It's easy to claim a tax deduction on money you add to your super, if you're eligible. Approximately 24,000 QSuper members submitted a claim in 2020-21, receiving an estimated $29 million back in total.1 The average claim was $1,200.

Benefits of claiming the tax on super contributions

Claiming a tax deduction for your personal super contribution (a.k.a. voluntary, after-tax, or non-concessional contribution) or standard member contribution has 3 main benefits:

Pay less tax

Claiming a tax deduction when completing your tax return lowers your taxable income – so depending on your income, you could pay less tax.

Grow your super

Any extra contributions you make now create a big difference to how much you end up with over time.

Long-term tax benefits

Adding to your super is not just a boost to your tax return. Generally, there are also tax advantages for investment earnings and CGT as your super fund invests your money.

How to claim a super deduction

You can claim a tax deduction for:

To make a claim:

  1. 1
    Check how much you paid in personal contributions or standard contributions this financial year in Member Online.
  2. 2
  3. 3We'll write to let you know we've processed your request – don't submit your tax return before you get our letter.
  4. 4In your tax return, list the amount you're claiming in the supplementary section.

Understanding the personal super contribution deduction

We break down the dollar figures so you can see how claiming a tax deduction, even after paying tax on the contribution, can mean you pay less in tax.

Eligibility Can I claim my super contributions as a tax deduction?

If you want to claim a tax deduction for a QSuper account, you need to:

  • Be a QSuper member with an Accumulation account
  • Make personal after-tax contributions or standard contributions to your QSuper Accumulation account before 30 June in the financial year you want to claim the deduction (allow extra time for bank processing or postal delays, especially if paying by cheque or money order)
  • Tell us how much you want to claim in Member Online or the paper form (pdf) before you submit your tax return
  • Wait until we confirm how much tax you've paid on that amount
  • Earn income as an employee or by running a business – only if you're under 18 at the end of the financial year you made the contributions in.

For more detail, read the factsheet attached to the form (pdf) or download our Personal Contributions Guide (pdf).

How super contributions tax affects your deduction

Although you made the contributions from your after-tax pay, when you claim a tax deduction, your super fund treats them as before-tax (concessional) contributions.

This means you pay the 15% super contributions tax (or 30% if you earn more than $250,000/year). If you haven't given your super fund your tax file number (TFN), the super tax rate may be higher.

How much you'll benefit from claiming a tax deduction on your super contributions depends on your normal tax rate, and how much your super contribution is reduced by when you claim a tax deduction on it.

If you're earning less than $56,112 per year, you may wish to claim the government's super co-contribution instead of a tax deduction.

Your income Income tax rate (ATO) Super tax rate
Up to $18,200 0% 15%
$18,201 – $45,000 19% on amount over $18,200 15%
$45,001 – $120,000 $5,092, plus 32.5% on amount over $45,000 15%
$120,001 – $180,000 $29,467, plus 37% on amount over $120,000 15%
$180,001 and over $51,667, plus 45% on amount over $180,000 15% - 30%

Other ways to grow your super

Discover more ways you can add to your super, such as other contribution types. Or find out ways to claim other benefits apart from tax deductions.

Find out more

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about claiming super

Yes, depending on which type of super contribution you made, you may be able to claim a tax deduction.

You can claim a tax deduction for:

You cannot claim a tax deduction:

  • On before-tax (concessional) contributions (e.g. salary sacrificed contributions or your employer's SG contributions)
  • On First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) amounts or COVID-19 withdrawals you've accessed and then re-contributed to your super fund
  • On eligible downsizer contributions
  • If you've started an income stream
  • If the fund no longer has the money (e.g. if you've withdrawn it or switched super funds)
  • If the contribution was actually a transfer/rollover from another fund (including foreign pension funds)
  • If you want to receive the government's super co-contribution for low income earners.

When your employer pays your super or you salary sacrifice money to your super from your before-tax, you pay the contributions tax on superannuation, which is 15% (or 30% tax if you earn more than $250,000/year).

Investment earnings your super makes are also taxed at up to the 15% super tax rate.

If you make an after-tax contribution (personal or voluntary contribution), you don't pay this tax because you've already paid income tax. But when you claim a tax deduction on it, the 15% super contributions tax does get charged.

Technically, there's no such thing as tax-free super contributions. Either you pay your normal income tax rate on the money and then add it from your bank to your super (personal after-tax contributions), or you pay the super contributions tax of 15% (salary sacrifice before-tax contributions).

Generally in 2021-22, you can add a total of up to $27,500 in concessional contributions before tax each financial year, and up to $110,000 per year in non-concessional (personal/voluntary/after-tax) contributions.

These are normally taxed at 15% (or 30% if you earn more than $250,000/year), or more if you haven't given your TFN to your super fund.

Find out more about the contribution limits.

Yes, claiming a tax deduction changes your contribution from non-concessional to concessional, and your concessional cap also includes your employer and salary sacrifice contributions. So it's worth checking whether you're close to your before-tax (concessional) contribution cap for the year before deciding how much to claim for your deduction.

No, you can only claim a tax deduction for this financial year for super contributions you made during this financial year.

However, it's worth learning about the carry-forward and bring-forward rule, which are similar to backdating super contributions. These two rules mean that if you're eligible and you haven't contributed up to the full limits in a particular year, you can contribute more the next year.

If you're claiming a tax deduction for super contributions, you list the amount you're allowed to claim as a deduction in your tax return.

However, if you're not claiming a deduction, you don't need to include super contributions in your tax return.

Claim your tax deduction

We make it easy to add money to your super now and claim your tax deduction.

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1. Assumes a 30% average tax rate, less 15% contributions tax. Figures are estimates only based on these QSuper members accounts only.

2. You cannot claim a tax deduction for standard member contributions made to a Defined Benefit account.

3. This case study for illustrative and educational purposes only, and the members shown are not real. Additionally, figures may be rounded for ease of understanding. Members should seek advice from a qualified licensed professional, regarding their own circumstances. $3,450 tax return is based of $10,000 in post-tax contributions multiplied by a marginal tax rate is 34.5% including 2% Medicare levy. Tax return does not take into account other income and deductions or tax offsets. This case study is for illustrative purposes only to show how a tax deductions work for super contributions, and we haven't taken into account your personal tax liability. The calculation is based on tax rates for the 2021-22 financial year and assumes Sam has met all terms and conditions.

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