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First home super saver scheme

Section: 2.11

2.11 First home super saver scheme

The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme allows members to save for their first home within the concessionally taxed superannuation environment.

Maximum contribution amount per year

An individual can contribute a maximum of $15,000 per year to their superannuation fund, under the FHSS Scheme. This can be made up of voluntary concessional or non-concessional contributions.

Withdrawal limit

The maximum amount that can be withdrawn from the FHSS Scheme is currently $30,000* per person. The FHSS release amount is the sum of eligible contributions and associated earnings, and includes:

  • 100% of eligible non-concessional contributions
  • 85% of eligible concessional contributions, and
  • deemed associated earnings**

Contribution caps still apply

Super contributions made under the FHSS Scheme must fall within the annual limits of the general concessional contribution cap and/ or the non-concessional contribution cap.

Contributions counted towards the FHSS scheme must be voluntary contributions, but can be either:

Concessional contributions (on which 15% tax is levied)

  • Salary sacrifice
  • Member deductible, or

Non-concessional contributions:

  • After-tax personal contributions
Note:
Compulsory Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions paid by an employer do not count towards FHSS savings. Spouse contributions are also ineligible.

Eligibility for the FHSS Scheme

To be eligible an individual must:

  • be 18 years of age or over to apply for the release of super contributions under the FHSS Scheme
  • have not previously owned a property in Australia (including investment property, vacant land, or commercial property)
  • have not previously requested the ATO to issue an FHSS release authority
  • intend to live in the property purchased as soon as practicable after buying, and must live in the property for at least six of the first 12 months
  • purchase a property in Australia

The FHSS scheme applies per individual

Eligibility for the FHSS Scheme is assessed on an individual basis. This means people purchasing a property together can each access their own FHSS contribution and withdrawal limits to purchase the same property. If one individual (e.g. a member of a couple) is not a first home buyer, this does not affect the other eligible individual(s).

Taxation of FHSS withdrawals

Withdrawal of FHSS amounts from super are subject to taxation. The assessable FHSS amount is subject to withholding tax at an individual's marginal tax rate (MTR), less a 30% tax offset.

The assessable FHSS amount is comprised of concessional contributions and the associated earnings on both concessional and non-concessional contributions. This amount must be declared as income in the year in which the FHSS withdrawal has been received.

Making an FHSS withdrawal

An individual must apply for and receive an FHSS determination from the ATO prior to signing a contract. Once the funds are released, the individual must sign a contract to build or purchase a home within 12 months (a 12-month extension can be granted in some circumstances). If the individual does not proceed with purchasing or building a home, they have 12  months to recontribute the assessable released FHSS amount into superannuation. If there is no property purchase, 20% FHSS tax will be payable on the assessable FHSS released amount.

*Note: In the May 2021 Federal Budget, the government announced an increase to the maximum withdrawal amount from $30,000 to $50,000 to commence 1 July 2022 (not yet law).

**Note: the ATO calculates deemed earnings using the 90-day bank bill rate plus 3%.

This technical resource is intended for the use of financial advisers only. It is current as at the date of publication but may be subject to change. This publication has been prepared without taking into account a potential investor's objectives, financial situation, needs or objectives. Before making a recommendation based on this material, you should consider its appropriateness based on the client's objectives, financial situation and needs. Rainmaker Group is not a registered tax agent under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009. Your client should refer to a registered tax agent before relying on information published herein that may impact their tax obligations, liabilities or entitlements.

Last modified: Monday, July 5, 2021