The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme is a government program to help save up the deposit on your first home.
You can add up to $15,000 of extra savings to your super each year (total $50,000), then take it out when you're ready to buy.
The government assumes your savings earn a "deemed" return (not your super fund's actual investment returns), which the ATO publishes quarterly.
And if you're buying together with someone else, they can also add to their superannuation and take out $50,000 towards the deposit – so up to $100,000 for a couple.
Check these eligibility criteria to see if you can use the First Home Super Saver Scheme:
At least 18 years old
An Australian citizen or permanent resident
Never owned property before (unless you lost your first property because of special circumstances or divorce)
Make voluntary super contributions to your super
There are a few steps to follow if you want to use the FHSSS and your superannuation to help buy your first home:
Prepare to buy a home
The ATO needs you to apply for your super (step 3) before you sign a house sale contract or home loan contract, but you'll want to have all your ducks lined up and ready to go. For example, applying for home loan pre-approval can help you decide if you're ready to buy yet. Find out more with Moneysmart.gov.au.
Apply with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
a) Part 1: Determination
Click on the ATO in myGov, then apply for a FHSSS determination. The ATO will let you know the maximum you can withdraw from your super.
b) Part 2: Release
You then apply for a release of super from the ATO (in myGov again). Do this step very carefully, because you can only apply once, even if you accidentally withdraw less than the maximum you're allowed.
Get your money
The ATO will ask your super fund to withdraw and send your FHSS savings to the ATO, then they'll tax it again and pay off any outstanding debts you have with the ATO or the government. (This doesn't include a HECS/HELP student loan.)
Buy your home
You can now sign a sale contract and a home loan (mortgage) for your first home. Congratulations! (If you don't manage to buy a home within 12 months, contact the ATO for an extension or to add the money back into your super.)
File your tax return
Speak with your tax adviser about where to list your FHSSS amount, tax paid, and the tax offset in your tax return.
Deciding whether the FHSSS is right for you depends on things like your income, your normal tax rates, how soon you expect to buy, and much more. So it's a good idea to get personal financial advice first.
We can refer you to a financial adviser who can help you decide if it's a good idea based on your whole financial situation. Your membership with us also includes financial advice about the best way to make FHSS Scheme contributions into your ART account.See advice options
If you have questions about how the First Home Super Saver Scheme works, or you'd like to be referred to a financial adviser, please call or email us.
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There are a few things to think about before using the FHSSS, because it's not designed for every first home buyer's situation.
Things to consider
Yes, you can (as long as you meet the eligibility criteria).
If you're allowed to use the FHSSS for your deposit, it won't matter if any of the people you're buying with are not first home buyers.