TFSA

TFSA - Tax-Free Savings Account

The TFSA was introduced in 2009 by the Government of Canada as a way for Canadians age 18 or older to save and grow their money tax-free throughout their lifetime.  

Opening a TFSA

  • A TFSA is a registered account that can be opened by any Canadian individual age 18 or older with a valid social insurance number (SIN). 
  • A TFSA can only be registered to an individual.  It is not possible to open a TFSA account that is registered as joint, “In Trust For”, business, or association/organization.
  • Canada Revenue Agency will only register a TFSA provided the account holder’s surname, social insurance number and date of birth match the government’s records.
  • You can have more than one TFSA at any given time, but you will need to carefully keep track of your TFSA contributions as the contribution limit is per person, not per plan.  

Contribution Limit

  • The maximum TFSA contribution limit is set annually by the Government of Canada and is indexed to inflation rounded to the nearest $500.
  • The contribution limit is not prorated in the year an individual:
    1. turns 18 years old, or
    2. dies, or
    3. becomes a resident or a non-resident of Canada 
YearANNUAL CONTRIBUTION LIMIT
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 $5,000
2013, 2014$5,500
2015$10,000
2016, 2017, 2018$5,500
2019, 2020, 2021$6,000

Contribution Room

  • Your contribution room consists of the total dollar value of:
    1. the TFSA contribution limit for the current year, added to
    2. any unused contribution room from previous years, added to
    3. any withdrawals from the TFSA in the previous year. 
  • Unused contribution room accumulates and can be used in future years.
  • TFSA contribution room will not accumulate for any year the individual is a non-resident of Canada throughout the entire year.
  • You can obtain your most up-to-date TFSA contribution room by:
    1. accessing “My Account” or “My CRA” from the CRA website, or
    2. accessing “Represent a Client” from the CRA website (if you have an authorized representative), or
    3. calling Tax Information Phone Service (TIPS) at 1-800-267-6999, or
    4. requesting a TFSA Room Statement and/or a TFSA Transaction Summary showing all contributions and withdrawals reported by your TFSA issuer by contacting the Canada Revenue Agency
    5. Note:  TFSA records are filed by issuers electronically with CRA by the end of February each year for transactions from the previous year, so be aware transactions from the current year will not be included. 

Contributions

  • You can contribute to a TFSA up to the maximum dollar value of your available contribution room.
  • If you contribute more than your allowable TFSA contribution room, Canada Revenue Agency will impose a tax of 1% per month for each full or partial month that the over contribution remains in the account.
  • Contributions can be invested in term deposits (index-linked, non-redeemable, or redeemable), savings account, or mutual funds.
  • Contributions to a TFSA are not deductible for income tax purposes.
  • Federal benefits and credits are not affected by contributions made to a TFSA.
  • Income earned in a TFSA from interest, dividends, and capital gains is generally tax-free.
  • All insurable deposits in a TFSA registered account have unlimited deposit insurance coverage provided by Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario.

Withdrawals

  • Funds withdrawn from a TFSA are generally tax-free.
  • Withdrawals from a TFSA in the current year will be added to your TFSA contribution room at the beginning of the following year.
  • The amount withdrawn from a TFSA in the current year can only be replaced in the same year if you have available TFSA contribution room.
  • You can withdraw funds from your TFSA at any time when funds are held in a variable account while TFSA funds in a term deposit can be withdrawn on the maturity date.
  • Canada Revenue Agency will impose a tax of 1% per month for over contributions, and this tax will continue to apply until either the entire over contribution amount is withdrawn, or the entire over contribution amount is absorbed by additions to unused TFSA contribution room in the following years.  

​Contact your branch to learn more about tax-free savings accounts.

Financial Advisors are available in every branch to help you select the product best suited to meet your financial goals.