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The $540 reason you should split your super with your spouse

·2-min read
An egg sitting in a small nest on a background of Australian currency and a young couple of their wedding day.
Sharing your super with you spouse can score you a $540 tax offset. Find out how (Source: Getty)

Women will often have less money in their super than their male counterparts. But, did you know that a spouse can share their super with their significant other and score a tax offset?

That will not only save you some extra dollars at tax time, but can ensure you and your spouse retire together.

According to the ATO, contributing to your spouse’s super could make you eligible for a tax offset of up to 18 per cent of a $3,000 contribution. So, you could save around $540 per year.

Here is everything you need to know.

Who is eligible to make a spousal contribution?

According to the ATO, you are eligible for spousal contributions if:

  • the sum of your spouse's assessable income was less than $40,000

  • the contributions you made on behalf of your spouse were not deductible to you

  • the person was your spouse when you made the contribution

  • both you and your spouse were Australian residents when you made the contributions

  • you and your spouse were not living separately and apart on a permanent basis when making the contributions, and

  • your spouse did not have:

    • non-concessional contributions totalling more than their non-concessional contributions cap for 2021–21, or

    • more than $1.6 million in their superannuation

How much can I contribute to my spouse’s super?

You can contribute up to 85 per cent of your super contributions, but the tax offset is capped at 18 per cent of the first $3,000.

The maximum tax rebate is 18 per cent of a $3,000 spouse contribution and the full tax rebate is available if your spouse’s income is less than $37,000 per year.

How do I contribute to my spouse’s super?

Splitting super is actually quite easy. Simply ask your super fund to transfer a certain amount of your super contributions over to your spouse's super account.

When it comes to claiming the offset simply inform the ATO when completing your tax return. There should be a record of your super sharing on record.

That’s great but what if I get divorced?

Believe it or not, it makes no difference. Here’s why.

Superannuation is seen as a divisible asset, meaning that should you get divorced your spouse can receive part of your super regardless of whether you contributed to theirs or not.

So, there really is no harm in maximising your super as a couple and taking advantage of the tax offset that comes with it.

In fact, having equalised super could take some complexity out of a situation that you want to be as smooth as possible.

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