Registered Disability Savings Plan

RC4460(E) Rev. 22

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Table of Contents

Find out if this guide is for you

Use this guide if you want information about registered disability savings plans (RDSPs), This guide has information which is not in the general income tax and benefit package, and which you may need to fill out your income tax and benefit return.

Chapter 1 - What is a registered disability savings plan

A registered disability savings plan (RDSP) is a savings plan intended to help parents and others save for the long term financial security of a person who is eligible for the disability tax credit (DTC).

Contributions to an RDSP are not tax deductible and can be made until the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 59. Contributions that are withdrawn are not included as income to the beneficiary when paid out of an RDSP. However, the Canada disability savings grant (grant), the Canada disability savings bond (bond), investment income earned in the plan, and the proceeds from rollovers are included in the beneficiary's income for tax purposes when paid out of the RDSP. For more information on RDSPs, go to Savings and pension plan administration.

What is a Canada disability savings grant

The grant is an amount that the Government of Canada pays into an RDSP. The government will pay a matching grant of 300%, 200%, or 100%, depending on the beneficiary's adjusted family net income and the amount contributed. The beneficiary's adjusted family net income is calculated as follows:

An RDSP can get a maximum of $3,500 in matching grants in one year and up to $70,000 over the beneficiary's lifetime. A beneficiary's RDSP can receive a grant on contributions made until December 31 of the year in which the beneficiary turns 49.

The amount of the grant is based on the beneficiary's adjusted family net income as follows:

Chart 1 – Canada disability savings grant 
Beneficiary's adjusted family net income Grant Maximum
$98,040  Footnote1 or less
on the first $500 $3 for every $1 contributed $1,500
on the next $1,000 $2 for every $1 contributed $2,000
More than $98,040 Footnote1
on the first $1,000 $1 for every $1 contributed $1,000

What is a Canada disability savings bond

The bond is an amount paid by the Government of Canada directly into an RDSP. The government will pay a bond of up to $1,000 a year to low-income Canadians with disabilities. No contributions have to be made to get the bond. The lifetime bond limit is $20,000. A bond can be paid into an RDSP until the year in which the beneficiary turns 49.

The amount of the bond is based on the beneficiary's adjusted family net income as follows:

Chart 2 - Canada disability savings bond
Beneficiary's adjusted family net income Bond
$32,028 or less (or if the holder is a public institution) $1,000
Between $32,028  Footnote 1 and $49,020  Footnote 1 Part of the $1,000 based on the formula in the Canada Disability Savings Act
More than $49,020  Footnote 1 No bond is paid

To qualify for the bond or to earn a grant, the beneficiary must file income tax and benefit returns for the past two years and all future taxation years when they have an RDSP.

Carry forward of unused grant and bond

Before the end of the year you turn 49 years of age, you can carry forward up to 10 years of unused grant and bond entitlements to future years, as long as you met the eligibility requirements during the carry-forward years (for example, if you were eligible for the disability tax credit and you were a Canadian resident). RDSPs became available in 2008. If an RDSP was opened:

The grant and bond will be paid on unused entitlements up to an annual maximum of $10,500 for the grant and $11,000 for the bond.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) administers the grant and the bond programs. ESDC bases the amount of the grant and bond that are available for any particular year on the beneficiary's family income, as well as on matching rates.

Example

Let us take Roger for example:

  • he is a person with a disability
  • his income has been less than $15,000 each year since 2008
  • he has been eligible for the DTC each year since 2008
  • he is not, and has never been, a holder or beneficiary of an RDSP
  • he has reached the age of majority and is contractually competent to enter into a plan

In August 2022, Roger opens an RDSP. Although opened in 2022, Roger's plan has accumulated grant and bond entitlements over the past 10 years, going back to 2012 since RDSPs became available in 2008.

The following is a breakdown of Roger's accumulated grant and bond entitlements:

  • $1,500 in grant entitlements per year at the 300% matching rate ($1,500 × 10 years for a total of $15,000)
  • $2,000 in grant entitlements per year at the 200% rate ($2,000 × 10 years for a total of $20,000)
  • $1,000 in bond entitlements per year ($1,000 × 10 years for a total of $10,000)

Upon application for his bond, his RDSP will receive $10,000 in accumulated bond entitlements.

After the RDSP is opened, with Roger's written consent, his family contributes $800 to his RDSP in October 2022, for which his RDSP receives $2,400 ($800 × 300%) as a grant.

Roger carries forward $12,600 ($15,000 – $2,400) in unused grant entitlement at the 300% rate and still carries $20,000 in unused grant entitlement at the 200% rate.

Who can become a beneficiary of an RDSP

You can designate an individual as a beneficiary if the individual meets all of the following criteria:

A beneficiary can only have one RDSP at any given time, although this RDSP can have several plan holders throughout its existence, and it can have more than one plan holder at any given time.

