Q: I am thinking of using the new First Home Super Saver Scheme. If I don’t end up buying a home with the money, can I withdraw it from my super account?
A: Last week the Government issued draft legislation for the scheme. The draft provides that you would have 12 months after releasing the savings from the super fund to sign a contract to purchase a qualifying home. You would be able to apply to the Australian Taxation Office for a 12-month extension beyond that.
Funds are released by applying to the ATO, declaring your eligibility.
If you do not buy a home in the period allowed you must either recontribute the release amount into superannuation or pay tax equal to 20 per cent of the amount released.
The effect of this tax would be to remove the benefit of the tax concession you received by using the scheme.
The scheme allows for $15,000 a year (up to a total of $30,000) to be contributed to super as a concessional contribution and put aside for a first home deposit.
The draft legislation provides that you would have to buy “residential premises”. This could include vacant land (if the land was to be built on) but would not include any premises that are not capable of being occupied as a residence. Houseboats and motor homes are not allowed.
You must occupy the premises as soon as practicable.
You are not disqualified from using the scheme if your partner is not a first home buyer.