Tax-Free Savings Account statistics (2014 tax year)

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) statistics tables present data based on all of the individual records and summary returns sent by financial institutions (issuers) to the CRA for the 2014 tax year and processed up to January 18, 2016. Only the most current information is considered valid for data purposes.

The data in the tables are taken from the tax year which is typically published two years after the tax year ends.

Explanatory notes

Confidentiality procedures

To ensure the protection of taxpayer information, data have been suppressed where warranted. As well, counts are rounded to the nearest multiple of 10. For example, 104 would be rounded to 100 and 105 would be rounded to 110. Dollar amounts have been rounded to the nearest thousand in all tables. Totals may not add up due to rounding or suppression.

Data source

Income data were taken from income tax returns and related schedules filed by individuals for the 2014 tax year. Tax filers used the following types of returns for the 2014 tax year:

  • T1 General
  • T1S-D, Credit and Benefit Return (for Indians registered, or eligible to be registered, under the Indian Act).

All other pertinent TFSA information is obtained by the CRA through Financial Institutions using TFSA Information Declarations.

Description of TFSA tables

Each table contains the number of TFSAs, TFSA holders or the respective dollar amounts. In some cases, the total of the figures in the table may not match the total shown due either to rounding or to editing for confidentiality purposes.

Tables 1, 1A, 1B, 3, 3A and 3B:

Tables 1 and 3 present high level totals and statistics. Tables 1A and 3A present information by age. The tables begin with a grand total. Following this total, 13 age groups are presented, ranging from the under-20 age group to the 75-and-over age group. The grand total includes tax filers whose age is not stated. For details on the age classification, please refer to: Age Classification.

Tables 1B and 3B present information according to the province or territory of residence listed on the tax filer's income tax return. The tables begin with a grand total and are followed by the provinces and territories. For details on the province of residence classification, please refer to: Provincial or Territorial Classification.

Tables 1C and 3C:

Tables 1C and 3C present information based on total income assessed. The 21 income groupings provide figures for various income levels, beginning with a grand total and ending with the "N/A" income grouping.

The “N/A” grouping represents a segment of Canadians for which CRA has TFSA data but no income tax data. It should be noted that Canadians are not required to file an income tax return to open or to use a TFSA.

Certain types of income are not included in total income assessed because they are non-taxable, so true economic income may be understated. An overstatement may be caused by other types of income that are grossed-up (such as eligible dividends grossed-up to 145%) or gross income. For a description of the income components, see Item 8: Total income assessed .

Table 2:

This table presents information on the number of TFSAs per taxpayer.

Description of TFSA items

Contributions and withdrawals

  • Item 1: Maximized Contribution Room

This item refers to the cumulative contribution room earned, not the annual TFSA dollar limit.

  • Item 2: Average number of contributions

This item only includes individuals with at least one contribution.

  • Item 3: Average number of withdrawals

This item only includes individuals with at least one withdrawal.

  • Item 4: Average contribution amount

This item only includes individuals with at least one contribution.

  • Item 5: Average withdrawal amount

This item only includes individuals with at least one withdrawal.

Fair Market Value

  • Item 6: Fair Market Value

Fair market value is usually the highest dollar value you can get for your asset in an open and unrestricted market and between a willing buyer and a willing seller who are knowledgeable, informed, and acting independently of each other.

  • Item 7: Average Fair Market Value

This item is the average fair market value per individual.

Total income assessed

  • Item 8: Total income assessed - Line 150 of the income tax return

This item contains the amount reported on Line 150 of the income tax return. It also includes the elected split-pension amount - Line 116 of the return. This item does not include non-taxable income from the following:

  • any Goods and services/Harmonized sales tax credit or Canada child tax benefit payments, as well as those from related provincial or territorial programs;
  • child assistance payments and the supplement for handicapped children paid by the province of Quebec;
  • compensation received from a province or territory for a victim of a criminal act or a motor vehicle accident;
  • lottery winnings;
  • most gifts and inheritances;
  • amounts paid by Canada or an ally (if the amount is not taxable in that country) for disability or death due to war service;
  • most amounts received from a life insurance policy following someone's death;
  • most payments of the type commonly referred to as strike pay received from a union; and
  • most amounts received from a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).

Note

Income earned on any of the above amounts (such as interest earned from the investment of lottery winnings) is taxable.

Some parts of total income assessed are in gross amounts, while others are in net amounts. For example, eligible dividend income is grossed-up to represent 144% of such income. Interest and investment income are also gross figures since carrying charges are not deducted (i.e., netted out). On the other hand, taxable capital gains are net amounts because only 50% of the gains realized in 2014 are reported.

Major classification variables

The following variables are used in one or more of the tables in this publication:

  • age
  • province or territory of residence
  • total income

Age classification

The TFSA holder’s age is determined using the reported year of birth on page 1 of the T1 General Income Tax and Benefit Return. Individuals with no reported date of birth are included in the total.

Provincial or territorial classification

Province or territory of residence - used in tables 1B and 3B - refers to the province or territory in which the tax filer resided on December 31, 2014, as indicated in the T1 General Income Tax and Benefit Return. If the tax filer province or territory of residence is missing or unclear, they are classified as "Other".

Total income classification

Total income class – used in tables 1C and 3C – refers to the ‘total income assessed’ reported on Line 150 of the T1 General Income Tax and Benefit Return in the 2014 tax year.

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