In the lead up to 30 June, we want to remind you about the tax savings opportunities available via contributions to your superannuation.
Upon your retirement from the workforce, your superannuation is likely to be a vital source of your future income. There are many ways to ‘top up’ your super while you’re still earning an income as well as some very beneficial tax savings to be made during this time simply by making your own voluntary contributions.
In most cases, any money invested in super is taxed at a lower rate than your personal income tax rate.
Catch Up Super Contributions
If you haven’t made the maximum annual super contributions from 2019 onward, you can make “carry-forward” concessional super contributions if your balance is less than $500,000. You can access any unused concessional contributions caps on a rolling basis for five years. After this time, any amounts carried forward will expire.
How Concessional Super Contributions are Taxed
Concessional (before tax) super contributions include employer super contributions made on your behalf, any salary sacrifice contributions you make, or any personal contributions that you claim a tax deduction on in your tax return. These contributions are taxed at 15% when they are received by your super fund (up to a limit of $27,500 per year), provided your annual earnings combined with superannuation contributions are less than $250,000 annually.
Personal super contributions are especially useful for people who are on higher marginal tax rates or if their employer refuses to set up a salary sacrifice arrangement.
The people who would benefit the most are those who earn above $45,000 per year, as this is where the marginal tax rate plus Medicare Levy rises to 34.5%. Claiming a tax deduction on super contributions effectively makes your tax rate only 15%! Wow!
How low-income earners are taxed
If you’re a low-income earner (earning less than $37,000 per year), the low-income superannuation tax offset ensures that you don’t pay a higher rate of tax on your super contributions than your income tax rate. The offset will be paid directly to your super account and the payment will be equal to 15% of your concessional contributions for the year, capped at a maximum of $500.
Individuals who earn between $42,016 and $57,016 during the 2023 financial year may also be eligible for super co-contributions from the government of 50 cents for each dollar, up to a maximum of $1,000 in non-concessional contributions.
How high-income earners are taxed
If you earn more than $250,000 a year (including super contributions), your concessional contributions are taxed at an additional 15%, bringing the total tax on these contributions to 30%. However, this is still less than your marginal income tax rate of 47%. This extra 15% is known as Division 293 tax. Only the concessional contributions which make your total income exceed $250,000 are subject to the additional tax.
If your concessional contributions exceed the concessional contributions cap of $27,500 per year, the excess is included in your tax return and taxed at your marginal tax rate (less an allowance for the 15% already withheld by your super fund). You can choose to withdraw some of the excess contributions to pay the additional tax.
As always, if you would like to discuss what tax savings may be available to you via contributions to your superannuation, contact your Arabon accountant or call us on 1300 ARABON.
Source: Smart Business Solutions Group