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The 2019/2020 financial year introduces some new opportunities to allow you to save for your retirement through super. In this article we cover these and also provide an overview of the ‘protecting your super’ legislation and personal income tax changes.
Since 1 July 2017, employees as well as the self-employed, can claim a tax deduction on personal super contributions.
If you are aged between 65 and 74 you can make a contribution to super but you need to meet a work test. To pass the work test, you need to have been ‘gainfully employed’1 for at least 40 hours over 30 consecutive days during the financial year in which you plan to make the contribution. That’s a little over one week’s worth of full-time work in a single month.
Also, if you’re aged between 65 and 74 and have a ‘total super balance’2 under $300,000, you can make personal contributions to super in the first financial year in which you no longer meet the work test. This is likely to be the first year following your retirement.
Unfortunately, if you are 75 or over you are not eligible to make a personal contribution to super.
Generally, the cap on concessional contributions is $25,000 each financial year.
For the first time this financial year, if you have a total super balance of under $500,000, you can contribute the unused portion of your concessional contributions cap, or ‘carry-forward’ amount, from last financial year. That is, if you didn’t contribute in the 2018/19 financial year, you may be able to carry forward $25,000 to this financial year and contribute up to $50,000.
Currently, only the unused concessional contribution cap amounts in the 2018/19 financial year can be carried forward. Then, for future financial years, the unused concessional contribution cap amounts can be carried forward, on a rolling basis, for five years.
So, if you’ve accrued a carry-forward concessional contribution amount, you may want to start, or increase your salary sacrifice contributions, or make a personal concessional contribution to super. This can be particularly beneficial for your tax bill if you’ve significantly increased your income, for example, if you’ve sold an asset with a large capital gain.
The ‘protecting you super’ legislation came into effect on 1 July 2019 and is designed to protect people’s super balances. The three main changes are:
Australians can continue to enjoy the first round of personal income tax changes that started in July 2018.
From 1 July 2022, the Government will increase the 32.5% tax threshold from $90,000 to $120,000. This means there will be less people in the 37% tax bracket and more in the 32.5% tax bracket. On 1 July 2024, the 37% tax bracket will eventually disappear and the 32.5% tax bracket will reduce to 30%. It’s estimated that 94% of personal taxpayers will have a marginal tax rate of 30% or less in the 2024/25 financial year.
In addition to the changes to income tax, the Government has introduced a temporary tax offset called the low and middle income tax offset (LMITO), of up to a maximum of $1,080 per person and phases out for those earning over $126,000 per annum.
This is in addition to the low income tax offset (LITO) for those earning under $66,666 per annum.
The LMITO offsets will end after the 2021/22 financial year. However, from 1 July 2022, the Government will increase the (LITO), from $445 to $700to continue to support low income earners.
You don’t need to do anything to receive the tax offsets, the ATO will assess your eligibility when you complete your personal tax return.