Notes

A person is eligible for the DTC only if a medical practitioner (which includes a nurse practitioner) certifies on Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate, that the individual has a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions. This form must also be approved by the CRA and the person must be deemed to be eligible for the DTC. To get Form T2201, go to Disability tax credit (DTC) or call 1-800-959-8281.

The holder does not have to be a resident of Canada. However, the beneficiary must be a resident of Canada when the plan is opened and when each contribution is made to the plan. RDSP payments can only be made to the beneficiary (or to the beneficiary's estate after the beneficiary's death). Contributors will not be entitled to a refund of their contributions.

For more information, go to Disability tax credit (DTC) or see Guide RC4064, Disability–Related Information.

How to open an RDSP

To open an RDSP, a person who qualifies to be a holder of the plan must contact a participating financial institution that offers RDSPs. These financial institutions are known as RDSP issuers.

Note

The plan holder is the person who opens the RDSP and makes or authorizes contributions on behalf of the beneficiary. As long as conditions are met, there can be more than one plan holder at any time.

Who can open an RDSP

The beneficiary is under the age of majority

If the beneficiary is under the age of majority, a qualifying person can open an RDSP for the beneficiary and become a holder if that person is any of the following:

The beneficiary has reached the age of majority and is contractually competent to enter into a plan

If the beneficiary has reached the age of majority and is contractually competent to enter into a plan, the beneficiary can open an RDSP for themselves.

If the legal parent(s), at the time the plan is established, are holders of a pre-existing RDSP for the adult beneficiary, the legal parent(s) could remain holder(s) of the new plan. The adult beneficiary could also be added as a joint holder along with their parents.

The beneficiary has reached the age of majority but their contractual competency to enter into a plan is in doubt

The ability for a qualifying family member (QFM) to open a plan under these rules applies as of June 29, 2012 and ends on December 31, 2023.

A QFM includes a spouse, common-law partner, or parent of an individual.

Note

The spouse or common-law partner is not eligible for this measure if they are living apart from the individual due to a breakdown in their marriage or partnership.

The QFM measure cannot be used if the beneficiary is currently the individual of an existing RDSP or if a qualifying person is authorized to act on behalf of the individual.

A QFM can open an RDSP for the beneficiary and become a holder if, after reasonable inquiry, it is the opinion of the RDSP issuer, that an adult individual's contractual competency to enter into a plan is in doubt.

QFM is no longer qualified to be a holder if any of the following apply:

The RDSP issuer will be required to notify the individual if the individual becomes a beneficiary under an RDSP opened according to these rules.

The beneficiary has reached the age of majority but is not contractually competent to enter into a plan

An individual who is eligible to be a beneficiary of an RDSP, (but for whom a plan has not yet been opened) may have reached the age of majority but may not be contractually competent to enter into a plan.

A qualifying person, who is legally authorized to act for the beneficiary, under the provincial legislation, can open an RDSP for the individual and become a holder.

Can the holder of an RDSP be changed

The plan was opened when the beneficiary was a minor – the beneficiary is now a contractually competent adult

If a plan is opened by a beneficiary's legal parent(s), the legal parent(s) can continue as the holder(s) of the plan after the beneficiary reaches the age of majority. When the beneficiary reaches the age of majority and is contractually competent to enter into a plan, the beneficiary can be added to the RDSP as a joint holder.

If a plan was opened by a legally authorized person or body other than the beneficiary's legal parent(s), that person or body must be removed as a holder of the plan when the beneficiary reaches the age of majority and is contractually competent to enter into a plan. The beneficiary will become the new plan holder.

The plan was opened when the beneficiary was an adult whose contractual competency was in doubt

A qualifying family member (other than a legal parent who opened a plan when the beneficiary was a minor) will be replaced by the beneficiary upon their written request if it is determined that the beneficiary is contractually competent.

The plan was opened when the beneficiary was not able to enter into a contract

If the guardian, tutor, public department, or any other qualifying person or body (with the exception of a qualifying family member) is no longer qualified to be a holder (for example they are no longer the legal guardian or have died), they must be removed from the plan as holder.

A qualifying person can choose to remove themselves as a holder as long as there is another qualifying person to assign their rights to.

In these cases, the following can be added to the plan as a holder's successor or assignee:

Who can contribute to an RDSP

Anyone can contribute to an RDSP with the written permission of the plan holder. For more information, see Who can open an RDSP.

The contribution limit for RDSPs

There is no annual limit on amounts that can be contributed to an RDSP of a particular beneficiary in a given year. However, the overall lifetime limit for a particular beneficiary is $200,000 (all previous contributions and rollovers that have been made to an RDSP of a particular beneficiary will reduce this amount). Contributions are permitted until the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 59.

Note

Amounts directly transferred from one beneficiary's RDSP to another RDSP for the same beneficiary do not count toward the $200,000 overall contribution limit.

