Tax-Free Savings Account statistics (2018 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 2018 tax year and processed up to January 20, 2020. Only the most current information is considered valid for data purposes.

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 2018 tax year. Tax filers used the following types of returns for the 2018 tax year:

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

Description of TFSA items

Contributions and withdrawals

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

This item only includes contributions made in the 2018 tax year.

This item only includes withdrawals made in the 2018 tax year.

This item only includes individuals with at least one contribution.

This item only includes individuals with at least one withdrawal.

This item only includes individuals with at least one contribution.

This item only includes individuals with at least one withdrawal.

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. Total fair market value shows the calendar year-end fair market value since the inception of the program. As such, it will take into account contributions and withdrawals made in the 2018 tax year and in previous years, as well as any income earned in the account.

This item is the average fair market value per individual.

Total income assessed

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:

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 138% 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 2018 are reported.

Major classification variables

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

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, 2018, 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 2018 tax year.

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 1A and 3A present information by age group, ranging from under-20 to 75-and-over. 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. For details on the province of residence classification, please refer to: Provincial or Territorial Classification.

Tables 1C and 3C:

Tables 1C and 3C present 21 income groups based on total income assessed, ranging from loss and nil to $250,000 and over. The ranges include an “N/A” group that 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 138%) or gross income. For a description of the income components, see Item 10: Total income assessed.

Table 2:

This table presents information on the number of TFSAs per tax filer.

Tables in PDF format

Tables in CSV format

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