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First home super saver scheme

How you can use some of your eligible voluntary super contributions to help buy your first home.

Last updated 10 June 2024

About the FHSS scheme

The first home super saver (FHSS) scheme allows you to make personal voluntary contributions into your super fund to help you save for your first home.

Concessional contributions are taxed at only 15%, which is usually less than your marginal income tax rate. Assessable FHSS amounts also benefit from a 30% FHSS tax offset.

You can withdraw up to $15,000 of your voluntary contributions from any one financial year, up to a total of $50,000 across multiple years, plus associated earnings.

You don't need to be an Australian citizen or Australian resident for tax purposes to use the FHSS scheme.

It's important not to sign any property contract before you request a FHSS determination.

When you're ready to use the funds to help buy a home in Australia, you can submit a request to release your FHSS amount plus associated earnings.

Is FHSS right for me?

The FHSS isn't right for everybody. Make sure you understand the eligibility criteria, conditions of release, and if your fund will release FHSS amounts before you start saving in your super fund.

This page explains the basics of the FHSS. For technical information on the FHSS scheme, see GN 2018/1 First home super saver scheme.

You can also visit the ATO Publication Ordering Service to place an order or download our FHSS scheme essentialsExternal Link. This publication summarises everything to consider if you're planning to use your super savings to purchase your first home.

Changes to the FHSS scheme

Changes are being made to the FHSS scheme and will start on 15 September 2024.

Learn more about the changes to the FHSS scheme.

Impacts of using the FHSS scheme

  • Assessable FHSS amounts will affect your tax – you will receive a payment summary from us and you will need to include both the assessable and tax-withheld amounts in your tax return in the year in which you make the request to release.
  • Your assessable FHSS released amount is not included in your assessable income for calculating family assistance and child support payments.
  • If you have an outstanding debt with the ATO or another Commonwealth agency, your FHSS release amount:
    • may be offset against this debt
    • could be reduced (including to nil)
    • will take longer to be released to you.

Other considerations when using the FHSS scheme

If you use the FHSS scheme to buy your first home, you must genuinely intend to occupy the property as a home as soon as practicable after purchase and do so for at least 6 of the first 12 months from when it is practicable to occupy it.

You can't use the FHSS scheme to purchase:

  • vacant land – but the contract can be for construction of a home on vacant land, provided you haven't purchased the vacant land before applying for a FHSS determination. The contract to construct the home must be entered into within 12 months (or other period allowed) from the date you requested a FHSS release
  • any premises not capable of being occupied as a residence
  • a houseboat
  • a motor home.


The FHSS scheme can be used to purchase or build residential property in Australia for you to live in as your first home.

Eligibility is assessed on an individual basis. This means that couples, siblings or friends can each access their own eligible FHSS contributions to purchase the same property. If any of you have previously owned a home, it will not stop anyone else who is eligible from applying.

To use this scheme, you must satisfy all the following conditions:

  • You're 18 years old or older when requesting a FHSS determination. However, you can make contributions to your super fund before you are 18 years of age. 
  • You're a first home buyer, having never owned property in Australia – this includes an investment property, vacant land, commercial property, a lease of land, or a company title interest in land.
  • Your name must be on the title of the property you buy.
  • You have not previously made a FHSS release request.

If you've previously owned property, you may still qualify if we determine that you've suffered a FHSS financial hardship.

Things to consider before starting a FHSS determination request

Before you start making contributions under the FHSS scheme you should:

  • read and understand all the requirements of the FHSS scheme to ensure it is right for you, including considering whether you need independent financial advice
  • check that your nominated super fund(s) will release FHSS amounts
  • check that your contributions are eligible for use under the FHSS scheme
  • ask your fund about any fees, charges and insurance implications that may apply
  • check that your super fund has your current contact details – ensuring your name and address in the super fund's records exactly match the details we have for you in our records.

There is no need for you to notify your employer, super fund or the ATO before making contributions for FHSS purposes.

