Personal Superannuation Contributions

Would you like a tax deduction with that?


In years gone by, to be eligible to make personal deductible contributions less than 10% of your assessable income had to come from employment activities, which was not always easy to determine at the time the contribution needed to be made.

Thankfully, the days for those calculations are no more.


Any individual eligible to make personal contributions to a super fund may be able to elect to treat their personal contributions as tax-deductible.  The individual will get a tax deduction at their marginal tax rate, while the fund will pay 15% tax on these contributions.

The general cap for the deductible (concessional) contributions is $25,000 per year.  The cap includes various contribution types such as an employer, salary sacrifice and personal contributions (but only where the conditions below are met).

What’s the catch?

  • Financial threshold
    • A deduction for superannuation contributions can only be made if you have sufficient income to claim the deduction against.
    • This deduction claim cannot reduce your income to below zero. It can’t create a loss.
    • Any claim in excess of your income will be denied and can result in excess tax on those contributions.
  • Notice requirements (given & acknowledged)
    • The law requires that personal contributions are treated as non-concessional contributions UNLESS a notice of intent to claim a deduction is given to the superannuation fund. The notice must be given before the earlier of the individual’s tax return is lodged, and the 30 June of the financial year following the year in which the contribution is made.For example: if claiming for contributions made in June 2020, the notice must be lodged before your 2020 tax return is lodged or 30 June 2021, whichever comes first.
    • The deduction is allowed once an acknowledgement of the notice is received from the super fund. This means an individual cannot claim a deduction until the acknowledgement is received
    • If the required notice requirements are not adhered to, NO deduction is available


Superannuation funds report personal deduction claims to the ATO, who use this information to check the deduction claims in your tax return.  While the ATO has been lenient in prior years with respect to the timing of the notices, they have issued warnings that this will not continue for the 2020 tax returns onwards.

If you have made personal superannuation contributions you wish to claim a tax deduction for, ensure you notify your superannuation fund well before you intend to lodge your tax return.  Most funds have their own notice form, however, the ATO form found here can be used for all funds.

Hint: some life insurance policy payments are treated as super contributions due to the environment in which the policies are held.  You may be eligible to claim a tax deduction for these premiums too.  You should confirm this with your insurance policy provider.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility to make personal deductible contributions, or just simply require peace of mind knowing you have claimed correctly, don’t hesitate to speak with us.



This content has been prepared to provide you with general information only and has not taken into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. It does not contain and it is not to be taken to contain Personal Financial Advice. Before making any financial or investment decisions, you should seek advice from an appropriately licenced or authorised financial advisor.

The content was prepared by UHY Haines Norton. AFS Licence No. 483056

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