Registered Education Savings Plans payments, transferring and rolling over Registered Education Savings Plans property

Increase to educational assistance payments (EAP) limits

EAP limits have now increased from $5,000 to $8,000 in the first 13 weeks of enrollment in a qualifying educational program (full-time studies), and from $2,500 to $4,000 in any 13-week period while enrolled in a specified educational program (part-time studies) as of March 28, 2023. For more information, visit Registered education savings plan (RESP) Bulletin No.1R3.

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Payments from an RESP

The promoter can make the following types of payments:

Refund of contributions to the subscriber or the beneficiary

Subject to the terms and conditions of the RESP, the promoter can return your contributions to you tax-free when the contract ends or at any time before.

Promoters do not issue a T4A slip, Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity and Other Income, to report these payments. Do not include these payments as income on your income tax and benefit return.

The promoter can also pay the contributions tax-free to the beneficiary. This is in addition to any taxable educational assistance payments. For more information, see Educational assistance payments (EAPs) section below.

Educational Assistance Payments

An educational assistance payment (EAP) is the amount paid to a beneficiary (a student) from an RESP to help finance the cost of post-secondary education. An EAP consists of the Canada education savings grant, the Canada learning bond (CLB), amounts paid under a designated provincial program and the earnings on the money saved in the RESP. The promoter reports EAPs in box 042 on a T4A slip and sends a copy to the student. The student includes the EAPs as income on their income tax and benefit return for the year the student receives them.


A beneficiary must be a resident of Canada in order to receive the CESG or CLB as part of the EAP. Contact the appropriate provincial authorities to determine residency requirements for the eligibility conditions for provincial grants and incentives.

The promoter can only pay EAPs to or for a student if one of the following situations applies:

A beneficiary is entitled to receive EAPs for up to six months after ceasing enrolment, provided that the payments would have qualified as EAPs if the payments had been made immediately before the student's enrolment ceased.

A qualifying educational program is an educational program at post-secondary school level, that lasts at least three consecutive weeks, and that requires a student to spend not less than 10 hours per-week on courses or work in the program.

A specified educational program is a program at post-secondary school level that lasts at least three consecutive weeks, and that requires a student to spend not less than 12 hours per-month on courses in the program.

A post-secondary educational institution includes all of the following:

Accumulated income payments

Accumulated income payment (AIPs) are amounts, usually paid to the subscriber, of the income earned from an RESP. An AIP does not include any of the following:

AIPs cannot be made as a single joint payment to separate subscribers.

An RESP may allow for AIPs when both of the following conditions are met:


When more than one individual is entitled to receive AIPs from the plan, the payments must be made separately to each person. No joint payments are allowed.

Also, any one of the following three conditions must also apply:


We may waive the conditions in the first bullet if it is reasonable to expect that a beneficiary under the RESP will not be able to pursue post-secondary education because they suffer from a severe and prolonged mental impairment. Such requests have to be made by the RESP promoter in writing to the following address:

Canada Revenue Agency
Registered Plans Directorate
875 Heron Rd.
Ottawa ON  K1A 0L5

An RESP must be terminated by the end of February of the year after the year in which the first AIP is paid.

How AIPs are taxed

An AIP is subject to two different taxes: the regular income tax and an additional tax of 20% (12% for residents of Quebec).

RESP payments to a designated educational institution

An RESP may also provide for payments to be made to a Canadian designated educational institution at any time. For example, payments could occur when the plan is left with only a small amount of cash after the subscriber withdraws the contributions as a refund of contributions and one or more of the requirements for accumulated income payments (AIPs) are not met. Generally, the terms of a plan should provide that, if an amount is left in the plan and the conditions for an educational assistance payment or AIP are not met, that amount will be paid to a designated educational institution in Canada, or to a trust for such an institution.

Transferring RESP property to another RESP

Most transfers from one RESP to another RESP will have no tax implications. This is the case when the transferring RESP and the receiving RESP have the same beneficiary. There are also no tax implications when a beneficiary under the transferring RESP has a brother or sister (under 21 years of age at the time the receiving plan was entered into, unless the receiving plan is a family plan) who is a beneficiary under the receiving RESP.

In any other case, transfers can result in an excess contribution. This is because the RESP contribution history for each beneficiary under the transferring RESP is assumed by each beneficiary under the receiving RESP. We treat each contribution as if it had been made into the receiving RESP. In addition, we treat each subscriber under the transferring RESP as a subscriber under the receiving RESP. This means that they are liable for any tax on excess contribution.

A transfer of assets between individual RESPs may result in the repayment of the Canada Education Savings Grants and Canada Learning Bonds when the transfer occurs between plans held by siblings and the plan receiving the transfer amount is held by a sibling whose age exceeds 20.

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

Rollovers can be made after 2013 from an RESP to an RDSP. In general term, a subscriber of an RESP that allows accumulated income payments and a holder of an RDSP may jointly elect in prescribed form 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 education savings 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:

The education savings rollover to an RDSP will not be subject to regular income tax or the additional 20% tax. 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 the CRA.

When an education savings rollover occurs, contributions in the RESP will be returned to the RESP subscriber on a tax-free basis. As well, CESGs and CLBs 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.

An education savings rollover to an RDSP:

An education savings rollover cannot be made if the beneficiary meets one of the following:

An education savings rollover cannot be made if the RDSP holder has not provided their consent to the rollover.

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