What is an RRSP scheme?

An RRSP scheme is usually a type of investment promotion offering a “tax-free” withdrawal to access directly or indirectly to your RRSP funds. Examples of these RRSP schemes include claims of the following:

  • withdrawal of funds from an RRSP or a registered retirement income fund (RRIF) without paying tax (promoters often promise to return part of the taxpayer's investment using offshore debit or credit cards, offshore bank accounts, or loan-back arrangements)
  • immediate access to assets in “locked-in” RRSPs or RRIF
  • income tax receipts providing deductions of three or more times the amount contributed to an RRSP
  • unrealistic returns on investments

Typically, promoters of these questionable schemes will direct the owner of a self-directed RRSP or RRIF to purchase a particular investment through a specific trustee. The particular investment could be shares in a company, units of participation in a co-operative, a mortgage, or other types of investments.

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