First Home Super Saver Scheme

First home supersaver scheme: Salary sacrifice for first home-owner savers – super contributions made from 1 July 2017 may be withdrawn from 1 July 2018 for a first home deposit. See further: First Home Super Saver Scheme

First Home Super Saver Scheme

First announced in the 2017-18 Federal Budget, this is a scheme to encourage first home buyers by enabling super funds to house the savings for a deposit.

From 1 July 2017, the Scheme will allow first home buyers to salary sacrifice into their superannuation fund. The tax advantages of doing so are intended to encourage them to save for a house deposit.

Both members of a couple will be able to take advantage of the concession.

Super contributions made from 1 July 2017 may be withdrawn from 1 July 2018 for a first home deposit. Concessional contributions and earnings withdrawn will be taxed at marginal rates less a 30% offset.

Up to $15,000 per year can be contributed, $30,000 in total within existing caps.

Both members of a couple can combine savings for a single deposit to buy their first home together.

The FHSS Scheme applies to the concessional and non-concessional contributions (subject to the contribution caps) that an individual voluntarily makes through either personal contributions or through salary sacrificing arrangements, provided that those contributions are made within the existing contribution caps.

The Scheme uses the standard release authority rules in Division 131 (applying from 1 July 2018) of the Taxation Administration Act 1953  to facilitate the release of amounts from superannuation.

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Illegal Super Schemes – Beware of Offers to Withdraw Your Super Early

Have you ever been offered help to withdraw your superannuation early? Generally, you cannot access your super until you retire.

Some people promoting illegal super schemes will tell you that they can help you access your super now to pay off credit card debt, buy a house or car, or go on holiday.

These schemes are illegal. They will cost you a lot more than the super you access and may get you into a lot of trouble.

How illegal super schemes operate

Illegal super schemes usually involve someone offering to help you access your super early.

Promoters of illegal super schemes usually:

Illegal super schemes often target people who are under financial pressure or who do not understand the super laws.

Taking your super out from any super fund early without meeting what is called a ‘condition of release’, or encouraging others to do so, is illegal.

Illegal super schemes may lead to identity theft

If you participate in one of these schemes, you may become a victim of identity theft. Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal details to commit fraud or other crimes.

Once your identity has been stolen and misused, it can take years to fix.

Rollovers to an SMSF

Most illegal super schemes require you to transfer your super from your super fund into an SMSF. This can be called a ‘rollover’.

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Low Income Super Tax Offset Contribution (LISTO)

The government will introduce a Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset (LISTO), which will replace the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) policy that has been repealed from 1 July 2017.

LISTO will provide continued support for low-income earners and ensure that generally they do not pay more tax on their super contributions than on their take-home pay.

From 1 July 2017, eligible individuals with an adjusted taxable income up to $37,000 will receive a LISTO contribution to their super fund. The LISTO contribution will be equal to 15% of their total concessional (pre-tax) super contributions for an income year, capped at $500.

For more information on Etax, myTax ATO and online tax return, please contact us at 1300768284 or you can email us at

Overseas Super Management Tax Refund

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident heading overseas, your super remains subject to the same rules, even if you are leaving Australia permanently. This means you cannot access your super until you reach preservation age and retire, or satisfy another condition of release.

If you have a small super account you want to keep with your super fund, contact your super fund and tell them. This will avoid it from being transferred to us as unclaimed super.

You should check your super regularly and combine any accounts you no longer need. You can do this through your tax agent. Combining several super accounts means you don’t have to pay multiple sets of fees and charges.

If you are planning on moving permanently or indefinitely to New Zealand, you can leave your super in Australia or transfer it to a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme from a participating Australian super fund.

Self-managed super

If you are a trustee of a self-managed super fund and you intend to travel overseas for an absolute period, check before you leave that your fund will continue to meet the definition of an Australian
super fund

Higher education and trade support loans

From 1 January 2016, if you have moved overseas and have a Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) or Trade Support Loan (TSL) debt, you will have the same refund obligations as those who live in Australia. This applies if you already live or intend to move overseas for a total of more than six months in any 12-month period.

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Check if workers are employees or contractors

It’s important to check whether your workers are employees or contractors, as your tax, super and other government obligations are different depending on whether the working arrangement is employment or contracting.

If you get it wrong and fail to meet your obligations, you risk having to pay penalties and charges.

Engaging a new worker

Before you enter into a work agreement or contract with a worker, you need to check whether the arrangement you’re planning to enter is one of employment or contracting.

You should check every time you engage a new worker, unless the working arrangement is identical to that of another worker which you’ve already checked.

Unless it’s exactly the same working arrangement, including the specific terms and conditions under which the work is performed, there could be a different outcome in relation to whether the worker is an employee or contractor. Minor variations in working arrangements can result in different outcomes.

If you have not checked for existing workers

If you’ve previously engaged a worker without checking our information about whether the arrangement is employment or contracting, you should review your earlier decision now to make sure you got it right.

For example, if you made the decision to treat your worker as a contractor because they have an Australian business number (ABN) or specialist skills or you only need them during busy periods, you need to review this earlier decision now. None of these things will make a worker a contractor. They may instead be an employee.

If you’ve engaged a worker incorrectly (such as engaging them as a contractor when they are an employee) you’ll need to meet the correct tax and super obligations for the worker from their start date, not just from when you identified the mistake.

For more information on Etax, Mytax and online tax return, please contact us at 1300768284 or you can email us at