:

    • a rolled-over super benefit
    • a benefit transferred from a foreign super fund
    • a directed termination payment paid into a super plan by an employer under transitional arrangements that applied until 30 June 2012
    • contributions paid by your employer from your before-tax income (including the compulsory super guarantee and salary sacrifice amounts)
    • First Home Super Saver (FHSS) amounts that you have recontributed to your super fund(s)
    • contributions to                
      • a Commonwealth public sector superannuation scheme in which you have a defined benefit interest
      • a super fund that would not include the contribution in their assessable income, such as an untaxed fund or a constitutionally protected fund (CPF)
      • other superannuation funds or contributions specified in the regulations.
       
    • contributions made from 1 July 2018 to a superannuation fund that are identified as downsizer contributions.

    How to make a claim

    If you are eligible and want to claim a tax deduction for your personal super contributions, you must first notify your fund that you intend to do so. The notice you give to your fund must be both valid and in the approved form.

    A notice of intent is only valid if:

    • you are still a member of your fund
    • your fund still holds the contribution (special rules apply for full or partial voluntary rollovers, and situations where there has been a successor fund transfer or a MySuper transfer)
    • it does not include all or part of an amount covered by a previous notice
    • your fund has not started paying a super income stream using any of the contribution
    • you haven’t lodged an application to split the contribution for which you intend to claim a deduction (even if the application hasn’t been dealt with by your fund)
    • the contributions in the notice of intent have not been released from the fund you've given notice to under the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme that includes all or part of a FHSS amount that you recontributed to your fund.

    If you give your fund a notice of intent after you have rolled over your entire super interest to another fund (closed your account) or withdrawn your entire super interest (paid it out of super as a lump sum), your notice will not be valid. This means you will not be able to claim a deduction for the personal contributions you made before the rollover or withdrawal.

    If you have partially rolled over or withdrawn your super interest (which included the contribution you made), your notice will not be valid for the entire contribution. You can only validly deduct a proportion of your contribution that remains in the fund.

    You can provide a single notice of intent form that covers all the personal (after tax) contributions you made to your super fund during the year (you don’t need to provide a notice of intent for each contribution).

    You will need to provide a notice of intent form to each of your super funds if you made contributions to more than one fund.

    Approved form for making a claim

    You can provide your notice of intent in the approved form by either:

    • completing a Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions (NAT 71121)
    • using your fund's own paper form
    • writing to your fund, stating you wish to claim a tax deduction for your personal super contributions and including the following                  
      • your first name
      • your family name
      • your date of birth
      • your fund name
      • your fund member account number
      • the financial year in which the personal contributions were made
      • the total amount of personal contributions made to the fund in that financial year
      • the amount of these personal contributions you intend to claim as a tax deduction
      • a declaration that you are lodging this notice by the due date
      • a statement that the information contained in your letter is true and correct
      • your signature
      • the date (day, month and year)
       
    • completing an electronic form on your fund's website, if available (check with your fund to ensure they developed their form according to our guidelines).

    When to give your notice of intent

    You must give a notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction to your fund by the earlier of the following:

    • the day you lodge your tax return for the year in which you made the contributions
    • the end of the income year following the one in which you made the contributions.

    Your fund must send you a written acknowledgment, telling you they have received a valid notice from you. You must receive the acknowledgment from your fund before you claim the deduction on your tax return.

    How to complete your tax return

    When you complete your tax return, you can claim a deduction for the amount of the contribution stated in your notice of intent. If you want to claim an amount that is different (more or less) than what the notice says, you can vary your notice (see How to vary your notice of intent).

    Make sure that you claim your deduction at the correct label in your tax return. Deductions for personal super contributions must be claimed at Personal superannuation contributions in the Individual tax return supplement.

    If you are lodging through myTax the deduction must be claimed at Personal super contributions.

    Not claiming your super deductions at the correct label may result in:

    • an incorrect super co-contribution determination or excess contributions tax assessment
    • an additional tax liability
    • the imposition of a tax shortfall penalty.
      Last modified: 24 Oct 2018QC 20139