Eligible contributions

You can only access eligible contributions that have been made on or after 1 July 2017 under the FHSS scheme, these include:

  • voluntary concessional contributions – including salary sacrifice amounts or non-concessional contributions you have claimed or intend to claim a tax deduction for (taxed at 15% in your fund)
  • voluntary non-concessional contributions – including personal after-tax contributions you haven't claimed a tax deduction for (not taxed in your super fund)
  • certain KiwiSaver and other transfer amounts from foreign super funds. For more information, see GN 2018/1 First home super saver scheme.

Contributions you make for FHSS purposes are not accounted for separately in your super account(s), and you're not required to withdraw them to purchase a home if your circumstances change. If you don’t release contributions under the FHSS scheme, they remain part of your super interest, until you meet another condition of release for example, retirement.

Ineligible contributions

The following contributions are not eligible:

  • contributions made before 1 July 2017
  • super guarantee (SG) contributions made by your employer
  • contributions to defined benefit interests or constitutionally protected funds
  • mandated employer or member contributions made for you under an award or industrial agreement
  • member contributions made for you by your spouse, parent or other friends or family
  • amounts you receive under a contributions-splitting arrangement
  • government co-contributions
  • contributions under a structured settlement or personal injury order
  • amounts contributed to super as part of the small business CGT concessions
  • amounts transferred from a KiwiSaver scheme that are Australian-sourced amounts or returning New Zealand-sourced amounts
  • applicable fund earnings from a foreign fund transfer you elect to include in the receiving fund's assessable income
  • contributions that are mandatory under a state or territory law or the rules of a fund
  • excess concessional or non-concessional contributions, which are not eligible even if they otherwise would have been before they were identified to be in excess of the relevant contribution cap for the applicable income year
  • COVID-19 early release of superannuation re-contributions.

If there are any of these amounts in your request for a FHSS determination, your request may be delayed or cancelled.

How much you can access

The amount you can access under FHSS is limited to $15,000 of your voluntary contributions from any one financial year, up to a total of $50,000 across multiple years, plus associated earnings

You can't use the FHSS scheme to access concessional and non-concessional contributions that exceed the legislated contributions caps. You can check your eligible contributions with your super fund(s) at any time to see how much you have saved. This will help you keep track of the maximum FHSS amount you can have released.

Note: Associated earnings are a notional amount of earnings calculated at the shortfall interest charge rate

How your voluntary contributions are ordered

When you make voluntary contributions into super, the order and type of the contributions can make a difference to the amount released under the FHSS scheme.

We apply the following ordering rules when calculating your FHSS maximum release amount:

First in first out

The First-in first-out rule applies. This means contributions you make in an earlier financial year are counted before contributions in a later financial year Your contributions within a financial year are counted in the order you make them.

Simultaneous contributions

A simultaneous contributions rule applies - this means that if you make an eligible concessional contribution and an eligible non-concessional contribution at the same time (such as in the same payroll process), your non-concessional contributions are taken to be made first. This is to maximise the FHSS release amount, due to 100% of non-concessional counting towards the release amount Whereas only 85% of concessional contributions are included in your release because they have been taxed at 15% in your super fund.

Maximum release amount

The FHSS maximum release amount is the sum of your eligible contributions, taking into account the yearly and total limits, and associated earnings. This amount includes:

  • 100% of your eligible personal voluntary super contributions you have not claimed a tax deduction for (non-concessional contributions)
  • 85% of your eligible salary sacrifice contributions (concessional contributions)
  • 85% of eligible personal voluntary super contributions you've claimed a tax deduction for (concessional contributions)
  • deemed earnings associated with the above contributions (this will be different from actual earnings in your super fund).

When you need your FHSS amount

When you're ready to withdraw your FHSS amounts, you first need to apply to us for a FHSS determination and then request a release.

When you can sign your contract

You must have a FHSS determination before you sign any contract that results in you obtaining an interest in a property, including a contract to purchase vacant land.

In almost all circumstances, once you sign a contract to purchase any property you're no longer eligible to request a FHSS determination. For more information see GN 2018/1 First home super saver scheme.

