Too Much Super?

July 11, 2011

As the end of financial year approaches, superannuation issues are some of the most important considerations that tax payers should be aware of. One such issue is the danger of super contributions exceeding the contributions cap. If the contributions exceed the cap, then it is possible to pay almost 93 per cent tax on a super contribution in penalty for the breach.

To avoid being penalised, keep in mind that there are only a limited number of contributions that can be elected not to count towards the non-concessional contributions cap. These include contributions arising from personal injury payments and the proceeds from certain small business assets. There are a number of circumstances that should raise alarm bells:

  • Keep track of when an employer makes a superannuation guarantee payment. If they make it in July instead of June, this could force up the contribution.
  • The same applies to contributions which are made before June, but aren’t processed until July or later. This can increase a contribution unbeknownst to the taxpayer.
  • If a tax payer has multiple jobs, then it is possible that the superannuation guarantees by each employer can push them over the edge and make them qualify for the excess contributions tax.

The limit for concessional tax deductible contributions is very low, and so many people are being pushed inadvertently over the limit. Make sure to consult a professional and find out whether circumstances warrant asking the Commissioner to reconsider the excess contribution assessment.