What types of payments are made from an RDSP

There are three types of payments made from an RDSP:

A DAP is any payment from an RDSP to the beneficiary or to their estate after their death. It is a singular payment that can be requested at any time and may consist of contributions, grant, bond, proceeds from rollovers and income earned in the account.

Only the beneficiary or the beneficiary's estate will be permitted to receive DAPs from the RDSP.

Note

A DAP is not permitted if, after the payment, the FMV of the property held by the RDSP would be less than the assistance holdback amount for the RDSP. For more information, see Repayments under the CDSA.

The RDSP issuer may allow the RDSP holder to request DAPs to be made to a beneficiary that are separate from LDAPs, as described below. Contact a participating issuer to determine if it offers plans that allow an RDSP holder to request these types of payments from a plan.

If the RDSP is a specified disability savings plan (SDSP), withdrawals can be made from the plan in the year of certification and each subsequent year without triggering the repayment of the assistance holdback amount.

LDAPs are disability assistance payments (DAPs) that, once started, must be paid at least annually until either the plan is terminated or the beneficiary has died. These payments must begin by the end of the year in which the beneficiary turns 60 and, unless the year is a specified year (as described below), are subject to an annual withdrawal limit determined by the formula.

Note

If an RDSP is a SDSP, payments must start being paid from the plan before the end of the calendar year following the year in which the plan last became an SDSP.

A specified year is the calendar year in which a licensed medical doctor or a nurse practitioner certifies in writing that the beneficiary will not live longer than five years, and includes each of the five calendar years following the year of certification. A year will not qualify as a specified year unless the medical certificate has been provided to the issuer in or before the year in question. For example, if a doctor makes such a certification in 2021, but the issuer is not provided with the certification until 2022, only the years from 2022 to 2026 are specified years for the RDSP.

If the RDSP is an SDSP, the specified year includes each following calendar year.

Repayments under the CDSA

Under the CDSA, the assistance holdback amount is generally required to be repaid to ESDC if any DAP is paid from the RDSP.

The assistance holdback amount is defined in the Canada Disability Savings Regulations. In general terms, it is the total amount of bond and grant paid into the RDSP within the last 10 year period, less any part of that amount that has been repaid to ESDC.

As of January 1, 2014, an amount that is three times the amount of the DAP, up to a maximum of the assistance holdback amount, is required to be repaid to ESDC if any DAP is paid from the RDSP.

The assistance holdback amount, as of January 1, 2021, depends on the beneficiary's age.

For more information on the assistance holdback rules, contact ESDC at 1-800-622-6232.

LDAP formula

There is no limit on the amount of DAPs or LDAPs payable to the beneficiary in a specified year (if the plan is not an SDSP). However, in all cases a DAP is not permitted if, after the payment, the FMV of the property held by the RDSP would be less than the assistance holdback amount for the RDSP.

The total amount of the LDAP paid in the year cannot be more than the amount calculated using the following formula:

A ÷ (B + 3 – C) + D

where:

A = the FMV of the property held in the plan at the beginning of the year, (excluding the
       value of locked-in annuity contracts held by the plan trust)

B = the greater of 80 and the age of the beneficiary at the beginning of the calendar year

C = the actual age of the beneficiary at the beginning of the calendar year

D = the total of all periodic payments paid, or deemed to have been paid, under
       certain locked-in annuity contracts, to the plan trust in the calendar year, if applicable

Non-taxable portion of a DAP

The non-taxable portion of a DAP made to a beneficiary from an RDSP is the lesser of:

A × B ÷ C + D

where:

A = the amount of the DAP

B = the amount by which the total contributions made to any RDSP of the beneficiary exceeds the total non-taxable portion of all DAPs previously made from any RDSP of the beneficiary (if this formula were read without reference to variable D below)

C = the amount by which the FMV of the property held by the RDSP before the DAP is greater than the assistance holdback amount for the plan

D = the amount in respect of which a holder of the plan pays the tax payable on an advantage, unless this tax is waived, cancelled or refunded or has previously been included in the non-taxable portion of a DAP made to the beneficiary

Example

Linda earned more than $98,040 in 2022 and is the sole provider for her spouse Paul, who is 40 years old. She starts contributing to his RDSP in 2022 and Linda contributes $10,000 annually to Paul's RDSP for 20 years. The contributions made are eligible for the grant at a rate of 100% of the contributions made in the particular year, up to a maximum of $1,000 annually (see Chart 1). Paul is not eligible for the bond (see Chart 2).

After 20 years, the FMV of the RDSP is $261,448. Since Paul will be 60 years old in 2042, the grant can be paid on the contributions from 2022 to 2031 (until he turns 49). Contributions can be made to the plan up until the end of the year in which Paul turns 59. No DAPs were paid from the RDSP since the RDSP was set up.

