Canadians need to save for many different purposes over their lifetimes. Reducing tax on savings can help. That is why the Government has introduced the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) in 2009. It is the single most important personal savings vehicle since the introduction of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).

The TFSA allows Canadians to set money aside in eligible investment vehicles and watch those savings grow tax-free throughout their lifetimes. Your TFSA savings can be used for any purpose, such as maximizing your savings in a tax free environment or to purchase a new car, renovate a house, start a small business or saving to take a vacation. Canadians from all income levels and all walks of life can benefit.

How the TFSA Works

  • Individuals who are 18 and older, and have a valid SIN, are eligible to save and set money aside tax-free throughout their lifetime.
  • Contributions into your Tax Free Savings Account accumulate and earn interest in a tax-free environment, income earned and capital gains in your TFSA are not taxed, even when it is withdrawn.
  • Your contributions to a TFSA are not deductible for income tax purposes
  • Your unused TFSA contribution room is carried forward and accumulates for future years.
  • You can withdraw funds available in your TFSA at any time for any purpose — and the full amount of withdrawals can be put back into your TFSA in future years. Re-contributing in the same year may result in an over-contribution amount which would be subject to a penalty tax.
  • Neither income earned in a TFSA nor withdrawals affect your eligibility for federal income-tested benefits and credits.
  • You can provide funds to your spouse or common-law partner to invest in their TFSA.
  • TFSA assets can generally be transferred to a spouse or common-law partner upon death.

 

TFSA Limit or Contribution Room

Year*

Actual Limit

Accumulated Contribution Limit

2019

$6,000

$63,500

2018

$5,500

$57,500

2017

$5,500

$52,000

2016

$5,500

$46,500

2015

$10,000

$41,000

 

* In future years, the TFSA annual contribution limit is indexed to inflation, and rounded to the nearest $500. For 2019 the TFSA limit is expected to increase by $500.  At the current 2.2% rate of inflation, the TFSA limit will increase to $6,500 in 2023.                

TFSA Penalties

Where an investor (referred as TFSA account holder) is non-compliant with the CRA TFSA rules, the holder will result in penalties, for reasons such as:

-TFSA Excess Contributions

-Tax payable on non-qualified or prohibited investments 

The holder is subject to special tax on advantages, being 1% per month penalty for any month in which there is an excess amount in the TFSA at any time in the month.  As a result, there is tax payable even if the excess amount is withdrawn in the same month in which it is contributed.

The TFSA unused contribution room is carried forward into the next year, there is no deadline for TFSA contributions.  It is recommended to make withdrawals by December 31st in any year in order to have the amount withdrawn added back earlier to the accumulated TFSA contribution room in January of the following year.

 

Updated: November 2018

Macnaughton & Ward Financial represents numerous Financial Institutions offering TFSA’s in the form of High Interest Accounts, GIC’s, Investment Funds, Segregated Funds, Equity Linked GIC’s and more.

 

Contact our office today, to connect with a financial advisor about opening a TFSA that suits your personal goals and objectives.