How much can I contribute before 30 June?
By Colin Lewis, Head of Strategic Advice, Fitzpatricks Private Wealth
With the finish line to the end of the financial year practically upon us, you may be considering a last-minute super contribution to reduce tax and/or to bolster your retirement nest egg.
Working out how much you can contribute should be simple … right?
Concessional (pre-tax) contributions
Claiming a tax deduction for a personal contribution is straightforward. Be mindful the total amount you and/or your employer may contribute is $27,500 before additional tax applies.
If you didn’t utilise the entire $25,000 annual cap since 2018-19 then any unused amounts may be contributed now before 1 July provided your total superannuation balance (TSB) – the amount you have in the super system – was less than $500,000 at 30 June 2021.
Provide your super fund with a notice of intent (NOI) to claim a tax deduction for your contribution and have it acknowledged before lodging your tax return. Do not to touch the contribution – roll it over to another fund, withdraw it, or start an income stream – before receiving the acknowledgement.
It’s not worth making a deductible contribution which reduces your taxable income below the effective tax-free threshold as it’ll be taxed at 15 per cent, whereas no tax is payable on income below the threshold. For 2021-22, this threshold is $25,437. If you’re eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset, it’s $35,231 for singles and $31,926 for couples (each).
Non-concessional (after-tax) contributions
Making a non-concessional contribution (NCC) is more complicated.
If you’re trying to work out the maximum you can contribute now then follow these steps – ideally, seek professional advice so as not to get it wrong.
1. Know your total superannuation balance
You need to know your TSB at June 30, 2021 as this dictates your eligibility to make an NCC.
If it was $1.7 million or more then you cannot make an NCC. That’s right, zip!
Note that certain after-tax contributions – downsizer contributions and CGT cap contributions – are not treated as NCCs and can be made regardless of your TSB.
You may be eligible to make a downsizer contribution of up to $300,000 if you sell a home that you or your spouse owned for at least 10 years and are aged 65 or more. This reduces to 60 from 1 July.
A CGT cap contribution of up to $1.615 million arises from the proceeds of sale of your business or other active business assets. This increases to $1.65 million from July 1.
2. Determine if you’ve already triggered the bring-forward rule
If your TSB was less than $1.7 million at 30 June 2021, have a look at any NCCs you made in 2019-20 and 2020-21 to determine whether you triggered the bring-forward rule back then – which would have happened if you contributed more than $100,000 in either of those financial years.
Ensure you count any excess concessional contributions (CCs) not withdrawn from super as NCCs.
Say you made CCs of $26,000 in 2020-21 and after receiving an excess CCs determination from the ATO did not withdraw 85 per cent of the excess ($850) then $1,000 will have counted towards your NCCs cap. So, if you’d made an after-tax contribution of $100,000, then the total amount counted under the NCCs cap will have been $101,000, triggering – maybe unknowingly – the bring-forward rule. Many people have been tripped up by this in the past.
Be careful if you find you contributed more than $100,000 that it was not attributable to a previous bring-forward period.
If you find that you triggered the bring-forward rule in 2019-20 or 2020-21 then you need to know the bring-forward arrangement under which you contributed – was it $300,000 over 3 years or $200,000 over 2 years?
The former applies if your TSB was less than $1.4 million at 30 June just prior to the year you triggered the bring-forward rule. In this case, the maximum you can contribute before 30 June is any remaining balance to $300,000.
The later applies if you had $1.4 million to less than $1.5 million and the maximum you can contribute now is any remaining balance to $200,000.
3. Bring-forward rule not triggered in past two years
If you didn’t trigger the bring-forward rule in either of the past two tax years and your TSB was less than $1.48 million at 30 June 2021 then you can contribute up to $330,000.
If you had $1.48 million to less than $1.59 million then you can contribute up to $220,000, otherwise the maximum you can put in is only $110,000.
Aged 67 or more
If you are aged 67 to 74 you must have met the ‘work test’ – 40 hours of gainful employment in 30 consecutive days – before you can make a concessional, non-concessional and CGT cap contribution.
If you haven’t met the work test, you may still contribute – under the work test exemption (WTE) – provided you met the work test in 2020-21 and had a TSB of less than $300,000 at 30 June 2021.
The work test has been abolished for NCCs and salary sacrifice contributions, but this doesn’t apply until 1 July. You’ll still need to meet the work test to make personal deductible contributions from then.
If you’re aged 74, you only have up until 28 days after the end of the month in which you turn 75 for the trustee to receive your contribution.
Note that the work test and age restriction don’t apply to downsizer contributions.
So, if you’ve met the work test or WTE and wish to make an NCC before 30 June, then steps 1 and 2 still apply.
However, step 3 differs in that if you haven’t triggered the bring-forward rule in either 2019-20 or 2020-21 and you were aged 67 or more at 1 July 2021 then the maximum you can contribute is $110,000.
And this is simple super!
A contribution is made when the fund receives it, so be aware it can take time to transfer funds.
*This information is prepared by Fitzpatricks Private Wealth Pty Ltd (Fitzpatricks) ABN 33 093 667 595 AFSL No. 247 429 and, where relevant, its related bodies corporate. The information in this publication is of a general nature only. All information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, we recommend you consider, with or without the assistance of a financial adviser, whether the information is appropriate for you.