Therefore, in 2042, the amount that Paul can receive is $10,893.67 calculated by the LDAP formula, which is A ÷ (B + 3 – C) + D:

$261,448 ÷ (80 + 3 – 59) + $0
$261,448 ÷ 24
$10,893.67

The non-taxable portion of the LDAP is $8,333.33 and is calculated by the second formula:

$10,893.67 × $200,000 ÷ $261,448 + $0

Variable B is $200,000 because no DAPs were made before 2042.

Variable C is $261,448 because no assistance holdback amount exists since the last grant was paid into the RDSP more than 10 years ago.

What is a specified disability savings plan (SDSP)

A specified disability savings plan (SDSP) is a measure to provide beneficiaries who have shortened life expectancy with greater flexibility to access their savings from an RDSP. Withdrawals from an SDSP will not trigger a repayment of the assistance holdback amount as long as the sum of the taxable portions of all withdrawals made in the year does not exceed $10,000 (unless the LDAP formula result requires a greater amount to be paid). However, once the election is made, no more contributions can be made to the plan and the plan will not be entitled to any new grant or bond. Furthermore, beneficiaries will not be entitled to carry forward any grant or bond for those years under this plan.

When an RDSP becomes an SDSP

The RDSP becomes an SDSP when all of the following conditions are met:

When a plan stops being an SDSP

A plan stops being an SDSP if any of the following occur:

Note

The holder must wait 24 months after the plan stopped being an SDSP before making a new election.

Additional rules if the RDSP is a primarily government-assisted plan (PGAP) in the year

An RDSP becomes a PGAP in a year when the total of all government grant and bond payments made into any of the beneficiary's RDSPs in the previous years is more than the total of all private contributions made to any of the beneficiary's RDSPs in the previous years.

Generally, in a PGAP year (other than a specified year), the DAPs (including LDAPs) must not exceed the greater of the LDAP formula and 10% of the FMV of the plan assets at the beginning of the year. Certain DAPs made following, and as a consequence of, a transfer of property from another RDSP of the beneficiary do not count toward this limit on DAPs.

If the beneficiary is no longer DTC-eligible and the holder requests the termination of the plan, there is no limit in the amount withdrawn.

In any year where the beneficiary is over the age of 59, the LDAP will not be more than the LDAP formula. In a PGAP year, the combination of LDAPs and DAPs must not exceed the greater of the LDAP formula and 10% of the FMV of the plan assets at the beginning of the year.

When the beneficiary turns 28 (or any later age up to, and including, the age of 58) during the calendar year, the beneficiary has the right to direct that DAPs be paid to them at any time in that year if, after payment, the FMV of the property in the RDSP is not less than the assistance holdback amount for the RDSP. The DAP that can be paid under these circumstances cannot be more than the calculated allowable amount. With the exception of plans where the beneficiary is over the age of 59, a DAP made in any other year may require that the assistance holdback amount be repaid to ESDC.

How payments from an RDSP are reported

Proceeds from rollover amounts as well as the grant, bond and investment income earned in the plan are included in the beneficiary's income for tax purposes when they are paid out of the RDSP. RDSP issuers report the taxable portions of the payments from the plan in box 131, located in the "Other information" area of a T4A slip and send two copies of the slip to the beneficiary or the beneficiary's legal representative. The beneficiary has to include this amount as income on line 12500 of their income tax and benefit return for the year in which they receive it.

For more information on the taxable portion of the payments, see Tax payable on DAPs.

Transfers

An amount can be transferred from one RDSP to another RDSP only under the following conditions:

Rollovers

Rolling over retirement savings property on a tax-deferred basis to an RDSP

The maximum rollover amount into an RDSP is $200,000. All contributions and rollover amounts made to any RDSP of a beneficiary will reduce this amount. A grant will not be paid into the RDSP on amounts that are rolled over.

The RDSP rules allow for a rollover of a deceased individual's registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) proceeds to an RDSP of the deceased individual's financially dependent child or grandchild with an impairment in physical or mental functions. For more information, see Eligible individual.

If the beneficiary is no longer DTC-eligible, the rollover must be done before the end of the fifth taxation year throughout which the beneficiary is no longer DTC-eligible.

These rollover rules also apply to:

RDSP rollover reporting

The retirement savings rollover transaction must be documented using Form RC4625, Rollover to a Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) Under Paragraph 60(m) or the form provided by the RDSP issuer. A tax slip will be issued (for example, T4A, T4RSP, or T4RIF). The amount of the retirement savings rollover is reported and deducted on the eligible individual's income tax and benefit return. In some cases, the amount may also need to be reported and deducted in the deceased individual's final return.

For more information on how rollovers should be reported, see Transfers to registered disability savings plans in Guide T4040, RRSP and Other Registered Plans for Retirement.

Notes

These rules apply to retirement savings rollovers only. Education savings rollovers are recorded on Form RC435, Rollover from a Registered Education Savings Plan to a Registered Disability Savings Plan or another form provided by the RESP promoter. Tax slips are not issued for education savings rollovers.