For information on what is a valid contract under the FHSS scheme and how long you have to sign it, see Signing a contract for a home and notifying us.

Step 1: Request a determination

Login to ATO Online

To apply:

  • login to ATO Online
  • select Super, then Manage, then First home saver.

If you don't have a myGov account, create one and link it to the ATO.

Completing the determinations request form

You can request a determination on more than one occasion but you can only request one release.

Most contributions will be pre-filled in the online FHSS determination request from information reported to us by your super fund, but you need to check the details are correct before submitting it as errors will delay your release or may lead to you receiving the incorrect FHSS amount.

Things to consider

If you're adding details of contributions that have not been pre-filled, use your super fund statement or transaction list to confirm the dates, amount and type of each contribution.

When determining the year in which a contribution has been made, use the date the contribution was received by your super fund, not the date you or your employer paid it.

Don't use your payslips to complete your request for a FHSS determination as this doesn't provide the date your contributions were received by your super fund.

We will check that the contributions in your request for a FHSS determination match contribution details reported to us by your super fund. You may be required to provide additional evidence of your contributions before we release your FHSS amounts.

You'll also need to include the year and amount of any tax deductions for contributions you have claimed or intend to claim in your tax returns.

You must confirm as part of your release application that you won't claim further tax deductions for the non-concessional contributions included in the determination.

When you apply for a FHSS determination, we'll tell you your maximum FHSS release amount.

Once you have received your determination

  • If there is incorrect information in your FHSS determination and you later request a release based on that incorrect information, your request may be delayed. Your release may also be cancelled and you may not be able to apply under the FHSS scheme in the future.
  • Before you request a release make sure you resolve any issues, including:
    • check you agree with the amounts shown in your FHSS determination
    • if there is an error in your FHSS determination you can correct this by requesting another determination, provided you haven't signed a contract or requested a release.
    • object to the FHSS determination if you believe it is incorrect due to our error.

Step 2: Requesting the release of your super savings

After you have a FHSS determination and are ready to access your FHSS amount, you can then request a release. You must have a FHSS determination before you request a release.

You can request a release of any amount up to your FHSS maximum release amount shown on your FHSS determination.

You can only request a release under the FHSS scheme once, even if you have requested an amount less than your FHSS maximum release amount.

  • You can make a release request:
    • before you sign a contract or
    • within 14 days of signing a contract. If you make a valid release request later than 14 days after signing a contract, you'll be subject to FHSS tax.
  • After you make your release request, it may take between 15 and 20 business days for you to receive your money. You should consider this timing when you start your home buying activities.
  • You will be notified in writing once your superfund had released the amount requested in full, partially or if it was unable to be released.

Step 3: Signing a contract for a home and notifying us

During the period starting 14 days before requesting your FHSS release amount and ending 12 months (or other period we've allowed) after the date of your request you need to sign a contract to purchase or construct a home or recontribute the released amount to your super fund.

We may grant you an extension of time to do this for a further 12 months - up to a maximum of 24 months after the date of your release request.

You don't need to apply for this extension – we will generally grant it unless we have reason to believe that doing so would be inappropriate. We will notify you if an extension is granted.

If you have still not signed a contract to purchase or construct a home by the end of the 24 month period, you must have either:

  • Recontributed an amount into your super fund(s) that is at least equal to your assessable FHSS released amount, less any tax withheld
    • This amount is stated in your payment summary and may be less than the total amounts released to you.
    • This amount must be a non-concessional contribution and you can't claim a tax deduction for it.
  • Decided to keep the released amount and be subject to FHSS tax, a flat tax equal to 20% of your assessable FHSS released amount.

Notify us

If you sign a contract to purchase or construct your home, you must notify us within 28 days (or other period we allow) of signing the contract.

If you recontribute the assessable FHSS amount (less tax withheld) into your super fund, you must notify us within 12 months of the date you request the release of your FHSS money.

If you don't notify us that you have done one of the above or you choose to keep the FHSS amount, you may be subject to FHSS tax.

