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Contributions you can accept

There are minimum standards for accepting contributions into your SMSF.

Last updated 14 December 2022

Allowable contribution

There are minimum standards for accepting contributions into your self-managed super fund (SMSF), and the trust deed of your fund may have more rules.

Whether a contribution is allowable depends on:

Generally, you can't accept an asset as a contribution from related parties of your fund, but there are some exceptions.

If your SMSF will receive contributions from employers (other than related-party employers), you'll need an electronic service address to receive the associated SuperStream data.

Member's tax file number

When a member joins your fund, you need to ask for their TFN and provide it to us. You can do this when you register the fund or when a new member joins.

A member is not required by law to provide their TFN, however if they don't:

  • there may be administrative delays if we can't identify the member from the other information you've provided
  • your fund has to pay extra tax on some contributions made to that member’s account
  • the member may not be able to receive super co-contributions
  • your fund can't accept member contributions for them, such as personal and eligible spouse contributions.

If the member hasn’t provided their TFN and you’ve accepted member contributions for them, you’ll need to return the contribution within 30 days (of becoming aware of the contribution). However, if they provide their TFN within 30 days of receiving the contribution, you don’t have to return the amount.

If you receive employer contributions on behalf of a member and you pay additional income tax because you did not have your member’s TFN, you may be able to claim a tax offset in a later financial year if the member later gives you their TFN.

Mandated employer contributions

Mandated employer contributions are contributions made by an employer under a law or industrial agreement for the benefit of a fund member. They include super guarantee contributions.

You can accept mandated employer contributions for members at any time, regardless of their age or the number of hours they’re working.

Non-mandated contributions

Non-mandated contributions include:

  • contributions made by employers over and above their super guarantee or award obligations (such as salary sacrifice contributions)
  • member contributions – these are contributions made by or on behalf of a member, such as                
    • personal contributions
    • eligible proceeds from primary residence disposal (downsizer contribution)
    • super co-contributions
    • eligible spouse contributions
    • contributions made by a third party, such as an insurer
  • re-contribution of COVID-19 early release superannuation amounts.

Non-mandated member contributions can only be accepted if you have their tax file number (TFN). If you receive a member contribution and you don’t have the member’s TFN, you need to return the contribution within 30 days unless the member’s gives you their TFN within that period.

You can accept non-mandated contributions in the following circumstances.

Members under 75 years old

From 1 July 2022, you can accept all types of non-mandated contributions, except downsizer contributions (these can only be made if the member has reached eligible age).

For a member turning 75, contributions must be received no later than 28 days after the end of the month they turn 75.

Between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2022, you could accept all types of non-mandated contributions for members under 67. If they were between 67 and 75, you could only accept non-mandated contributions if they were gainfully employed on at least a part-time basis.

Before 1 July 2020, you could accept all types of non-mandated contributions for members under 65. If they were between 65 to 75, you could only accept non-mandated contributions if they were gainfully employed on at least a part-time basis.

Members 75 years old or over

You can accept downsizer contributions (there is no maximum age limit) if you have their TFN, but you generally can't accept other non-mandated contributions.

Super co-contributions and employer contributions that relate to a valid contribution period for the member can be accepted at any time.

Note: 'Gainfully employed on at least a part-time basis' means the member is gainfully employed for at least 40 hours in a period of 30 consecutive days in each financial year in which the contributions are made. Unpaid work does not meet the definition of 'gainfully employed'.

In specie (asset) contributions

'In specie' contributions are contributions to your fund in the form of a non-monetary asset.

Generally, you must not intentionally acquire assets (including in specie contributions) from related parties of your fund. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, including:

  • listed shares and other securities
  • business real property (land and buildings used wholly and exclusively in a business).