RDSP issuers may produce and use their own method of documentation for education savings rollovers.

The retirement savings rollover to an RDSP:

Eligible individual

An eligible individual is a child or grandchild of a deceased annuitant under an RRSP or RRIF, or of a deceased member of an RPP or SPP or PRPP, who was financially dependent on the deceased for support, at the time of the deceased's death, by reason of an impairment in physical or mental functions. The eligible individual must also be the beneficiary under the RDSP into which the eligible proceeds will be paid.

Rolling over RESP property on a tax-deferred basis to an RDSP

Rollovers can be made from an RESP to an RDSP. In general terms, a subscriber of an RESP that allows accumulated income payments and a holder of an RDSP may jointly elect to rollover an accumulated income payment under the RESP to the RDSP if, at the time of the election, the RESP beneficiary is also the beneficiary under the RDSP.

To qualify for an RESP rollover, the beneficiary must meet the existing age and residency requirements in relation to RDSP contributions. As well, one of the following conditions must be met:

An RESP rollover to an RDSP will not be subject to regular income tax or the additional 20% tax, for more information, see Form T1172, Additional Tax on Accumulated Income Payments from RESPs. The RESP promoter must send Form RC435, Rollover from a Registered Education Savings Plan to a Registered Disability Savings Plan to the RDSP issuer and keep a copy of it on file. This will satisfy the RESP promoter's requirement to file the election with CRA.

When an RESP rollover occurs, contributions in the RESP will be returned to the subscriber on a tax-free basis. As well, Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and Canada Learning Bond (CLB) in the RESP will be required to be repaid to ESDC and the RESP terminated by the end of February of the year after the year during which the rollover is made.

The RESP rollover to an RDSP:

When a rollover cannot be made

A rollover from an RESP, RRSP, RRIF, RPP, PRPP, or SPP cannot be made if any of the following conditions applies:

What happens if the beneficiary is no longer eligible for the DTC

No contributions can be made to the plan unless the contribution is a specified RDSP payment in respect of the beneficiary.

The plan remains open unless the holder requests to close the plan. A beneficiary who stops being eligible for the DTC might, due to the nature of their medical condition, be eligible again for the DTC for some later year.

What happens if the beneficiary dies

The RDSP must be closed and all amounts remaining in the plan must be paid out to the beneficiary's estate by December 31  of the year following the calendar year in which the beneficiary dies. Any funds remaining in the RDSP, after any required repayment of government grants and bonds will be paid to the estate. If a DAP had been made and the beneficiary is deceased, the taxable portion of the DAP must be included in the income of the beneficiary's estate in the tax year in which the payment is made.

When do grants and bonds have to be repaid

10-Year Repayment Rule

If any of the following events occur, all government grants and bonds paid into the plan during the preceding 10 years before the event must be repaid to the Government of Canada. Repayments are required when any of the following conditions applies:

To ensure the funds in an RDSP are available to meet potential obligations under the 10-year repayment rule, RDSP issuers must set aside an "assistance holdback amount" equal to the total grant and bond paid into the RDSP in the preceding 10 years less any grant and bond already repaid in respect of that 10-year period. When one of the events described above occurs, the required repayment is equal to the amount of the assistance holdback amount immediately preceding the event.

Note

Repayments of amounts that were previously included as income are tax deductible and reported on line 23200 of the income tax and benefit return.

A beneficiary with a life expectancy of five years or less will be allowed annual RDSP withdrawals of up to $10,000 in taxable plan savings, as well as a pro-rated amount of plan contributions, without having to repay the grants or bonds paid into the plan in the preceding 10 years. These rules only apply when an election to consider the plan an SDSP has been filed with the RDSP issuer by the holder of the RDSP and the issuer has notified ESDC of the election.

A rule applies for withdrawals made from an RDSP after 2013. This rule replaces the 10 year repayment rule only for RDSP withdrawals. The former 10 year repayment rule will continue to apply where the RDSP is terminated or deregistered or the RDSP beneficiary dies.

This rule may change due to legislation. For the most updated information on the 10 year rule, contact the issuer of your RDSP or go to ESDC.

Proportional repayment rule

As of 2014, the proportional repayment rule applies on the event where an amount is withdrawn from the RDSP. The proportional repayment rule will require that, for each $1 withdrawn from an RDSP, $3 of any grants or bonds paid into the plan in the 10 years preceding the withdrawal be repaid, up to a maximum of the assistance holdback amount. Repayments will be attributed to the grants or bonds that make up the assistance holdback amount based on the order in which they were paid into the RDSP. The proportional repayment rule may be change due to legislation. For the most updated information on how much the repayment will be, contact the issuer of your RDSP or go to ESDC.

