If you are self-employed (sole traderABNcontractor, freelancer, etc.) or in a partnership, you don't have to contribute to super.

However, if you want to, you may be able to make personal contributions to a super fund as a long-term retirement strategy - and claim a tax deduction.

From 1 July 2017, anyone up to 65 (and between 65 and 74, who meet the 'work test') can contribute to super and claim a tax deduction -- up to the yearly contribution cap.

Previously, only self-employed people could claim a tax deduction, if they earned less than 10% of their income from an employer (on PAYG, salary, etc.).

To claim a tax deduction:

  • Make sure it's a good idea first, by calling your financial adviser or accountant.
  • Call your super fund and tell them what you want to do.
  • They'll ask you to fill out a form and return it.
  • Make sure they have processed the form (important).
  • Then, claim a tax deduction on your income tax return for that year.

Finally, don't forget about the before and after tax contribution caps and make sure your super fund has recorded your tax file number - otherwise, you could get hit with an extra tax. 

Test Your Knowledge

Sara is a self-employed freelance designer. Is she likely to be eligible to claim a tax deduction for making a $2,000 contribution to super?

Although Sara is self-employed she may be eligible to claim a tax deduction for contributing to super. And because she is smart, she will speak to her accountant before doing anything.

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