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The First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) aims to make it easier for Australians to save for a first home via voluntary contributions to their superannuation.
The FHSSS allows aspiring homeowners, who have never owned property in Australia to put some super towards a home deposit.
This involves making voluntary superannuation contributions with the intention of later withdrawing these funds (along with deemed earnings) for a deposit on a home. It works by potentially reducing the amount of tax you pay, helping you save for your first home sooner.
To qualify you must:
A single home buyer could make voluntary superannuation contributions of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total.
You can make additional voluntary concessional (before-tax) and non-concessional (after-tax) contributions to the scheme. Mandated employer contributions, such as Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions or standard employer contributions made by a Queensland Government employer, do not count towards the FHSSS. Be mindful that contribution caps still apply.
The maximum amount that can be released under the scheme is the sum of your eligible contributions and deemed associated earnings. This amount includes:
It is important to note that the maximum amount that can be released is not necessarily the actual amount you will receive from the ATO. See ‘How to get it’ below for further information.
From 1 July 2018 you can apply to release your voluntary contributions made on or after 1 July 2017, along with the associated deemed earnings, to help you purchase your first home. To withdraw the accumulated funds from your super fund:
It is important to read further detailed information to understand how this process might apply to your personal situation.
It’s important to consider whether participating in the scheme is right for you.
You can make contributions at any age but can’t apply to release FHSSS funds until you are 18 years old.
For the most part, yes. However, the Australian Government has proposed that people may be able to access funds under the FHSSS if they have suffered a financial hardship. Conditions of this special consideration are available on the ATO website.
Yes. Contribution limits apply to individuals, so both members of a couple buying a first home may use the scheme. Each member is subject to the $15,000 yearly contribution limit, up to $30,000 over multiple years.
You may still buy a home together using your FHSSS funds, but your partner may not participate in FHSSS.
You can make voluntary contributions into your super fund with the intention of using that money for your home deposit, as either a concessional contribution (before-tax) or a non-concessional contribution (after-tax). Contribution caps apply.
Concessional contributions include salary sacrifice contributions and are taxed at 15%. Non-concessional contributions are made from your after-tax pay.
Mandated employer contributions, such as SG contributions or standard employer contributions made by a Queensland Government employer, remain in your super fund until retirement and will not count toward the scheme.
You do not need to let QSuper know that you plan to participate in the scheme. You can simply make the voluntary contributions and then apply to the ATO to release the money.
The FHSSS will apply to voluntary superannuation contributions of up to $15,000 per financial year and $30,000 in total made from 1 July 2017 onwards.
Starting from 1 July 2018, you can apply to release your contributions, along with associated earnings, to fund your new home if you meet the eligibility criteria listed above. You can only apply once.
The FHSSS applies to a residence – but not a houseboat or mobile home. You cannot use it to purchase any premises not capable of being occupied as a residence, or vacant land.
Yes, you must live there. You must move in as soon as it’s practical and live there for at least six months of the following 12 months. This is to avoid the money being used to buy an investment property.
Under the FHSSS, if you do not end up buying a qualifying home within the 12-month timeframe, you must re-contribute the assessable FHSSS released amounts, minus any tax that has been deducted within the 12 months period (or 24-month period if an extension has been granted by the ATO). You will not be able to access these funds again under the FHSSS. Any non-concessional contributions that have been released do not have to be recontributed.
If you keep the released amount, you will be subject to a FHSSS tax. This is equal to 20% of your assessable FHSSS released amounts.
Assessable FHSSS released amounts will be taxed at your marginal tax rate less a 30% offset, or at 17% if the tax Commissioner is not able to estimate your expected marginal rate. No tax is payable on any non-concessional contributions that are released.
The payment summary that you receive from the ATO will show the amount of tax withheld. You will need to include this amount and assessable FHSSS released amounts in your tax return for the year you request the release.
More information about the FHSSS can be found on the Australian Government’s website at homeownership.gov.au
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QSuper members have access to financial advice from QInvest1, who can help you decide if participating in the FHSSS is right for you.
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There are a number of ways you can make contributions into your superannuation account.
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1 QInvest Limited (ABN 35 063 511 580 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence Number 238274) is a separate legal entity responsible for the financial services and credit services it provides. Advice fees may apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide for more information.