Example

Jeff opens an RDSP in 2017 and contributes $1,500 to his plan annually, being eligible for the maximum grant ($3,500) for each year. In 2022, the assistance holdback amount for his plan equals $21,000 (6 years, 2017 to 2022 inclusively, multiplied by $3,500).

In 2022, he withdraws $600 from his RDSP. Under the 10-year repayment rule, the entire assistance holdback amount of $21,000 would have to be repaid. Under the proportional repayment rule, $1,800 of the assistance holdback amount will be repaid (approximately 9% of the repayment required under the former 10-year repayment rule). The $1,800 repayment will come from the grants paid into his RDSP in 2017 and the plan's assistance holdback amount will be reduced to $19,200.

Chapter 2 – Tax payable

Tax payable on DAPs

When a DAP is made from an RDSP, the part of the payment that includes proceeds from a rolled over amount, the grants and bonds paid into the plan, and all investment income earned in the RDSP, such as interest, is taxable.

That part of the payment is included in the income of the beneficiary for the year in which the payment is made. If the beneficiary is deceased when the payment is made, the amount is included in the income of the beneficiary's estate for the year of the payment.

Note

The taxable portion (or RDSP income) is excluded from income when calculating various income-tested benefits, such as the GST/HST credit, the Canada child benefit (CCB), and the Working income tax benefit (WITB). It is also excluded when calculating the social benefit repayment and the refundable medical expense supplement.

Tax deduction at source

RDSP issuers will have to withhold income tax at source once the taxable portion of a beneficiary's DAPs and LDAPs exceed the total of the following two federal non-refundable tax credits (NRTCs):

NRTCs help to reduce a taxpayer's total income tax liability at the end of the year. There are many federal and provincial NRTCs that individuals may be eligible to claim when filing their personal income tax and benefit returns. However, only the federal maximum BPA of $14,398 and federal DA ($8,870 in 2022) are to be used to calculate the taxable income from which to withhold income tax at source. This is because all RDSP beneficiaries are eligible for these two NRTCs.

Using the chart below, with the 2022 tax year for example, a beneficiary can receive up to $23,268 (BPA of $14,398 + DA of $8,870) in taxable DAPs and LDAPs before the RDSP issuer has to withhold income tax at source. For the 2021 tax year, this amount was $22,470.

Withholding threshold
Year 2022 2021
Federal maximum Basic Personal Amount (BPA) $14,398 $13,808
Federal Disability Amount (DA)  $8,870  $8,662
Total $23,268 $22,470

Once this amount is reached, income tax must be deducted from the taxable portion of all remaining payments in the year using the lump-sum tax withholding rate displayed below.

Note

NRTCs are adjusted annually to allow for inflation and other factors.

The taxable portion of a beneficiary's DAPs and LDAPs are the total of:

Note

Individual or private contributions, or an amount in respect of which a holder of the plan pays the advantage tax described under Tax payable on advantage, (unless this tax is waived, cancelled or refunded, or has previously been included in the non-taxable portion of a DAP made to the beneficiary) are not taxable.

RDSP issuers will use the lump-sum withholding rate that corresponds to either the:

The lump-sum withholding rates are:

Note

The above rates are a blend of the federal and provincial rates. The Quebec rates represent only the federal rates. For more information on the provincial rates for the province of Quebec, go to Ministère des Finances Québec.

Chapter 3 – Anti-Avoidance Rules for RDSP

The anti-avoidance rules provide for a special tax on certain advantages that unduly exploit the tax attributes of an RDSP, as well as special taxes on prohibited investments and on non-qualified investments.

Each person who is a holder of an RDSP is jointly liable for the taxes on prohibited investments, non-qualified investments and advantages described below. Where two or more holders of an RDSP are jointly liable to pay such a tax, only one form needs to be filed on behalf of all the holders that are liable for the tax.

Tax payable on prohibited investments

If the RDSP trust acquires a prohibited investment or if previously acquired property becomes prohibited, the investment will be subject to a special tax equal to 50% of the fair market value (FMV) of the investment, and the holder must file Form RC339, Individual Return for Certain Taxes for RRSPs, RRIFs, RESPs or RDSPs, with a payment for any balance due, no later than June 30 following the end of the calendar year.

The tax is refundable in certain circumstances. For more information, see Refund of taxes paid on non-qualified or prohibited investments.

If the prohibited investment ceases to be a prohibited investment while it is held by the RDSP trust, the RDSP trust is considered to have disposed of and immediately re-acquired the property at its FMV.

The holder is also liable for the 100% advantage tax on income earned and capital gains realized on prohibited investments.

The 100% advantage tax applies to income earned, and the portion of any realized capital gain that accrued, after March 22, 2017, regardless of when the prohibited investment generating the income or gain was acquired.

Note

If an investment is both a non-qualified investment and a prohibited investment, it is treated as a prohibited investment only.

For more information, see Income Tax Folio S3–F10–C2, Prohibited Investments – RRSPs, RESPs, RRIFs, RDSPs and TFSAs.

