Next Valentine’s Day, make a date with the ATO and check out the possibility of splitting with your spouse. No, wait, that came out wrong… let’s start again.
The Beatles got it right when they said “money can’t buy me love” – but Australian couples certainly give it a try every February 14.
Estimates vary on exactly how much Aussies spent in pursuit of love in 2017 – and how much they were expected to spend this year; but even at the most conservative end of the scale, it’s a lot.
According to the Commonwealth Bank’s latest spending data customers splashed out more than $23 million on dinner, drinks and flowers alone in 2017. Research by finder.com.au put the figure at $253 million – and that just by married couples who tied the knot in the past five years.
Meanwhile an IBISworld forecast predicted Australians would spend whopping $1.09 billion on February 14 this year, including $621.3 million on travel and accommodation.
All very nice, but these are not exactly declarations of everlasting love are they?
Cut flowers die within weeks – and they can aggravate allergies (some kinds of lilies can even kill your cat). Chocolates are gone in minutes, not to mention they’re bad for your teeth and don’t get us started on blood sugar. Even a night out at a fancy restaurant or a weekend in the country are fleeting tokens, there and gone – along with the money you’ve thrown at them.
For the really devoted partner, there’s a more durable gift to show your love and commitment.
Nothing says I love you forever like a spouse contribution
There’s nothing sexier than a bright, comfortable future and contributing to your spouse or partner’s super is a simple way of boosting your long-term saving plans; together, like a couple. Hmmm, dreamy.
As a slightly less amorous bonus, you might also pay less tax. Why? Because spouse contributions aren’t subject to the usual 15% contributions tax and they are tax-free on withdrawal. Not only do you save on tax, but you’ll both be better off in retirement; win-win.
And – really, it just gets hotter – if your significant other isn't working or earns less than $13,800 a year you may be able to claim a tax offset of up $540.
A trip to the Australian Tax Office, even a virtual one, may not seem like the world’s most romantic date – but we bet you’ve never done it before and nothing spices up a relationship like a little spontaneity, right?
Valentine’s Day can be fun and it’s nice to get flowers and chocolates and wine and things that make you say ahhh; but why not make it an earner for your loved one’s future – and, if you play your cards right, your own future self.
Next Valentine’s Day, make a date with the ATO and check out the possibility of splitting your employer super contributions with your spouse… and maybe chuck in a box of chocolates, just to sweeten the deal.