Contributions

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.

Note

Qualifying transfers, exempt contributions and specified distributions are not considered in the calculation of 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 more information, see TFSA excess amount correspondence explained.

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
  • determine how funds are invested

You can give your spouse or common law partner money so that they can contribute to their own TFSA, and this amount or any earned income from that amount will not be allocated back to you. The total contributions you each make to your own TFSAs cannot be more than your TFSA contribution room. For more information, see TFSA contribution room below.

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

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 to 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 years 2016 to 2018 was $5,500.

The annual TFSA dollar limit for the year 2019 and 2020 is $6,000.

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 to know your TFSA contribution room

The TFSA contribution room is the total of all of the following:

  • the TFSA dollar limit of the current year
  • any unused TFSA contribution room from previous years
  • any withdrawals made from the TFSA in the previous year

Note

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.

The TFSA contribution room will not accumulate 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 when an individual meets any of one of the following conditions:

  • turns 18 years of age
  • dies
  • becomes a resident or a non-resident of Canada

Where can I find my TFSA contribution room information?

Your TFSA contribution room information can be found by using one of the following services:

Note

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.

How to authorize a representative

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 taht you have authorized us to do so through My Account for Individuals, or go to Authorizing a representative – Overview

Your authorization will stay in effect until any one of the following situations apllies:

  • it is cancelled by you or your representative
  • it reaches the expiry date you choose
  • we receive notification of your death

You or your representative can cancel the consent you gave by telephone or in writing.

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 Authorizing a representative – Overview.  

How to find your online mail

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 Email notifications from the CRA – Individuals.

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 us 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 us, 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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