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Getting a Double Deduction for your Super Contributions?

Each year we are entitled to a tax deduction for a certain amount of superannuation contributions. The tax deduction is available to your employer if they contribute on your behalf but it can also be available to you personally when you make extra contributions to super.

The amount that you can claim as a tax deduction is limited to what is known as your Concessional Contributions Cap.  There is a standard Cap of $25,000, though that is increasing to $27,500 on 1st July 2021. There are certain people that can add amounts that haven’t been used in previous years to this cap amount.

If you go over your Concessional Contributions Cap, the excess contributions are merely added to your taxable income so you don’t get any tax benefits out of the contribution.

For example, let’s say your Concessional Contributions Cap is $25,000 but you make $35,000 in concessional contributions.  The extra $10,000 will be added to your taxable income but you will receive a credit for the $1,500 in contributions tax paid by the super fund.

But there is a little known trick to allow you to “bring forward” a tax deduction for your concessional contributions.  This “hack” is commonly known as a Contributions Reserving Strategy and it has been approved by the Tax Office.  If done correctly it allows you to take some of next year’s Concessional Contributions Cap and bring it into this financial year.  But it must be done correctly and if you take advantage of it, you need to lodge a specific form with the Tax Office to let them know. The ATO will almost certainly audit what you have done.

It is also important to note that it is really only achievable to do this strategy with a Self Managed Superannuation Fund.  It is also important to note that you are merely bringing forward your contribution (using it this year) and that you won’t be able to use that amount next year, so careful planning is also needed.

This type of strategy is used by people who will have an unusually higher taxable income this year than they will next year.  So, for example, you might have a large capital gain this year or you might be retiring and have no taxable income next year.

Leaving it until the new year to discuss this strategy is way too late and it absolutely cannot be done after late June so it is essential that you talk to us if you feel next year’s taxable income will be a lot lower than this year.

 

Posted on 7 June '21, under super. No Comments.

Downsizer Contributions – What Are They?

If you are aged 65 years or older, you are currently able to make downsizer contributions of up to $300,000 into your superannuation fund from the sale of your main residence (as of 1 July 2018).
The Federal Budget recently announced that the age limit for downsizer contribution payments will be reduced from 65 to 60 once the relevant legislation has been passed.

This means that you can increase your super fund’s balance without impacting on your contribution caps (as it is not a non-concessional contribution), and this contribution can still be made even if your superannuation balance exceeds $1.6 million. It does however count towards your transfer balance cap, which is currently set at $1.6 million (increasing to $1.7 million for most people on 1 July 2021).

The downsizer contributions scheme can only be accessed once, so it can only apply when you sell or dispose of one home, including selling a part interest in a home. It is a one-time deal essentially and is not a tax-deductible amount.

You can however make multiple downsizer contributions from the proceeds of a single sale, but the total of the contributions cannot exceed $300,000 less than any other downsizer contributions that you have made.

You and your spouse can (in certain circumstances) both make downsizer contributions from the sale of the home even if the house was only owned by one of you, provided you both meet all the requirements.

These contributions will also come into account for determining whether or not you are eligible to receive the age pension.

If you would like more information on how to proceed with downsizer contributions, are looking to sell your home and wanting to continue with downsizer contributions from the sale, or just looking for guidance, we can help. Come speak with us.

Posted on 3 June '21, under super. No Comments.

Removing Superannuation’s Minimum Income Threshold Limit

From 1 July 2022 employees will no longer need to meet the monthly minimum income threshold of $450 to receive superannuation guarantee payments from their employers due to the Federal Budget’s recently announced changes to superannuation.

Previously, employers did not need to pay employees superannuation guarantee payments if they did not earn $450 per month. Employees who worked for multiple employers but did not earn the same amount from a single employer were not eligible for superannuation guarantee payments.

Close to $125 million of contributions was not being made due to employees not satisfying the minimum income threshold of $450. An estimated 300,000 Australians were reported to have been missing out on those contributions each year.

For employees who worked in lower-income jobs or in part-time or casual employment that may not reach that minimum income threshold, this meant that they were missing out on critical payments to their super. With women making up a more significant proportion of these workers, it also caused the gender gap in superannuation already present to widen further.

