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Opening your FHSAs

Find out who is eligible to open a first home savings account (FHSA) and how to open an account.

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Who can open an FHSA

To open an FHSA, you must be a qualifying individual by meeting all of the conditions below when you open your account.

    You meet both of the following age conditions

  • If legal age in your province is 19 years old

    In certain provinces and territories, the legal age at which an individual can enter into a contract (which includes opening an FHSA) is 19 years old.

  • You meet the residency condition

  • Determining your residency status

    If you become a non-resident after opening an FHSA

  • You meet both of the following first–time home buyer conditions

    You are a first-time home buyer for the purpose of opening an FHSA if, when you open the account:

  • What counts as a qualifying home

    A qualifying home is a housing unit located in Canada. This includes existing homes and those being constructed.

    Qualifies

    • Single-family homes
    • Semi-detached homes
    • Townhouses
    • Mobile homes
    • Condominium units
    • Apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings
    • A share in a co-operative housing corporation that entitles you to own and gives you an equity interest in a housing unit

    Does not qualify

    • A share that only provides you with a right to tenancy in the housing unit

You need to meet all of the above conditions to open an FHSA

If you do not meet all of the conditions above, you are not a qualifying individual and cannot open an FHSA.

Example: Opening an FHSA the year you turn 18

Bea is a Canadian resident who lives in a province where she is permitted to open an FHSA at the age of 18. Bea turns 18 on August 15, 2023. She will not be able to open an FHSA until that date. Once Bea turns 18, she can open an FHSA if she meets all of the eligibility conditions. Once Bea opens an FHSA, she will be able to contribute to her FHSA or transfer from her registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) to her FHSA up to $8,000 in 2023.

Example: Are you a first-time home buyer

Example 1

Aysha is a Canadian resident who is 29 years old. Aysha would like to open an FHSA on May 9, 2023. She became a joint owner of a home in 2019, which she used as her principal place of residence and sold in 2022. Aysha is not considered to be a first-time home buyer because she co–owned a home that was her principal place of residence during the period of time between January 1, 2019 and May 9, 2023.

As a result, Aysha is not a qualifying individual and will not be permitted to open an FHSA until at least 2027.

Example 2

Carlos is a Canadian resident who is 34 years old. Carlos would like to open an FHSA in June 2023. He currently lives with his common-law partner in a home that his common-law partner owns. Carlos is not considered to be a first-time home buyer because his current principal place of residence is owned by his common-law partner. As a result, Carlos is not a qualifying individual and will not be permitted to open an FHSA.

How to open an FHSA

You can open one or more than one FHSA through an FHSA issuer, such as a bank, credit union, or a trust or insurance company. Your issuer will advise you on the types of FHSAs and the qualified investments they offer. For more information on the types of investments permitted in your FHSAs, go to Investments in your FHSAs.

To open an FHSA, you must do the following:

  1. Contact your issuer

  2. Provide the issuer with the information they need to register your FHSA, including:

    • your social insurance number
    • your date of birth
    • any supporting documents your issuer may need to certify that you are a qualifying individual

If you provide information to the issuer and it is subsequently determined that you provided incorrect information, it is possible that the registration of your FHSA may be revoked as far back as the date on which it was opened.

The following will apply after the date of revocation:

  • any contributions made to the account will not be tax-deductible
  • any amounts transferred from your RRSPs to the account will be treated as an RRSP withdrawal and must be reported as income on your income tax and benefit return for the year of transfer
  • any income earned under the account will not be tax-free and must be reported on your income tax and benefit return for the year it was earned

When you open your FHSAs, you may want to designate a beneficiary on your account. For more information, go to Types of beneficiaries.

File your income tax and benefit return

You must file your income tax and benefit return for the year that you opened your first FHSA to let us know that you opened an account, even if you did not contribute to your FHSAs or transfer property from your RRSPs to your FHSAs in that year.

More information about where to include the above information on your income tax and benefit return will be available at a later date.

Example: Filing your income tax and benefit return after opening your first FHSA

Amalia is a Canadian resident who is 40 years old. Amalia has never owned a home. She is a qualifying individual and is permitted to open an FHSA.

Amalia goes to her financial institution and opens her first FHSA in June 2023.

Amalia does not make any contributions to her FHSA or transfers from her RRSP to her FHSA in 2023.

When Amalia files her income tax and benefit return for 2023, she lets the CRA know that she opened an FHSA in 2023, even though she did not have any activity in her FHSA in that year.

Types of FHSAs

There are three types of FHSAs that can be offered:

  • a depositary FHSA
    • an account (with a financial institution) that holds money, term deposits, or guaranteed investment certificates (GICs)
  • a trusteed FHSA
    • a trust (with a trust company as trustee) that holds qualified investments such as money, term deposits, GICs, government and corporate bonds, mutual funds, and securities listed on a designated stock exchange
  • an insured FHSA
    • an annuity contract (with a licensed annuity provider)

For information about a type of FHSA, contact an FHSA issuer.

Self-directed FHSA

You can set up a self-directed FHSA if you prefer to build and manage your investment portfolio by buying and selling different types of qualified investments. For more information, contact an FHSA issuer.

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