Super Guide for the self-employed

Self-employed individuals are not required to set aside money to pay superannuation contributions. Self-employed individuals can still take advantage of the superannuation laws by making tax-deductible super contributions and/or non-concessional (after-tax) super contributions.

Such individuals can also take advantage of the co-contribution scheme, and/or can potentially take advange of the small business retirement exemption and other retirement-related incentives. For an individual to be able to make tax-deductible super contributions, they need to be: wholly self-employed as a sole trader or in a partnership; or not employed; or, earn part of their income as an employee but earn less than 10% of their total income from work as an employee.


The employee 10% income test applies even when an employer has paid Superannuation Guarantee on this employee-based income. If a self-employed individual has structured his or her business as a company however, then they must pay Superannuation Guarantee to eligible employees (including himself or herself).

Set out below are all SuperGuide articles explaining Super Guide for the self-employed.

Tax deductible super contributions: Meeting the 10% income test   Super Guide

Q: I work for myself but I also have a part-time job. I have been told that even though I receive SG from my part-time employer, I can also make tax-deductible super contributions. Is that true? And if it is true, how does it work?

Managing capital gains tax with super contributions   Super Guide

Q: I am about to make a capital gain of about $200,000 on an investment property I have owned for several years. My marginal tax rate is 32.5% and I am an employee, and 43 years old.

Who can make tax deductible super contributions?   Super Guide

Generally speaking, you can make two types of super contributions: non-concessional (after-tax) contributions and concessional (before-tax) contributions. Concessional contributions can also include tax-deductible super contributions, where an individual claims a deduction.

Co contributions: Can I claim the tax free bonus as a property investor?   Super Guide

Q: I am not working but I source my income from rents derived from my property investments. Am I able to participate in the Government co-contribution scheme?

Q: What are the possible tax penalties for claiming more than my taxable income?

Q: I’m aged 69 and I will retire in December 2012. Am I entitled to make a deposit into my super fund and receive the Government co-contribution for the 2012/2013 year?