The End of Financial Year (EOFY) is coming up next month. Now is a great time to get your finances in order and plan ahead. While 2020 has looked very different for most of us, it’s still important to prepare for EOFY early to avoid the last-minute scramble in June.
To help you make the most of available tax benefits with your super, we’ve put together 9 tips to help you prepare for the 2019/20 end of financial year.
1. Do a financial health check
Many Australians have had a change of work circumstances in 2020. Whether or not your household income has been impacted by COVID-19, it is a good time to review your living expenses and consider updating or creating a budget for the next financial year.
Having a good understanding of where your money is going will help you to make better choices about your spending, saving and investing in the coming year. Are there areas you could cut back on spending and reinvest that cash into your super for your future? If you need help setting up your budget, visit the MoneySmart website.
2. Check your super balance
Your super balance may look lower than usual due to financial market performance in the current climate. This is normal given the global circumstances and history suggests that the market will make a recovery over time. If you have questions about your account, now is a great time to get in touch with our Member Care Team, to avoid the June rush.
You can use the MoneySmart Super Calculator to understand how much you will need in your super account to live on when you retire. Most people would benefit from making additional contributions to boost their super for retirement and to take advantage of the associated tax benefits
3. Consolidate your super accounts
Having multiple super accounts could mean you are paying multiple fees and charges, which may reduce your overall retirement income.
At 30 June 2018, 64% of Australians had just one super account. Which means that 36% of Australians still had two or more accounts. More often than not, these are people who don’t know they have more than one account! If you’re not sure, you can quickly find and manage your super using ATO Online services through myGov.
Visit ATO Online to see all your super accounts, including any you may have forgotten about. You can also use ATO Online to combine multiple super accounts by transferring your super into one super account.
Log in or create a myGov account, link it to the ATO, select ‘super’ and you can then find and choose to transfer your super.
Before you combine multiple accounts, make sure to check you will have the right level of insurance with your remaining superfund.
4. Make additional contributions early
If you want to take advantage of the tax benefits of voluntary super contributions, you will need to make sure these contributions are received by us by 30 June. We recommend making your contribution as soon as possible to avoid any last-minute issues which may delay that contribution being counted toward this financial year.
If you have received extra money this financial year, for example through a bonus, inheritance or through selling something, you may want to consider making a voluntary after-tax contributions to your super so you can claim a tax deduction. Read more about boosting your super and saving on tax.
5. Get the most from your salary
One of the easiest ways to reduce your tax on your wage is to salary sacrifice into your super account. This alone could help reduce tax on your wage by up to 34%. Voluntary super contributions are generally taxed in the fund at a rate of 15%1, instead of your marginal tax rate plus medicare levy which could be up to 47%.
There is a cap on the concessional contributions you can make each financial year, which is $25,000. This means you can only contribute up to $25,000 of employer contributions, salary sacrifice contributions and personally deductible contributions collectively to your super each year. If you go over this cap, you may have to pay extra tax. Refer to the ATO website for more information.
To claim a tax deduction on your voluntary after-tax super contributions, you will need to lodge a Notice of Intent Form with us. This Australian Taxation Office (ATO) form allows you to claim or vary a tax deduction for personal super contributions. Complete the form, attach the necessary payment and send to Locked Bag 5073, Parramatta NSW 2124. If you’d like to make your contribution via BPAY, your BPAY details can be found online via MemberAccess. We will acknowledge the form and payment in writing.
1 There are caps on the concessional contributions you can make each financial year. If you go over the cap, you may have to pay extra tax. Refer to the ATO website for more information.
6. Boost your super with Government Co-contributions
If you are a low to middle-income earner, you may be eligible for a government co-contribution by making voluntary after-tax super contributions before 30 June. You may also be able to take advantage of the low tax rate payable in super on investment earnings.
If you earn less than $53,564 per year and you make after-tax super contributions, the Australian government will also contribute into your super account. For more detail about eligibility and caps that may apply, read our article about the government co-contribution scheme.
7. Consider spouse contributions
If your spouse it not working or earning a low income, you can boost their super by making a contribution to their account and potentially benefit from tax-saving incentives.
You may be able to claim an 18% tax offset of contributions into your spouse’s account up to $3,000 (maximum offset of $540) if your spouse either doesn’t work, or earns a low income (less than $13,800 p.a.).
For more information about potential tax offsets, eligibility and caps, read our article about spouse contributions.
8. Get your paperwork in order
While most employers now use the government’s SingleTouch Payroll system – which sends your annual payment summary directly to the ATO, some employers still provide these directly to you. Therefore, you need to ensure your employer and any additional or previous employers from the 2019/2020 financial year have the correct email and postal addresses to avoid any delay in getting your payment summary or summaries.
9. Understand your Christian Super investment options
EOFY is a good opportunity to review how your super is invested through your selected investment option. Login into MemberAccess to check which investment option you have selected. Learn more about all our investment options by reading our Investment Guide. You can also read more about our newest investment options.
It’s important that you ensure your super is invested in a way that you feel comfortable with and that makes most sense for your stage of life.
Our Member Care Team is here to help you.
Phone: 1300 360 907, 9:00am – 6:00pm (AEDT) Monday to Friday
Disclaimer: The content of this article includes advice that is general in nature and does not consider your personal situation. Christian Super encourages all people considering their options in retirement planning to seek out qualified professionals who can provide specific personal advice.