Extra super from the government

Written and accurate as at: 13 October 2014

The Low Income Super Contribution (LISC) is special contribution from the Government which is a refund of contributions tax deducted from your superannuation contributions. It was originally introduced for 2012/13, however due to Government’s recent decision to abolish the Mineral Resources Rent Tax (Mining Tax), this refund has been extended for 4 more years and will now be available until 30 June 2017.

The Low Income Super Contribution (LISC), also known as the super tax refund, applies to 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17. To be eligible for the refund in any financial year, you must:

  • Be a permanent resident of Australia.
  • Have ‘adjusted taxable income’ of $37,000 or less in that year.
  • Have 10% of more of your ‘total income’ sourced from your business or an employment arrangement.
  • Make concessional (before-tax) contributions to your superannuation fund, or have your employer make contributions on your behalf. If you are employed, these amounts may include employer superannuation guarantee payments or any amounts you contribute to super via a salary sacrifice contribution. If you are self-employed, they may include any personal deductible contributions that you make in a financial year.
  • Advise your superannuation fund of your Tax File Number.

The minimum Low Income Super Contribution amount payable is $20 and the maximum you may be eligible for in any one financial year is $500. Payment of the refund is made directly into the superannuation fund to which you or your employer made the concessional contributions. In some cases, the processing of the refund can take up to 14 months from the end of the financial year in which the super contribution was paid.

If you are eligible, you do not need to do anything extra in order to receive the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) as your entitlement to the refund will be automatically calculated if:

  • You lodge a tax return for the 2012/13 years (or later); or
  • If you don’t lodge a tax return, then they will use the contribution information received from your superannuation fund to calculate your entitlement.

In some instances you may be able to apply to have the refund paid directly to you, rather than into your superannuation fund. You may be eligible for direct payment if you:

  • Are age 65 or over and are either working or retired; or
  • Are retired from the workforce and have reached your preservation age.

For those people who may be retired, reached preservation age or over age 65, a separate payment request form, found on the ATO website will need to be completed. If you would like to know more about how the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) works or whether you may be entitled for a refund, we recommend you contact your adviser or the Australian Taxation Office.