Q: My wife plans to take six months off work when our first child arrives later this year. Can I supplement her super contributions?
A: Yes, you may be able to do that, depending on her income level. The Government has had a spouse contribution arrangement in place for some time and since July 1, the spouse contribution threshold has changed to make the scheme more widely available.
You will be able to claim a maximum tax offset of $540 if you contribute to your spouse’s (married or de facto) super fund and your spouse’s income is $37,000 or less.
In previous years the spouse’s income had to be $13,800 or less for you to be able to claim the offset.
The tax offset is calculated as 18 per cent of the contribution, up to the maximum of $540. A $3000 contribution would generate a $540 offset.
The tax offset amount reduces for income above $37,000 and cuts out completely when your spouse’s income reaches $40,000.
For example, if your spouse earns $38,000 a $3000 contribution would be reduced by $1000 to calculate the offset – that is, you would be entitled to 18 per cent of $2000 ($360).
The change means more people are eligible to claim the rebate. The Government’s intention is to provide a concession so that contributions could be made for low-income earners and people with interrupted work patterns.
There are some eligibility requirements. Both you and your partner must be Australian residents when the contributions are made.
The contributions must not be made to satisfy a family law obligation to split contributions with your spouse. You and your spouse must not be living separately when the contributions are made.
The contributions must be to a complying super fund.
For the purposes of calculating the offset, your spouse’s income includes assessable income, total reportable fringe benefits and reportable employer super contributions.