Change to spouse tax offset

Currently, an individual can claim a tax offset up to a maximum of $540 for contributions they make to their spouse’s eligible super fund if, among other things, the total of the spouse’s assessable income, total reportable fringe benefits and reportable employer super contributions is under $13,800.

From 1 July 2017, the spouse’s income threshold will increase to $40,000. The current 18% tax offset of up to $540 will remain and will be available for any individual, whether married or de facto, contributing to a recipient spouse whose income is up to $40,000. As is currently the case, the offset gradually reduces for incomes above $37,000 and completely phases out at incomes above $40,000.

Individuals will not be entitled to the tax offset when:

  • the spouse receiving the contribution has exceeded their non-concessional contributions cap for the relevant year, or
  • the spouse has a total superannuation balance equal to or more than the general transfer balance cap ($1.6 million for 2017–18) immediately before the start of the financial year in which the contribution was made.

The intent of this change is to extend the current spouse tax offset to more couples to allow them to support each other in saving for retirement. The government expects this move will better target super tax concessions to low-income earners and people with interrupted work patterns.

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This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs.