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Grow your super with a little help from the Australian Government
If you earn less than $37,0001 in the financial year, and are eligible, the Australian Government refunds the tax you pay on any before-tax contributions made to your superannuation account – up to a maximum of $500. This is known as the low income super tax offset (LISTO), which replaced the low income super contribution (LISC) in 2017.
When before-tax contributions are made to your super account – including salary sacrificing and employer contributions – those contributions are taxed at 15%. To offset the tax deducted for your contributions the LISTO refunds it back into your account. This ensures that, as a low-income earner, you shouldn't pay more tax on your super contributions, than you do on your take-home pay.
Example: Member earning less than $37,000 per annum
Thirty-five-year-old Lisa works casually as a teacher aide, earning $36,000 a year (excluding super), and doesn't make any salary sacrifice super contributions. Her employer contributes the 10% superannuation guarantee (SG) of $3,600, which attracts the 15% contributions tax of $540.
After lodging her tax return, assuming she meets all other LISTO eligibility criteria, the Government will refund the maximum amount of $500 of the tax she paid directly to her super – helping her retirement savings grow.
To be eligible for the LISTO you must:
Download our Personal Contributions Guide (pdf) for more details.
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1. Your adjusted taxable income is the income you get taxed on, disregarding any First Home Super Saved released amount, plus any adjusted fringe benefits, target foreign income, total net investment loss, any pension or benefit that you get from the Government that’s tax-free, plus any reportable superannuation contributions that have had a child maintenance amount deducted.