What are Low Tax Superannuation Contributions?

Low Tax Super Contributions are concessional taxed contributions made into a superannuation account.

They are most relevant in determining the application of the Division 293 Tax to high-income earners.

Low Tax Superannuation Contributions consist of all contributions made to superannuation where a tax deduction has been claimed (i.e. Concessional Contributions), excluding any excess Concessional Contributions.

Low Tax Superannuation Contributions

When a high-income earner is subject to the effective 30% Contributions Tax through the application of Division 293 (additional 15% on top of the standard 15% Contributions Tax), the tax office will only apply the extra 15% tax on the member’s Low Tax Super Contributions, as opposed to all Concessional Contributions.

The reason for this is because it wouldn’t be fair for the additional 15% Division 293 tax to be be applied to Excess Concessional Contributions.

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Excess Concessional Contributions are first taxed at the standard Contributions Tax rate of 15% upon entering a superannuation account, but then are also added to an individual’s income tax return and taxed at their marginal tax rate.

To then apply a 15% Division 293 Tax on top of that would go against the intention of the legislation.

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How To Calculate Low Tax Super Contributions

Low tax superannuation contributions are the sum of:

Employer SG contributions; plus
Any Additional Employer Contributions; plus
Personal Contributions where a tax deduction has been claimed; plus
Assessable Foreign Fund amounts; plus
Defined Benefit Contributions; plus
Assessable Amounts Transferred from a SMSF Reserve.


Excess Concessional Contributions

Low Tax Contributions Using Unused Concessional Carry Forward Rule

From 1 July 2018, individuals with superannuation balances below $500,000 are able to carry forward any unused portion of the Concessional Contribution cap for up to 5 years.

Therefore, from the 2019/2020 financial year the annual Concessional Contribution cap may be exceeded through the provision of the unused carry forward rule without such contributions being classed as excess contributions.

In this instance, such contributions will also be counted as Low Tax Super Contributions, as they do not incur Excess Contributions Tax.

Defined Benefits Low Tax Super Contributions (source ATO)

To figure out the Low Tax Superannuation Contributions made to defined benefit retirement accounts, the total concessional taxed super contributions are collated, disregarding the notional taxed super contributions reported on the Member Contribution Statement, then deduct any Excess Concessional Contributions and add the defined benefit contributions (as reported on the Member Contribution Statement)

Chris Strano

Chris Strano created SuperGuy to help the average punter navigate through the complex and ever-changing super rules. It has since become one of Australia's leading digital super resources. Subscribe to SuperGuy's YouTube channel for the latest strategies to boost your super savings. https://www.youtube.com/c/superguyau

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