The maximum amount that you can contribute to your TFSA is limited by your TFSA contribution room.
All TFSA contributions made during the year, including the replacement or re-contribution of withdrawals made from a TFSA, will count against your contribution room.
At any time in the year, if you contribute more than your allowable TFSA contribution room, you will be considered to be over-contributing to your TFSA and you will be subject to a tax equal to 1% of the highest excess TFSA amount in the month, for each month that the excess amount remains in your account. For an example, see Examples – Tax payable on excess TFSA amount.
You do not need to have earned income to contribute to a TFSA.
As the account holder you are the only person who can do the following with your TFSA:
- make contributions;
- make withdrawals; and
- determine how the funds are invested.
You can give your spouse or common-law partner money to contribute to their own TFSA without having that amount, or any earnings from that amount being attributed back to you, but the total contributions you each make to your own TFSAs cannot be more than your individual TFSA contribution room. For more information, see TFSA contribution room.
Contributions made to a TFSA are not tax-deductible.
Management fees related to a TFSA trust and paid by the holder are not considered to be contributions to the TFSA. The payment of investment counsel, transfer, or other fees by a TFSA trust will not result in a distribution (withdrawal) from the TFSA trust.
TFSA contribution room
Your TFSA contribution room is the maximum amount that you can contribute to your TFSA.
Starting in 2009, TFSA contribution room accumulates every year, if at any time in the calendar year you are 18 years of age or older and a resident of Canada.
Only contributions made under a valid social insurance number are accepted as TFSA contributions.
You will accumulate TFSA contribution room for each year even if you do not file an income tax and benefit return or open a TFSA.
The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 was $5,000.
The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2013 and 2014 was $5,500.
The annual TFSA dollar limit for the year 2015 was $10,000.
The annual TFSA dollar limit for the year 2016 was $5,500.
The annual TFSA dollar limit for the year 2017 is $5,500.
The TFSA annual room limit will be indexed to inflation and rounded to the nearest $500.
Investment income earned by, and changes in the value of TFSA investments will not affect your TFSA contribution room for the current or future years. For an example, see Example 1 – TFSA contribution room.
How your TFSA contribution room is determined
The TFSA contribution room is made up of:
- your TFSA dollar limit plus indexation;
- any unused TFSA contribution room from the previous year; and
- any withdrawals made from the TFSA in the previous year.
Qualifying transfers, exempt contributions and specified distributions are not considered in the calculation of contribution room.
For an example, see Example 2 – TFSA contribution room.
An individual will not accumulate TFSA contribution room for any year during which the individual is a non-resident of Canada throughout the entire year.
The TFSA dollar limit is not prorated in the year an individual:
- turns 18 years old;
- dies; or
- becomes a resident or a non-resident of Canada.
You can have more than one TFSA at any given time, but the total amount you contribute to all your TFSAs cannot be more than your available TFSA contribution room for that year. As the account holder, you are the only person who can contribute to your TFSA.
Where can I find my TFSA contribution room information?
Your TFSA contribution room information can be found by going to one of the following services:
Any contributions that are made or withdrawn from a TFSA in the prior year may not be reflected in your available current year contribution room until after the end of February. All issuers have until the last day of February to electronically submit a TFSA record to the CRA for each individual who has a TFSA. Any transactions made in the current year will not be included.
In addition, if you want to receive a TFSA Room Statement, contact us. You can also ask for a TFSA Transaction Summary that shows the information that we received from your TFSA issuer(s) about your contributions and withdrawals.
If the information that we have about your TFSA transactions is not complete or if you have made contributions to your TFSA this year, use Form RC343, Worksheet – TFSA contribution room, to calculate your TFSA contribution room for the current year. If we have deemed your unused TFSA contribution room to be a specific amount, do not use this form; contact us for more information.
You must keep records about your TFSA transactions to ensure that you do not exceed your TFSA contribution room. We will also keep track of an individual's contribution room and determine the balance of room for each eligible individual based on information provided annually by the TFSA issuers.
You can authorize a representative (such as your spouse or common-law partner, tax preparer, or accountant) to get information about your tax matters and give us information on your behalf. We will accept information from and/or provide information to your representative only after we are satisfied that you have authorized us to do so through My Account for Individuals, in writing, or by sending a filled out Form T1013, Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative. Your authorization will stay in effect until it is cancelled by you or your representative, it reaches the expiry date you choose, or we receive notification of your death. You or your representative can cancel by telephone, in person, or in writing, the consent you gave.
If you were the legal representative of a deceased person, see Guide T4011, Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons, to know what documents are required.
Learn more about representatives by going to Represent a Client.
As of February 2016, some Tax Free Savings Account letters are available for online mail. Once you are registered for online mail the CRA will send you an email notification when you have new mail to view in your secure online account. Correspondence available through online mail will no longer be printed and mailed through Canada Post. To learn more go to Online Mail.
How is your TFSA information obtained?
By the last day of February of the following year, all issuers are required to electronically submit a TFSA record to CRA for each individual who has a TFSA.
If you disagree with any of the information on your TFSA Room Statement, or TFSA Transaction Summary, such as dates or amounts of contributions or withdrawals which your TFSA issuer has provided to the CRA, you should contact your TFSA issuer. If any information initially provided by the issuer regarding your account is incorrect, the issuer must send us an amended record so that we can update our records.
You can view your TFSA Transaction Summary online. Go to My Account for Individuals to see all the contributions and withdrawals made to your TFSA.
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