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Income protection insurance: An often overlooked tax deduction

Many Australians overlook the fact that they can claim the premiums paid for income protection insurance as a tax deduction. Income protection insurance policies are designed to protect you in the event that you become unable to work due to illness or injury. Most policies will pay you a pre-determined portion of your previous income, meaning that you will be able to maintain necessities such as mortgage repayments and groceries.

It is advisable for everyone to think about whether or not they can afford not to have income protection insurance. However, if you are the breadwinner in your household or have a significant amount of debt, then income protection insurance is an even more critical investment.

The high premiums associated with income protection insurance policies can see a lot of people justifying not purchasing one. However, it is also common for taxpayers to be unaware that they can claim income protection insurance premiums as a tax deduction, thus making significant savings on their overall tax bill.

Posted on 11 February '15 by , under Tax.

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Superfund categories and what they mean

There are four different categories of super funds. These have different primary features and are more applicable to certain people than they are to others.

Retail super funds

Anyone can join retail funds. They are mostly run by banks and investment companies:

  • Allow for a wide range of investment options.
  • Financial advisors may recommend this type of fund as they receive commissions or might get paid fees for them.
  • Although they usually range from medium to high cost, there may be low-cost alternatives.
  • The companies that own these funds will aim to keep some of the profit they yield

Industry super funds

Anyone can join bigger industry funds, but smaller ones may only be open to people in certain industries i.e. health.

  • Most are accumulation funds but some older ones may have defined benefit members
  • Range from low to medium cost
  • Not-for-profit, so all profits are put back into the fund

Public sector super funds

Only available for government employees

  • Employers contribute more than the 9.5% minimum
  • Modest range of investment choices
  • Newer members are usually in an accumulation fund, but many of the long-term members have defined benefits
  • Low fees
  • Profits are put back into the fund

Corporate super funds

Arranged by employers for employees. Large companies may operate corporate funds under the board of trustees. Some corporate funds are operated by retail or industry funds, but availability is restricted to employees

  • If managed by bigger fund, wide range of investment options
  • Older funds have defined benefits, but most are accumulation funds
  • Low to medium costs for large employers, could be high cost for small employers

Self-managed super funds

Private super fund you manage yourself. Many more nuances to this type of fund. Most prominent feature is the autonomy over investment.

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