Tax payable on non-qualified investments

If the RDSP trust acquired a non-qualified investment, or if a previously acquired property becomes a non-qualified investment, the investment will be subject to a special tax. The tax is equal to 50% of the FMV of the property at the time that it was acquired or that it became non-qualified, and the holder must file Form RC339, Individual Return for Certain Taxes for RRSPs, RRIFs, RESPs or RDSPs with a payment for any balance due, no later than June 30 following the end of the calendar year.

If the RDSP holder is liable for taxes on non-qualified investments for transactions occurring on or before March 22, 2017, the holder must file Form RC4532, Individual Tax Return for Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), with a payment for any balance no later than 90 days following the end of the calendar year.

The tax is refundable in certain circumstances. For more information, see Refund of taxes paid on non-qualified or prohibited investments.

The holder is also liable for the 100% advantage tax on specified non-qualified investment income if this income is not withdrawn promptly.

Note

Income earned and capital gains realized by an RDSP trust on non-qualified investments will continue to be taxable to the trust, regardless of when the investment was acquired. If an investment is both a non-qualified investment and a prohibited investment, it is treated as a prohibited investment only and the trust is not subject to tax on the investment earnings.

For more information, see Income Tax Folio S3-F10-C1, Qualified Investments – RRSPs, RESPs, RRIFs, RDSPs and TFSAs.

Refund of taxes paid on non-qualified or prohibited investments

You may be entitled to a refund of the 50% tax on non-qualified or prohibited investments if the investment was disposed of, or ceased to be a non-qualified or prohibited investment, before the end of the calendar year after the year in which the tax arose (or such later time as is permitted by the Minister of National Revenue).

However, no refund will be issued if it is reasonable to expect that the holder knew, or should have known, that the investment was or would become a non-qualified or a prohibited investment.

The refund applies to the 50% tax on non-qualified or prohibited investments but not to the 100% tax on advantages.

Note 

If the 50% tax on non-qualified or prohibited investments, and the entitlement to the refund of that tax, arose in the same calendar year, then a remittance of the tax is not required. For example, no remittance of tax would be required if an RDSP trust acquired and disposed of a non-qualified investment in the same calendar year.

How to claim a refund

To claim a refund, you must:

The documents must contain the following:

Obligations of the RDSP issuer

The issuer of an RDSP must exercise the care, diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person to minimize the possibility that a trust governed by the plan holds a non-qualified investment.

If the issuer fails to comply with this obligation, the issuer is liable to a penalty under the Income Tax Act.

The issuer is also required to notify the holder of the RDSP, in prescribed form and manner before March of a calendar year, if at any time in the preceding year the RDSP trust acquired or disposed of a non-qualified investment, or if an investment became or ceased to be a non-qualified investment.

Tax payable on an advantage

If the holder or a person not dealing at arm’s length with the holder (including the RDSP itself) was provided with an advantage in relation to their RDSP during the year, a 100% tax is payable, which is:

For taxes payable on an advantage before March 23, 2017, you must file using Form RC4532, Individual Tax Return for Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).

For taxes payable on an advantage after March 22, 2017, you must file using Form RC339, Individual Return for Certain Taxes for RRSPs, RRIFs, RESPs or RDSPs.

Note

When an advantage is extended by the issuer of an RDSP, the issuer, and not the holder, is liable for the tax. If the RDSP issuer is liable for this tax before March 23, 2017, the issuer must file Form T3GR, Group Income Tax and Information Return for RRSP, RRIF, RESP, or RDSP Trusts. After March 22, 2017, the issuer must file Form RC298, Advantage Tax Return for RRSP, TFSA, or RDSP issuers, RESP Promoters or RRIF Carriers.

For more information, see Income Tax Folio S3-F10-C3, Advantages – RRSPs, RESPs, RRIFs, RDSPs, and TFSAs.

Waiver of liability or cancellation

We may waive or cancel all or part of the taxes if we determine it is fair to do so after reviewing all factors, including whether:

The waiver is limited to tax paid under the anti-avoidance rules and not taxes paid under any other part of the Income Tax Act.

To consider your request, we need a letter that explains why the tax liability arose, why this is a reasonable error, and why it would be fair to cancel or waive all or part of the tax. Send your letter to one of the following addresses:

If your residential address is based in:

Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, as well as the following cities in the province of Quebec (Montréal, Québec City, Laval, Sherbrooke, Gatineau, and Longueuil).

Send your request to:

Canada Revenue Agency
Sudbury Tax Centre
Pension Workflow Team
Post Office Box 20000, Station A
Sudbury ON  P3A 5C1

If your residential address is based in:

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the remaining areas in the province of Quebec not listed under the Sudbury Tax Centre.

