RESP contributions

You will be able to make contributions for a beneficiary only if either:


If the plan was entered into before 1999, the beneficiary's SIN will not be required. However, such contributions will continue to be ineligible for the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG).

Contribution rules

Generally, you can contribute to family plans for beneficiaries who are under 31 years of age at the time of the contribution. However, transfers can be made from another family plan even if one or more of the beneficiaries are 31 years of age or older at the time of the transfer.

RESP contracts can take advantage of the new age limit as long as the specimen plan under which the contract is held is amended. The amendment must be applicable for 2008 and subsequent taxation years.

RESP contributions cannot be deducted from your income on your Income Tax and Benefit Return. In addition, you cannot deduct the interest you paid on money you borrowed to contribute to an RESP.

Contribution limits

For 2007 and later years, there is no annual limit for contributions to RESPs, however, the lifetime limit on the amounts that can be contributed to all RESPs for a beneficiary is $50,000.

Payments made to an RESP under the Canada Education Savings Act or under a designated provincial program are not included when determining if the lifetime limit has been exceeded.

Tax on RESP excess contributions

An excess contribution occurs at the end of a month when the total of all contributions made by all subscribers to all RESPs for a beneficiary is more than the lifetime limit for that beneficiary. We do not include payments made to an RESP under the Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) or any Provincial Education Savings Programs when determining whether a beneficiary has an excess contribution.

Each subscriber for that beneficiary is liable to pay a 1% per-month tax on his or her share of the excess contribution that is not withdrawn by the end of the month. The tax is payable within 90 days after the end of the year in which there is an excess contribution. An excess contribution exists until it is withdrawn.

You have to inform us of your share of the excess contribution to all RESPs for a beneficiary. To calculate the amount of tax you have to pay on your share of the excess contribution for a year, fill out Form T1E-OVP, Individual Tax Return for RESP Excess Contribution.

Waiver of liability

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 tax arose because of a reasonable error and whether the tax also gave rise to more than one tax under the Income Tax Act. To consider your request, we need a letter that explains: 

Send your letter to following address:

Registered Plans Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency
Ottawa ON K1A 0L5

There are limits on the amounts that can be contributed to all RESPs for a beneficiary.

For each beneficiary, the annual limit is:

For each beneficiary, the lifetime limit is:


You can reduce the amount subject to tax by withdrawing the excess contributions. However, in determining whether the lifetime limit has been exceeded, we include the withdrawn amounts as contributions for the beneficiary even though they have been withdrawn.

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