Over 50s underprepared for tax time: St.George Bank

Mature Australians are using high interest savings and term deposits for their cash savings but General Manager of St.George Retail, Ross Miller, says this age group need to consider where this ‘at call’ cash is best placed, particularly with the lead up to tax time and the upcoming changing superannuation rules.

St.George bank recently surveyed 1,000 Australians aged from 50 - 75 and despite the view held by many respondents that they want to benefit in retirement by choosing part time work, having the time and ability to care for their loved ones, and using their savings to enjoy travel and family holidays, only a quarter of respondents had reviewed their financial plan.

“Tax savings can help this age group achieve these priorities, but the fact that only 26% of respondents had reviewed their financial plan signals that many are under prepared for tax time,” Miller explained.

He says it’s not too late to start planning and get ready for tax time. Here are some of the bank’s  top EOFY tips for over 50s: 

1. Look into the “bring forward super rule”. According to St.George, if you’re under 65 years old and have made no more than $180,000 in annual after tax contributions in the last two financial years, you may be able to contribute as much as $540,000 before July 1.

2. Top up your super. Consider making an extra super contribution before June 30, as the before-tax contribution cap will get reduced from $35,000 to $25,000 for those aged from 50 - 64 years on July 1.  

3. Help out your spouse. Depending on you and your partner’s financial situation, you may be able to top up his or her super by up to $3,000 and claim an 18% tax offset.

4. Gather your work related receipts. While you can lodge claims without receipts, if you wind up being audited you’ll need to back yourself up in the form of proof such as tax invoices.

5. Search for unclaimed super. Did you know, that as a nation Aussies have lost around $16.2 million worth in super contributions? See if some of it’s yours at the ATO.