Tax Free Savings Account

The Federal Government offers this registered savings account that allows taxpayers to earn investment income tax-free. TFSA allows taxpayers to set money aside in eligible investment vehicles and watch those savings grow tax-free throughout their lifetime.

Why a Tax Free Savings Account?
There are no restrictions on the way TFSA funds (contributions and earnings) may be used (i.e. purchase a car, renovate a home, start a small business, take a family vacation, or just save for a rainy day). All income levels and all walks of life can benefit from a TFSA. But only a careful review of each person's financial situation will determine how to optimize use of RRSP's, RESP's, RRIF's and TFSAs.

Here is a link to a TFSA calculator to help you see how much money you could save.

Download a copy of our digital brochure: Understanding TFSA's.


Here's how it works:

Contribution Limit: Contribute up to the limit specified by the government each year. If you don't reach your annual contribution limit, no problem. Unused TFSA contributions can be carried forward indefinitely. See the table below that outlines the contribution limits for the years since it has been available and including the most recent year.

  • In 2015, the maximum TFSA contribution limit increased to $10,000.
  • Under proposed legislation, starting January 1, 2016, the annual TFSA dollar limit for 2016 will decrease from $10,000 to $5,500.00. The TFSA annual room limit will be indexed to inflation and rounded to the nearest $500.
  • Contributions are not tax deductible.

Tax free savings: Returns on your investments are tax-free including interest and income earned in your Tax Free Savings Account. Just note that contributions are not tax deductible.

Withdrawals:  You can take money out of your Tax Free Savings Account and you won't be taxed on these withdrawals. The amount you withdraw also becomes available as part of your contribution room the following year.


TFSA Unused Contribution Room
When a TFSA Holder contributes less than the maximum contribution limit, the difference is referred to a unused contribution room.

  • Unused contribution room will accumulate each year.
  • Unused contribtion room is carried forward indefinitely, allowing the Holder to catch up by contribution more than the maximum contribution limit in a future year.
  • A TFSA withdrawal will increase the contribution room for the year after withdrawal. As a result, when amounts are withdrawn from a TFSA they can be re-contributed in the future when funds become available.
  • Canada Revenue Agency can confirm your contribution room. The CRA recommends TFSA holders take advantage of their online service option My Account to obtain the most up-to-date information about their TFSA transactions and available TFSA Contribution Room. Any changes to the holder's TFSAs are uploaded daily as the TFSA information from TFSA issuers is received and processed.
  • In addition to the My Account section of the CRA website, the following are additional resources available to TFSA holders in obtaining confirmation of their TFSA Contribution Room:

 

Qualified Investments
Generally, the types of investments that will be permitted in a TFSA are the same as those permitted in a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). This would include:

  • cash
  • mutual funds
  • securities listed on a designated stock exchange
  • guaranteed investment certificates (GICs)
  • bonds
  • certain shares of small business corporations.

Where can I find more information?

 

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