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  • Contribution caps

    The contribution caps limit the amount that can be contributed for a member each financial year. The caps are indexed annually. A member whose total contributions in a year exceed the contribution caps may be liable for additional tax on the excess contributions.

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    Fund-capped contributions limit

    Your SMSF can't accept single contributions that exceed a member's fund-capped contribution limit. This limit depends on the member's age at the start of the financial year:

    • Member aged 65 or over but under 75 on 1 July
      The fund-capped contribution limit is the non-concessional contributions cap for that financial year.
    • Member aged 64 or under on 1 July
      The fund-capped contribution limit is three times the non-concessional contributions cap for that financial year.

    Fund-capped contributions do not include:

    • personal contributions that your member advises they intend to claim as an income tax deduction
    • contributions from a structured settlement or personal injury payment (the member or a legal personal representative should have notified you that they would make this contribution)
    • super co-contributions.

    Your fund must return the excess amount within 30 days.

    Concessional contributions

    Concessional contributions are contributions made into your SMSF that are included in the SMSF's assessable income. These contributions are taxed in your SMSF at a ‘concessional’ rate of 15%, which is often referred to as ‘contributions tax’.

    The most common types of concessional contributions are employer contributions, such as super guarantee and salary sacrifice contributions. Concessional contributions also include personal contributions made by the member for which the member claims an income tax deduction.

    Concessional contributions are subject to a yearly cap.

    From 1 July 2017, the general concessional contributions cap is $25,000 for all individuals regardless of age.

    For the 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17 financial years, the concessional contributions cap is $30,000 per financial year and will be temporarily increased to $35,000 for members aged 49 or over.

    For the 2013–14 financial year onwards, excess concessional contributions are no longer subject to excess contributions tax. If a member's contributions exceed the cap, the amount will be included in the member's assessable income and taxed at their marginal tax rate.

    Non-concessional contributions

    Generally, non-concessional contributions are contributions made into your SMSF that are not included in the SMSF's assessable income. The most common type is personal contributions made by the member for which no income tax deduction is claimed.

    For the 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17 financial years non-concessional contributions are subject to a yearly cap of $180,000 for members 65 or over but under 75 or $540,000 over a three-year period for members under 65.

    If a member’s non-concessional contributions exceed the cap, from 1 July 2014 a tax of 47% is levied on the excess contributions. Individual members are personally liable for this tax and must have their super fund release an amount of money equal to the tax.

    Non-concessional contributions also include excess concessional contributions for the financial year. They do not include super co-contributions, structured settlements and orders for personal injury or capital gains tax (CGT) related payments that the member has validly elected to exclude from their non-concessional contributions.

    From 1 July 2017, the non-concessional contributions cap is reduced to $100,000 for members 65 or over but under 75. Members under 65 years of age will have the option of contributing up to $300,000 over a three-year period for members depending on their total superannuation balance.

    The contribution and bring forward available to members under 65 is outlined in the following table.

    Contribution and bring forward available based on Total Superannuation Balance

    Total Superannuation Balance

    Contribution and bring forward available

    Less than $1.4 million

    Access to $300,000 cap (over 3 years)

    Greater than or equal to $1.4 million and less than $1.5 million

    Access to $200,000 cap (over 2 years)

    Greater than or equal to $1.5 million and less than $1.6 million

    Access to $100,000 cap (over 1 year)

    Greater than or equal to $1.6 million

    Nil

    The Total Superannuation Balance is determined on 30 June of the previous financial year.

    Transitional arrangements apply to individuals who brought forward their non-concessional contributions cap in the 2015–16 or 2016–17 financial years.

    See also:

    Last modified: 17 Dec 2016QC 42460