Withdrawing the unused contributions

If you did not deduct all the contributions you made to your RRSP, PRPP or SPP, or your spouse's or common-law partner's RRSP in 1991 and later years (or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s SPP in 2010 and later years), you have two options:

  • you can leave the unused contributions in the plan
  • you can withdraw the unused contributions

In either case, you may have to pay a 1% per-month tax on the part of your unused contributions that are excess contributions. What happens if you go over your RRSP deduction limit?

If you withdraw the unused contributions, you have to include them as income on your income tax and benefit return. However, you may be able to deduct an amount equal to the withdrawn contributions that you include in your income, if you or your spouse or common-law partner received the unused contributions from an RRSP, a PRPP, an SPP or a RRIF:

  • in the year you contributed them
  • in the following year
  • in the year that you were sent a notice of assessment or notice of reassessment for the year you contributed them, or in the following year

You can deduct the amount if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You have not deducted, for any year, the unused contributions that you made to your RRSP, PRPP or SPP, your spouse’s or common-law partner’s RRSP or SPP

  • You have not designated the withdrawal of the unused RRSP, PRPP or SPP contributions as a qualifying withdrawal to have your PSPA certified

  • No part of the withdrawn contributions was a lump-sum amount from an RPP, an SPP, a PRPP, or certain DPSP amounts that you transferred directly to an RRSP, an SPP, or a PRPP. For more information, see Transferring

In addition, it has to be reasonable for us to consider that at least one of the following applies. You:

  • reasonably expected to be able to fully deduct the RRSP, PRPP or SPP contributions for the year you made the contributions or the immediately preceding year

  • did not make the RRSP, PRPP or SPP contributions intending to withdraw them and deduct an offsetting amount


If you or your spouse or common-law partner receives a payment for unused contributions you made and you deduct an amount under the above rules, we do not consider the unused contributions to be RRSP contributions after you or your spouse or common-law partner receives the payment. Accordingly, you cannot deduct the amount for any year.

If you meet all of the previous conditions and have not already withdrawn the unused RRSP contributions, you can withdraw them without having tax withheld. To do this, fill out Form T3012A, Tax Deduction Waiver on the Refund of Your Unused RRSP, PRPP, or SPP Contributions from your RRSP.

If you made contributions to your RRSP or to your spouse's RRSP or common-law partner's RRSP that you did not deduct for any year and those funds are transferred from that RRSP to a RRIF, you may be allowed a deduction for amounts you or your spouse or common-law partner withdraws from that RRIF for those unused RRSP contributions. Claim this deduction on line 232 of your return.

This form cannot be used to withdraw SPP or PRPP contributions, or unused RRSP contributions that were transferred to a RRIF. The financial institution must withhold tax for withdrawals made without Form T3012A.

Completing your income tax and benefit return

Withdrawal made with Form T3012A that we approved

Withdrawal made without Form T3012A

  • Report the amount shown in box 22 of the T4RSP slip on line 129 of your income tax and benefit return.
  • If the amount appears in boxes 16 and 24 of the T4RIF slip and you were 65 years or older on December 31 of the tax year, report the amount shown in box 16 on line 115. Otherwise, report that amount on line 130.
  • Claim the tax the issuer withheld on line 437 of your income tax and benefit return.

Complete Form T746, Calculating Your Deduction for Refund of Unused RRSP, PRPP or SPP Contributions, to calculate the amount you can deduct for the withdrawal.

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