Claim a tax deduction for your super contributions

If you make voluntary contributions into your superannuation account from your after-tax income (also called non-concessional or personal contributions) – not only are you contributing towards the retirement lifestyle you want, you might also be eligible to claim a tax deduction. This could reduce the amount of income tax you pay and potentially put more money in your pocket at tax time.

Approximately 21,000 QSuper members submitted a claim in 2019-20, receiving an estimated $23 million back in total.1

Claim a tax deduction

What are tax-deductible super contributions

You can claim a tax deduction for:

You cannot claim a tax deduction:

  • If you have commenced an income stream.
  • On any before-tax (concessional) contributions such as salary sacrificed contributions or employer contributions.
  • If the fund no longer holds the contribution.
  • On a payment to your super that is a rollover from another fund (including foreign super funds).
  • On First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) amounts released to you then recontributed to your super fund.
  • On eligible downsizer contributions (pdf).

How claiming on after-tax contributions could reduce your tax

Although you made the contributions from your after-tax pay, by claiming a tax deduction your super fund will treat them as before-tax (concessional) contributions and they will be subject to 15% contributions tax. The benefit of claiming a tax deduction on your super contributions will depend on your marginal tax rate. If you earn more than $45,000 per year, claiming a deduction could be a tax-effective strategy.

Case study female doctor comforting patient

Sam is a registered nurse and earns a salary of $80,000 per annum. During the year, Sam makes $10,000 in voluntary after-tax contributions to QSuper.

Sam lodges a ‘Notice of intent to claim a tax deduction for personal contributions’ with QSuper. Submitting this form means her fund now treats her after-tax contributions as before-tax. Sam has $1,500 (15%) of contributions tax deducted, making her contribution to super $8,500 net of tax.

Sam claims a tax deduction for $10,000 in her tax return, reducing her taxable income to $70,000 for the year (disregarding any other income and deductions). Sam’s marginal tax rate is 34.5% (including the 2% Medicare levy), which means that – after claiming the deduction – she pays $3,450 less in tax. While keeping in mind that $1,500 tax was deducted from Sam’s super contribution, she has added to her super and saved $1,950 in income tax.3

What else to consider

Once you claim a tax deduction, your contributions change from after-tax (non-concessional) to before-tax (concessional) and are part of your yearly contributions cap on before-tax contributions. Your employer and any salary sacrificed contributions also form part of this cap, so factor these in when working out how much of your after-tax contributions you want to claim a tax deduction for.

Keep in mind, if you claim a tax deduction on your voluntary after-tax contributions, they will be subject to 15% contributions tax which means less money will go into your retirement savings.

Check if you're eligible to claim

To be eligible to claim a tax deduction, you must:

  • Make voluntary after-tax (non-concessional) or standard contributions to your QSuper Accumulation account before 30 June in the financial year you want to claim the deduction. QSuper must have received your contribution before 30 June of the financial year.
  • Notify QSuper of the amount you intend to claim as a deduction before you submit your tax return.
  • Receive QSuper's acknowledgement of your notice of intent to claim a deduction.
  • Be a QSuper member with an Accumulation account at the time you give the form to us.
  • Have earned income as an employee or by carrying on a business if you are under 18 at the end of the financial year in which you made the contribution.

Read our fact sheet (pdf) for more information about the eligibility requirements and consider talking to your tax accountant or financial adviser for professional advice. This is particularly important if you are approaching your before-tax (concessional) contribution cap for the year, or if you might be eligible for the Government's super co-contribution.

How to claim a tax deduction

If you are eligible to claim a tax deduction, please notify QSuper in writing before you lodge your annual tax return. You have until the date you submit your tax return or the end of the following financial year in which the contributions were made (whichever is earlier), to claim your tax deduction.

To make a claim:

  1. Check how much you paid in personal contributions this financial year in Member Online under your ‘Yearly transaction summary'.
  2. Click on 'Claim a tax deduction' and follow the prompts, then wait for our acknowledgement letter confirming your eligibility.
  3. Lodge your tax return, stating the amount you are claiming in the supplementary section of your return.

It is important to note that once we receive and acknowledge your valid notice of intent to claim a deduction, you cannot withdraw it but you can apply to reduce it by resubmitting the form. This needs to be done before you lodge your tax return or the end of the following financial year in which the contributions were made (whichever is earlier).

Download our Personal Contributions Guide (pdf) for more details.