The removal of the minimum income threshold means now that these employees will be able to accrue super through the payments made by their employer and help address a long-term equity issue that had been in place in superannuation for years.

These changes should come into effect by July 2022 and, though they may not necessarily improve the retirement outcomes of individuals, the savings resulting from these payments into super will be boosted and all workers will as a result be provided with superannuation coverage, regardless of whether or not they earn more than $450.

Supposing that you are an employer who will now have to pay superannuation guarantee payments to your employees and did not have to do so before. In that case, you can speak with us to ensure that you are meeting your compliance requirements with super for your employees.

Posted on 26 May '21, under super. No Comments.

Removing Superannuation’s Minimum Income Threshold Limit

From 1 July 2022 employees will no longer need to meet the monthly minimum income threshold of $450 to receive superannuation guarantee payments from their employers due to the Federal Budget’s recently announced changes to superannuation.

Previously, employers did not need to pay employees superannuation guarantee payments if they did not earn $450 per month. Employees who worked for multiple employers but did not earn the same amount from a single employer were not eligible for superannuation guarantee payments.

Close to $125 million of contributions was not being made due to employees not satisfying the minimum income threshold of $450. An estimated 300,000 Australians were reported to have been missing out on those contributions each year.

For employees who worked in lower-income jobs or in part-time or casual employment that may not reach that minimum income threshold, this meant that they were missing out on critical payments to their super. With women making up a more significant proportion of these workers, it also caused the gender gap in superannuation already present to widen further.

The removal of the minimum income threshold means now that these employees will be able to accrue super through the payments made by their employer and help address a long-term equity issue that had been in place in superannuation for years.

These changes should come into effect by July 2022 and, though they may not necessarily improve the retirement outcomes of individuals, the savings resulting from these payments into super will be boosted and all workers will as a result be provided with superannuation coverage, regardless of whether or not they earn more than $450.

Supposing that you are an employer who will now have to pay superannuation guarantee payments to your employees and did not have to do so before. In that case, you can speak with us to ensure that you are meeting your compliance requirements with super for your employees.

Posted on 26 May '21, under super. No Comments.

What Does The Non-Concessional Cap Increase Mean For You?

The Federal Budget dropped on Tuesday, 11 May, with many announced amendments and changes that affected the superannuation and SMSF sectors. Non-concessional contributions increased maximum limits were announced and would come into effect as of 1 July 2021, increasing the cap from $110,000, up from the previous cap of $100,000.

Personal Contributions made into an SMSF from after-tax income on which no tax deduction is claimed, known as Non-Concessional Contributions. Non Concessional Contributions are personal contributions made into your SMSF from your own personal Bank Account and not contributions to your super made by your Employer.

You will be able to put non-concessional contributions into super (including using the bring-forward rule) up until age 74, without there being a need for you to work.

The bring-forward rule is a provision that allows Members of a superannuation fund to make non-concessional contributions that amounted to more than the contributions cap of $100,000 in one year by utilising the cap for the next two years. It has been amended to reflect the Budget’s rulings and come into effect on 1 July 2021.

You will still need to meet the work test if you wish to make tax-deductible contributions. Still, this outcome may provide some excellent planning opportunities for you regarding removing taxes from the death benefits that your adult children will pay on any benefits paid out to them from your superannuation.

As an example, with the increase to the age limits, there are many ways that you can take advantage of this to boost your super. Let’s say that you have extra cash that you would like put into the superannuation system that you weren’t previously able to, such as $100,000 that you wanted to put in when you turned 67 but were unable to because the age limit for non-concessional contributions had been reached.

With the increase, you will be able to put non-concessional contributions into your super up until you reach 74, which could amount to a hefty sum if you contribute the maximum cap limit amount each year.

We can offer you advice on how best to utilise this new non-concessional contributions cap to your advantage and our knowledge of strategies that we can use for non-concessional contributions to potentially save your children tens of thousands of dollars in death benefits taxes (currently taxed at 15%) if you wish to leave any of your super to your adult children.

Speak with us to find out more about the other ways that you can benefit from the newly released Federal Budget’s outcomes and announcements involving superannuation.

Posted on 18 May '21, under super. No Comments.

What Does The Non-Concessional Cap Increase Mean For You?

