New Tax-Free First Home Savings Account now helping over 250,000 Canadians save for their first home
October 31, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada
Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced that over 250,000 Canadians have now opened a Tax-Free First Home Savings Account to save for a down payment on their first home—putting homeownership back within reach across the country. The Tax-Free First Home Savings Account is a key tool to make homeownership more affordable and is part of the federal government’s comprehensive plan to make housing more affordable and build more homes, faster.
The new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account is a registered savings account that allows Canadians to contribute up to $8,000 per year (up to a lifetime limit of $40,000) for their first down payment. To help Canadians reach their savings goals, Tax-Free First Home Savings Account contributions are tax deductible on annual income tax returns, like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). And, like a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), withdrawals to purchase a first home—including any investment income on contributions—are non-taxable. Tax-free in; tax-free out.
The Tax-Free First Home Savings Account is a powerful financial tool that supports generational fairness by putting the homeownership opportunities that have been available to generations of Canadians back within reach of young Canadians today.
To maximize 2023 tax return deductions, Tax-Free First Home Savings Account contributions must be made by December 31, 2023. Contributions can also be carried forward to be deducted in future tax years.
As of today, Tax-Free First Home Savings Accounts are available at over twenty financial institutions, and more institutions are continuing their work towards launching Tax-Free First Home Savings Accounts soon.
Here is an example of how the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account can help Canadians save for their first down payment and benefit from tax relief:
- Olivia and Amira are looking for a first home in Ontario. They each save the maximum $8,000 per year in their Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, which they can deduct from their income at tax time. They both make between $70,000 and $100,000, which means for every $100 contributed to their Tax-Free First Home Savings Account they receive $20.50 in federal tax savings. They each receive an annual federal tax refund of $1,640.
- After five years of saving, Olivia and Amira have a combined $90,000 (including $10,000 in investment returns) that they can withdraw tax-free for a down payment on their first home. Over five years, they will have benefitted from a combined $18,450 in federal tax relief, in addition to nearly $8,000 in provincial tax relief.
- They use their Tax-Free First Home Savings Account as a 10 per cent down payment to qualify for a mortgage and purchase their first home for $900,000.
- When Olivia and Amira file their taxes after buying their first home, they will receive an additional $1,500 in federal tax relief through the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit.
“In Canada, everyone should have an affordable place to call home. That’s why we are focused on building more homes and making housing more affordable across the country. For too many Canadians, saving for that first downpayment seems impossible and out of reach. To help them achieve this goal, this year we launched the new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, which is already helping more than 250,000 Canadians save for their first home.”
- The Honourable Chrystia Freeland,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
“We are working with every level of government, and communities across Canada to help build the homes Canadians need at prices they can actually afford. The new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account is already having an impact, helping over 250,000 Canadians save for their first down payment by delivering significant tax relief to help them reach their savings goals.”
- The Honourable Sean Fraser,
Minister of Housing
The new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account is a registered savings account that helps Canadians become first-time home buyers by contributing up to $8,000 per year until they reach the $40,000 contribution limit (within 15 years of opening their account) for their first down payment, and delivers tax relief when they file their taxes to help them meet their contribution goals.
- Any Canadian resident at least 18 years of age, and not more than 71 years of age on December 31 of the year, can open a Tax-Free First Home Savings Account to save for their first home.
- Unused contribution room up to the $8,000 annual maximum and unclaimed contributions can be carried forward.
Financial institutions have been able to offer the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account to Canadians since April 1, 2023.
The Tax-Free First Home Savings Account can be combined with the Home Buyers’ Plan, which allows Canadians to withdraw up to $35,000 from their RRSPs to buy or build a qualifying home for themselves or for a relative with a disability. Amounts withdrawn under the Home Buyers’ Plan must be recontributed to an RRSP on a non-deductible basis over a period not exceeding 15 years.
The new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account to help Canadians save for their down payment is a key component of the federal government’s plan to make homes more affordable and accelerate housing construction for Canadians. This plan includes:
- The Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, which would remove the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on new rental housing;
- Unlocking $20 billion in new financing to build 30,000 more rental apartments per year by increasing the annual limit for Canada Mortgage Bonds from $40 billion to up to $60 billion;
- The $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund, which is already using federal funding to encourage municipalities to cut red tape, address outdated local policies like zoning, which are preventing construction, and build more homes, faster;
- A two-year ban on non-resident, non-Canadians purchasing residential property to help curb speculation and ensure that houses are used as homes for Canadians to live in, rather than as financial assets for foreign investors;
- A one per cent annual Underused Housing Tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential property that is vacant or underused;
- Making sure that profits from flipping properties held for less than 12 months are taxed fully and fairly;
- Doubling the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit to provide up to $1,500 in direct support to home buyers to offset expensive closing costs involved in buying a first home;
- A new, refundable Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit, to provide up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary suite for a senior or an adult with a disability, starting this year;
- Applying the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) to all assignment sales of newly constructed or substantially renovated residential housing to help address speculative trading in the housing market;
- Launching a $200 million stream under the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund to develop and scale up rent-to-own projects;
- Launching a third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative, which is providing $1.5 billion to create 4,500 new affordable housing units for Canadians in severe housing need, with 25 per cent of investments going to housing projects targeted towards women;
- Delivering over $500 million towards the government’s goal of ending chronic homelessness, through Reaching Home, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy; and
- Delivering a top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit in December 2022, which provided low-income renters with a $500 payment to help with the cost of housing.
- October 5, 2023: New tax-free First Home Savings Account already helping over 150,000 Canadians save for their first home
- September 26, 2023: Government of Canada unlocking $20 billion in new financing to build 30,000 more apartments per year
- September 21, 2023: Government introduces legislation to build more rental homes and stabilize grocery prices
- August 10, 2023: Canadians can save for their first home with new tax-free First Home Savings Account
- Budget 2023
Media may contact:
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
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