You can notify us by:

  • logging into ATO online services through myGovExternal Link
  • select Super, then Manage, then select First home saver.

Step 4: Receiving your FHSS amount

After you have made a valid release request, we'll issue a release authority to your super fund(s) requesting they send your FHSS release amounts to us.

Before we send any amounts released by your super fund to you, we will:

  • withhold the appropriate amount of tax
  • offset the remaining amount against any outstanding debts with the ATO or another Commonwealth Government agency you may have.

In most cases, it will take between 15 and 20 business days for your fund to release your money and for us to pay it to you.

A payment summary will be sent to you at the end of the financial year. It will show your assessable FHSS released amount, which is comprised of:

  • concessional contributions
  • associated earnings on both concessional and non-concessional contributions.

You need to include the amount stated in your payment summary, in your tax return for the financial year you request the release - this may be different to the financial year you actually receive the FHSS amount.

Your payment summary will also show details of any tax withheld, which also needs to be included in your tax return. The tax payable on this assessable amount will receive a 30% tax offset.

Withholding tax

When we receive your released amounts, we will withhold tax based on either:

  • your expected marginal tax rate, including Medicare levy, less a 30% tax offset
  • 17% if we're unable to estimate your expected marginal rate.

The tax withheld is calculated on your assessable FHSS released amounts and will help you meet your end of year tax liabilities.

When you lodge your tax return, we will know your actual marginal tax rate for the year in which you requested the release and will recalculate your tax liability on the released amount.

We will take into account the tax that has already been withheld from your assessable FHSS released amount, together with the 30% tax offset.

Your payment summary will show the assessable FHSS amount and the amount of tax withheld.

Completing your tax return

You must include the assessable FHSS released amount as assessable income and tax withheld shown on your payment summary in your tax return for the year you requested the release.

For example, if you request a release of FHSS amounts on 30 June 2023, include the amount in your 2022–23 tax return – even though you won’t receive the released amount until July 2023.

We will only issue your payment summary once all of your FHSS amounts have been paid to you. This could be several weeks after the end of the financial year.

Study and training support loans

If you make salary sacrifice contributions into super, they will be a reportable employer super contribution in that income year. These contributions are included in your repayment income for study and training support loans.

You will need to review your pay as you go (PAYG) withholding arrangements with your employer, so the tax they withhold from your salary and wages during the year is enough to cover the amount you're liable to pay.

When you withdraw contributions under the FHSS scheme they are not part of your repayment income in the year you request the withdrawal.

Study and training support loans include:

  • Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
  • Student Start-up Loan (SSL) and ABSTUDY SSL schemes
  • Trade Support Loans (TSL) program
  • Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS).

State government concessions

The FHSS scheme is separate to other concessions offered by state governments.

If you want to access state government concessions as a first home buyer, you will need to check with the relevant state government authority to confirm you meet the eligibility criteria for each concession.

FHSS eligibility due to financial hardship

You may still be eligible to use the FHSS scheme, even if you have previously owned property in Australia, if we determine you have suffered an FHSS financial hardship that resulted in a loss of ownership of all property interests.

The events that could result in the loss of property interests include:

  • bankruptcy
  • divorce, separation from a de-facto partner, or a relationship breakdown
  • loss of employment
  • illness
  • being affected by a natural disaster.

This hardship process is only for those who wish to use the FHSS scheme. See When you can access your super earlyExternal Link for information on how to apply for early access if you're experiencing severe financial hardship unrelated to saving for your first home.

How to make a FHSS hardship application

If you want to be considered under the FHSS financial hardship provision you can apply by either:

You should apply to us before you start saving, so you know if you will be able to release amounts from your super using the FHSS scheme.

You must provide evidence with your application that demonstrates the link between the loss of your property and your hardship event.

If we accept you have suffered a financial hardship, you must also meet the following conditions at the time you lodge your FHSS determination form:

  • you haven't acquired a subsequent interest in real property in Australia since you lost the property because of financial hardship
  • you are 18 years old or older
  • you haven't previously made a FHSS release request.