The Federal Budget dropped on Tuesday, 11 May, with many announced amendments and changes that affected the superannuation and SMSF sectors. Non-concessional contributions increased maximum limits were announced and would come into effect as of 1 July 2021, increasing the cap from $110,000, up from the previous cap of $100,000.

Personal Contributions made into an SMSF from after-tax income on which no tax deduction is claimed, known as Non-Concessional Contributions. Non Concessional Contributions are personal contributions made into your SMSF from your own personal Bank Account and not contributions to your super made by your Employer.

You will be able to put non-concessional contributions into super (including using the bring-forward rule) up until age 74, without there being a need for you to work.

The bring-forward rule is a provision that allows Members of a superannuation fund to make non-concessional contributions that amounted to more than the contributions cap of $100,000 in one year by utilising the cap for the next two years. It has been amended to reflect the Budget’s rulings and come into effect on 1 July 2021.

You will still need to meet the work test if you wish to make tax-deductible contributions. Still, this outcome may provide some excellent planning opportunities for you regarding removing taxes from the death benefits that your adult children will pay on any benefits paid out to them from your superannuation.

As an example, with the increase to the age limits, there are many ways that you can take advantage of this to boost your super. Let’s say that you have extra cash that you would like put into the superannuation system that you weren’t previously able to, such as $100,000 that you wanted to put in when you turned 67 but were unable to because the age limit for non-concessional contributions had been reached.

With the increase, you will be able to put non-concessional contributions into your super up until you reach 74, which could amount to a hefty sum if you contribute the maximum cap limit amount each year.

We can offer you advice on how best to utilise this new non-concessional contributions cap to your advantage and our knowledge of strategies that we can use for non-concessional contributions to potentially save your children tens of thousands of dollars in death benefits taxes (currently taxed at 15%) if you wish to leave any of your super to your adult children.

Speak with us to find out more about the other ways that you can benefit from the newly released Federal Budget’s outcomes and announcements involving superannuation.

Posted on 18 May '21, under super. No Comments.

Gender Inequality in Superannuation

Gender gaps can affect superannuation accounts as much as they can affect salary rates. With barriers to entering into fields, lower hourly rates of pay, less hours worked and more unpaid labour affecting the amount of super Australian women are retiring with, as compared to men.

Currently, the median superannuation balance for men aged between 60-64 stands at $204,107 whereas the superannuation balance for women of the same age has a median total of $146,900. It’s a gender superannuation gap of 28%.

This gender gap in superannuation balances can be impacted even more by women using maternity leave. With women taking their time off from work and losing out on super contributions during this period of paid parental leave, it can affect their super in the long run as it exacerbates the income and superannuation gaps that were already in effect during their employment.

It can also be exacerbated by existing salary gaps across the workforce. Despite traditionally male-dominated fields experiencing high percentages of female graduates entering into the workforce, the positions that they fill are not always high-ranked, irrespective of experience.

There are threeproposed measures with regard to how the superannuation gap could be addressed at a macro level. These include:

Here are some examples of ways in which women can increase their super balances to make up for any losses that may have been incurred:

If you are concerned about your superannuation, or would like further advice, please speak with us.

Posted on 13 May '21, under super. No Comments.

Gender Inequality in Superannuation

Gender gaps can affect superannuation accounts as much as they can affect salary rates. With barriers to entering into fields, lower hourly rates of pay, less hours worked and more unpaid labour affecting the amount of super Australian women are retiring with, as compared to men.

Currently, the median superannuation balance for men aged between 60-64 stands at $204,107 whereas the superannuation balance for women of the same age has a median total of $146,900. It’s a gender superannuation gap of 28%.

This gender gap in superannuation balances can be impacted even more by women using maternity leave. With women taking their time off from work and losing out on super contributions during this period of paid parental leave, it can affect their super in the long run as it exacerbates the income and superannuation gaps that were already in effect during their employment.

It can also be exacerbated by existing salary gaps across the workforce. Despite traditionally male-dominated fields experiencing high percentages of female graduates entering into the workforce, the positions that they fill are not always high-ranked, irrespective of experience.