Send your request to:

Canada Revenue Agency
Winnipeg Tax Centre
Pension Workflow Team
Post Office Box 14000, Station Main
Winnipeg MB  R3C 3M2

Digital services

Digital services for individuals

The CRA's digital services are fast, easy, and secure!

My Account

My Account lets you view and manage your personal income tax and benefit information online. Find out how to register at My Account for Individuals.

MyCRA mobile web app

The MyCRA mobile web app lets you access key portions of your tax information. Access the app at Mobile apps – Canada Revenue Agency.

Use My Account or MyCRA to:

 You can also use My Account to:

Receiving your CRA mail online

You will receive email notifications when your CRA mail, like your notice of assessment, is available in your account. You can manage your notification preferences in My Account or MyCRA.

For more information, go to Email Notifications from the CRA.

MyBenefits CRA mobile app

Get your benefit information on the go! Use MyBenefits CRA mobile app throughout the year to:

For more information, go to Mobile apps – Canada Revenue Agency.

Electronic payments

Make your payment using:

For more information, go to Payments to the CRA.

Related forms and publications

Forms

Publications

Income Tax Folios

For more information

If you need help

If you need more information after reading this guide, go to Taxes or call 1-800-959-8281.

Direct deposit

Direct deposit is a fast, convenient, and secure way to get your CRA payments directly into your account at a financial institution in Canada. For more information and ways to enrol, go to Direct deposit - Canada Revenue Agency or contact your financial institution.

Forms and publications

The CRA encourages filing your return electronically. If you need a paper version of the CRA's forms and publications, go to Forms and publications or call 1-800-959-8281.

Electronic mailing lists

The CRA can notify you by email when new information on a subject of interest to you is available on the website. To subscribe to the electronic mailing lists, go to Canada Revenue Agency electronic mailing lists.

Tax Information Phone Service (TIPS)

For tax information by telephone, use the CRA's automated service, TIPS, by calling 1-800-267-6999.

Teletypewriter (TTY) users

If you have a hearing or speech impairment and use a TTY, call 1-800-665-0354.

If you use an operator-assisted relay service, call the CRA's regular telephone numbers instead of the TTY number.

CRA Service Feedback Program

Service complaints

You can expect to be treated fairly under clear and established rules, and get a high level of service each time you deal with the CRA. For more information see the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

If you are not satisfied with the service you received:

  1. Try to resolve the matter with the employee you have been dealing with or call the telephone number provided in the correspondence you received from the CRA. If you do not have contact information for the CRA, go to Contact the Canada Revenue Agency
  2. If you have not been able to resolve your service-related issue, you can ask to discuss the matter with the employee’s supervisor
  3. If the problem is still not resolved, you can file a service-related complaint by filling out Form RC193, Service Feedback. For more information and to learn how to file a complaint, go to Submit service feedback

If you are not satisfied with how the CRA has handled your service-related complaint, you can submit a complaint to the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson.

Formal disputes (objections and appeals)

If you disagree with an assessment, determination, or decision, you have the right to file a formal dispute.

For more information about objections or formal disputes, and related deadlines, go to Objections, appeals, disputes, and relief measures.

Reprisal complaints

If you have previously submitted a service complaint or requested a formal review of a CRA decision and feel you were not treated impartially by a CRA employee, you can submit a reprisal complaint by filling out Form RC459, Reprisal Complaint.

For more information about complaints and disputes, go to Objections, appeals, disputes, and relief measures.

Due dates

When a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or public holiday recognized by the CRA, your return is considered on time if the CRA receives it or if it is postmarked on or before the next business day.

For more information, go to Due dates and payment dates.

Cancel or waive penalties or interest

The CRA administers legislation, commonly called taxpayer relief provisions, that allows the CRA discretion to cancel or waive penalties or interest when taxpayers cannot meet their tax obligations due to circumstances beyond their control.

The CRA’s discretion to grant relief is limited to any period that ended within 10 calendar years before the year in which a request is made.

For penalties, the CRA will consider your request only if it relates to a tax year or fiscal period ending in any of the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make your request. For example, your request made in 2022 must relate to a penalty for a tax year or fiscal period ending in 2012 or later.

For interest on a balance owing for any tax year or fiscal period, the CRA will consider only the amounts that accrued during the 10 calendar years before the year in which you make your request. For example, your request made in 2022 must relate to interest that accrued in 2012 or later.

You or your authorized representative can make a request to cancel penalties or interest online using the CRA My Account, My Business Account or Represent a Client services by selecting "Request relief of penalties and interest" under "Related services."

Alternatively, you can fill out Form RC4288, Request for Taxpayer Relief – Cancel or Waive Penalties and Interest, and send it online using My Account, My Business Account or Represent a Client by selecting the “Submit documents” service; or by mail to the designated office, as shown on the last page of the form, based on your place of residence.

For more information about how to submit documents online, go to Submit documents online. For more information about relief from penalties or interest and the related forms and publications, go to Cancel or waive penalties or interest.

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