How do I claim a tax deduction for personal superannuation contributions?

Not everyone can claim tax deductions for personal super contributions. Here are the key eligibility criteria:

  • Age: Generally, you must be under 75 years old to claim a deduction. If you’re 75 or older, you can only claim deductions for contributions made before turning 75 (with a specific deadline).
  • Work Test: If you’re under 67 years old, you must meet the work test. This means you must be gainfully employed for at least 40 hours over a consecutive 30-day period within the financial year.
  • Complying Fund: Your contributions must be made to a complying super fund or retirement savings account (RSA).

The Process:

Claiming a tax deduction for personal super contributions involves a two-step process:

  1. Notice of Intent: You need to notify your super fund or RSA provider of your intention to claim a deduction for your personal contributions. This is done by lodging a “Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal contributions” form with your super fund. Most funds offer online forms or downloadable PDFs for this purpose.
  2. Tax Return: Once you receive an acknowledgement from your super fund confirming your intention to claim, you can include the claimed deduction amount in your tax return. This can be done through the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) online portal “[myTax]” or the paper-based Individual Tax Return supplement.

Important Considerations:

  • Time Limits: There are deadlines for lodging the Notice of Intent with your super fund. Ideally, lodge it before you lodge your tax return for the relevant income year. The latest acceptable date is the end of the income year following the one in which you made the contribution.
  • Contribution Limits: The amount you can claim as a deduction is capped each financial year. The ATO sets these limits, and you can find the current limit on their website
  • Concessional vs. Non-concessional Contributions: Personal super contributions fall under the category of concessional contributions. These are taxed at a concessional rate (currently 15%) within the super fund. There are also non-concessional (after-tax) contributions, which don’t attract a tax deduction but may have different contribution limits. Understanding the difference is crucial for tax purposes.

Benefits and Considerations:

Claiming tax deductions for personal super contributions can offer several benefits:

  • Reduced Tax Bill: By lowering your taxable income, you may be placed in a lower tax bracket, resulting in a smaller tax liability.
  • Boosting Retirement Savings: Personal contributions directly increase your super balance, potentially leading to a more comfortable retirement.

However, there are also some considerations:

  • Impact on Cash Flow: Personal contributions are made with after-tax dollars, so they can impact your immediate spending power.
  • Contribution Caps: Being aware of the annual contribution caps is essential to maximize the deduction benefit.
  • Tax Implications: Seek professional advice if you have complex financial situations or are unsure about the tax implications.

Additional Resources:

For detailed information and resources on claiming tax deductions for personal super contributions, refer to the following resources:


Claiming tax deductions for personal super contributions can be a valuable strategy for building your retirement savings while potentially reducing your tax burden. By understanding the eligibility criteria, the process involved, and the key considerations, you can make informed decisions about maximizing this tax benefit. Remember, seeking professional tax advice is always recommended for complex situations.


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