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Spouse contributions

Read about the potential tax benefits of making super contributions to your spouse’s super, or splitting certain contributions that have been made to your own account.

What is a spouse contribution?

A spouse contribution is an after-tax (voluntary) contribution made to your spouse’s super account. Spouse contributions build up your super as a couple and can be tax effective. By making a contribution to your spouse’s super, not only are you helping them – if your partner earns less than $40,000 a year you could be eligible for a tax offset (up to $540). It’s a great way to make sure that one partner’s super doesn’t suffer if they are working reduced hours, on parental leave, or unable to work.

How to make a spouse contribution

Your spouse will need to join legalsuper before they can receive contributions made by you.

 A completed Spouse Contribution form must be sent to legalsuper with each spouse contribution:

Spouse contribution (90.02 KB)

How to claim a tax offset for a spouse contribution

A tax offset of up to $540 may be available for up to $3,000 of superannuation contributions made by a tax payer on behalf of a non-working or low-income spouse. The spouse contributions offset cannot be claimed for contributions split from your account to your spouse’s account. 

The offset can be claimed through the completion of the T3 section of your tax return. For more information, refer to the Australian Taxation Office.

Eligibility

The offset is available to a person where:

  • the person has a spouse; 
  • the person makes after-tax (i.e. not salary sacrifice) contributions on behalf of his/her spouse;
  • the contributions are not tax deductible for the person contributing; 
  • both the person contributing and the spouse are Australian residents when the contribution is made; 
  • at the time the contribution is made, the person contributing and the spouse must not have been living separately and apart on a permanent basis; and 
  • the spouse’s total income (including assessable income, reportable fringe benefits and salary sacrifice amounts) is less than $40,000.

The receiving spouse: 

  • if under age 65 at the time the contribution is received, is not required to have ever been gainfully employed; 
  • if aged 65-69 when the contribution is received, must be gainfully employed for at least 40 hours in a period of not more than 30 consecutive days in that financial year; 
  • cannot be accepted into an account after the receiving spouse turns age 70; and 
  • must be an Australian resident for the contributor to be eligible to claim a tax offset.

The spouse of a person includes:

  • another person with whom the person is in a relationship that is registered under a state law or territory law; and 
  • another person who, although not legally married to the person, lives with the person on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple.

 Spouse contributions are currently treated as follows for taxation purposes:

  • non-concessional contributions; 
  • tax free when withdrawn (but interest on these amounts may be taxed); and 
  • not subject to 15% contributions tax.