First Home Super Saver Scheme
The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) is a scheme that enables Australians to save for their first home inside their superannuation fund. The plan allows for faster saving with the before tax (concessional) treatment within super.
The 2017-18 Budget allowed individuals to make voluntary concessional and non-concessional payments into their super to save for their first home as of 1 July 2017. From 1 July 2018, individuals can apply to release their voluntary payments and associated earnings, to buy their first home.
To apply for the release of these funds, individuals must be at least 18 years old and:
– Never owned property in Australia (i.e., commercial or investment property, vacant land, a lease of land in Australia or a company title interest in land in Australia).
– Never requested the Commissioner to grant a FHSS release authority in relation to the scheme in the past.
An individual who has previously owned property in Australia may still be eligible if the Commissioner of Taxation finds they have suffered a financial hardship which resulted in losing ownership of a property.
When the Commissioner determines that an individual has suffered a financial hardship, they must also satisfy additional criteria at the same time they requested a FHSS determination.
Prior to saving, individuals should first:
– make sure their nominated fund will release the money, and;
– query their fund about any charges, fees or insurance considerations that may apply.
Any FHSS amounts received will also affect an individual’s tax for the year they request to release the funds. These individuals will receive payment summaries, where they will be required to include the assessable and tax-withheld amounts in their tax returns.
Individuals can also check their balances with their funds whenever they wish to see how much they have saved up. This will assist individuals to keep track of the maximum FHSS amounts they can request to be released.
Those individuals wanting a release of funds can apply to the Commissioner of Taxation for a FHSS determination and a release.