Tax-Free Savings Accounts

As of January 1, 2009, you are able to contribute to a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). Introduced in the 2008 federal budget, the TFSA provides a tremendous opportunity for Canadians to save for their financial goals, including retirement, home down payment, renovation or school tuition, plus many other short, medium and long-term goals.

TFSAs have broad appeal to many; however their role in a financial plan relative to other government sponsored savings vehicles will depend on your age, taxable income and financial objectives. Questions regarding saving for various goals using a TFSA, RRSP or RESP or to transition assets from a RRIF/LIF to a TFSA need to be given careful consideration and I am committed to helping you with these decisions.

Some helpful information about TFSAs:

  • The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is a new kind of tax-advantaged savings vehicle which will provide every Canadian, age 18 and older, with the opportunity to invest $5,000 a year tax-free. However, individuals must be the age of majority in their province to open a TFSA with BMO Nesbitt Burns.

  • The $5,000 annual limit begins in 2009, is indexed to inflation and increases will be made periodically in $500 increments. There is no lifetime maximum contribution limit – only an annual limit.

  • Like an RRSP, unused TFSA contribution room can be carried-forward indefinitely. For example, if you only contribute $3,500 to your TFSA in 2009, you can contribute $6,500 in 2010 (i.e. $1,500 from 2009 plus $5,000 for 2010)

  • The dollar value of any withdrawals you make from your TFSA in one year are added to your unused TFSA contribution room in the following year

  • Money can be withdrawn tax free from a TFSA at anytime and for any purpose

  • A TFSA is generally permitted to hold the same investments as an RRSP

  • Neither the income earned within a TFSA nor withdrawals from it will affect your eligibility for federal income-tested benefits & credits (e.g. Old Age Security, Child Tax Benefit, GST credit, Age credit)

  • Through your TFSA, you can provide funds to your spouse, common law partner, or adult children allowing them to make a contribution to their own TFSA (subject to their available TFSA personal contribution room). None of the income earned within their TFSA would be attributed back to you as source of the funds.

Contact our team if you would like to discuss how the TFSA fits into your financial plan (416) 359-5603