Self-employed deductions

If you are self-employed or substantially self-employed, you can make contributions to your super and claim a full tax deduction. Tax deductions for the self-employed are only available for contributions paid to a complying fund, such as Media Super, or a retirement savings account.

Do I qualify as substantially self-employed?

To be eligible for a self-employed tax deduction you must earn less than 10% of your income – including assessable income, reportable fringe benefits and reportable employer superannuation contributions – from an employer. Other eligibility conditions apply.

How much can I claim?

While you can claim a tax deduction for all your super contributions in your tax return, the ATO will apply additional tax if your super contributions exceed the relevant concessional and non-concessional contributions caps.

You can only use deductions for your super contributions to reduce your taxable income to nil - you cannot add to, or create a loss for, your business through contributing.

How to claim a tax deduction

If you have made super contributions into your Media Super account and wish to claim a tax deduction, you will need to notify us before the earliest of the dates when:

  • you lodge your tax return for the year the contributions were made
  • the end of the financial year after the financial year in which you made the contributions, and
  • you formally request a withdrawal benefit from the Fund (if applicable).

Please use the Deduction for personal super contributions form to notify Media Super of the amount you will claim as a deduction. This form details the amount you have paid in super contributions during the year. To claim a tax deduction you must complete the form, return it to Media Super and receive acknowledgment of the amount from Media Super.

If you operate a company it is the company that claims the full deduction, so do not use the form referred to above. Super contributions made by the company are treated as employer contributions.

Important information

  • In most cases, your personal super contributions will not be taxed if you do not notify Media Super that you intend to claim a deduction. They will be treated as voluntary contributions for tax purposes..
  • The Deduction for personal super contributions form enables you to notify Media Super of the amount you will claim as a deduction. We then provide you with an acknowledgement as proof of your notification.
  • Super contributions tax will be calculated on the amount that you are claiming as a tax deduction. The tax will be deducted from your Media Super account and sent to the ATO.