What happens if you go over your RRSP deduction limit?

If you (or your employer for pooled registered pension plan (PRPP) purposes) contribute more to your RRSP, PRPP or SPP, or your spouse's or common-law partner's RRSP or SPP than your RRSP deduction limit allows, you will have an excess contribution.

Generally, you have to pay a tax of 1% per month on excess contributions that exceed your RRSP/PRPP deduction limit by more than $2,000 unless you:

  • withdrew the excess amounts
  • contributed to a qualifying group plan

If you have to pay this 1% tax, fill out a T1-OVP, 2019 Individual Tax Return for RRSP, PRPP and SPP Excess Contributions return and send it to your tax centre. Pay the tax within 90 days after the calendar year avoid late-filing penalties or interest charged.

Can the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) cancel or waive the tax on your excess contributions?

You can ask the CRA in writing to consider cancelling or waiving the tax if the following two conditions are met:

  • your excess contributions on which the tax is based arose due to a reasonable error
  • you are taking, or have taken, reasonable steps to eliminate the excess contributions

Include the following with your letter:

  • why you made excess contributions and why this is a reasonable error
  • any other correspondence that shows that your excess contributions are due to a reasonable error

How does a voluntary disclosure work?

If you realize the information you gave to the CRA is wrong or incomplete, you may be able to make a voluntary disclosure. To see if your disclosure qualifies for this program, go to Voluntary Disclosures Program.

This program does not apply to any tax return for which we have started a review.

Late-filing penalties

The CRA will charge a late-filing penalty if you do not file your T1-OVP, 2019 Individual Tax Return for RRSP, PRPP and SPP Excess Contributions return on time. The due date for filing the T1-OVP is 90 days after the end of the calendar year.

The penalty is:

  • 5% of your balance owing
    plus
  • 1% of your balance owing for each month that your tax return is late, to a maximum of 12 months

Your late-filing penalty may be higher if CRA charged you a late-filing penalty on your T1 OVP return for any of the three previous years.

Interest charges

Interest is compounded daily on:

CRA calculates interest starting on the 91st day of the following year.

For more information on relief of late-filing penalties and interest, see Information Circular IC00-1, Voluntary Disclosures Program.

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