There are threeproposed measures with regard to how the superannuation gap could be addressed at a macro level. These include:

Here are some examples of ways in which women can increase their super balances to make up for any losses that may have been incurred:

If you are concerned about your superannuation, or would like further advice, please speak with us.

Posted on 13 May '21, under super. No Comments.

How Super For Contractors Can Work

Contractors who run their own business and sell their services to others have different obligations to their super than what employees in a business may usually have.

A contractor (also known as an independent contractor, a subcontractor, or a subbie) who is paid wholly or principally for their labour is considered to be an employee for super purposes, and may be entitled to super guarantee contributions under the same rules as other employees.

A contract may be considered ‘wholly or principally for labour’ if:

If hiring a contractor to perform solely their labor for a fee, the employer may also have to pay super contributions on their behalf.

In this sense, if you are a contractor who is being contracted to an outside business than your own to perform your usual work or labour, your employer must contribute to your super the same way they would any other employee.

This could be seen in an example of an electrician who runs their own small business, or is employed by a small business who has been hired by another business to supplement their workforce and perform a specific role that they can fit to.

Say the electrician who runs their own business has been subcontracted by the larger business.

They are performing labour but also providing materials (ie, themselves plus a toolbox plus a van full of powerpoints and wiring etc), they would be seen as a contractor and not an employee for super purposes. They must pay themselves super, in this case.

However if they are sub-contracted to perform labour only then the company that has sub contracted them may be liable to pay super on the amount that they pay to their contractor.  This would be the case where the electrician just turns up with their tool box and everything else is provided by the “employer”.

If they are in an employment-like relationship with the person that they entered their contract into, they may need to have their super paid to them by their contract employer. In order for super to be applied from what you earn, the contract must be directly between you and your employer. It cannot be through another person or through a company, trust or partnership.

It is important that both parties in the process are aware of their super obligations during the contracted period. There can be significant penalties for employers who use contractors if they fail to correctly pay super. Each case regarding contractors and super needs to be assessed independently to ensure that you are doing the right thing. There is no definitive black and white line between a contractor and a contactor in an employment-like relationship that can be obviously seen after all.

If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re meeting your obligations as an employer, or are a contractor looking to make sure their super is being correctly paid into, speak with us.

 

Posted on 5 May '21, under super. No Comments.

How Super For Contractors Can Work

Contractors who run their own business and sell their services to others have different obligations to their super than what employees in a business may usually have.

A contractor (also known as an independent contractor, a subcontractor, or a subbie) who is paid wholly or principally for their labour is considered to be an employee for super purposes, and may be entitled to super guarantee contributions under the same rules as other employees.

A contract may be considered ‘wholly or principally for labour’ if:

If hiring a contractor to perform solely their labor for a fee, the employer may also have to pay super contributions on their behalf.

In this sense, if you are a contractor who is being contracted to an outside business than your own to perform your usual work or labour, your employer must contribute to your super the same way they would any other employee.

This could be seen in an example of an electrician who runs their own small business, or is employed by a small business who has been hired by another business to supplement their workforce and perform a specific role that they can fit to.

Say the electrician who runs their own business has been subcontracted by the larger business.

They are performing labour but also providing materials (ie, themselves plus a toolbox plus a van full of powerpoints and wiring etc), they would be seen as a contractor and not an employee for super purposes. They must pay themselves super, in this case.

However if they are sub-contracted to perform labour only then the company that has sub contracted them may be liable to pay super on the amount that they pay to their contractor.  This would be the case where the electrician just turns up with their tool box and everything else is provided by the “employer”.

If they are in an employment-like relationship with the person that they entered their contract into, they may need to have their super paid to them by their contract employer. In order for super to be applied from what you earn, the contract must be directly between you and your employer. It cannot be through another person or through a company, trust or partnership.

It is important that both parties in the process are aware of their super obligations during the contracted period. There can be significant penalties for employers who use contractors if they fail to correctly pay super. Each case regarding contractors and super needs to be assessed independently to ensure that you are doing the right thing. There is no definitive black and white line between a contractor and a contactor in an employment-like relationship that can be obviously seen after all.

If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re meeting your obligations as an employer, or are a contractor looking to make sure their super is being correctly paid into, speak with us.

 

Posted on 5 May '21, under super. No Comments.

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