RESP Bulletin No.1R1

This bulletin cancels and replaces RESP Bulletin No.1, dated August 12, 2008, and has information on education assistance payments (EAPs) and registered educations savings plan (RESP) contributions.

Education assistance payments

An EAP is defined in the Income Tax Act as an amount, other than a refund of payments, paid out of an RESP to or for beneficiaries to help them to further their education at the post-secondary level. Under paragraph 146.1(2)(g.1) of the Act, an EAP may be paid to a beneficiary who is enrolled as a student in a qualifying educational program or is at least 16 years old and a student enrolled in a specified educational program at a post-secondary educational institution.

To help reduce the current administrative burden that promoters face when asked for an EAP, on August 12, 2008 we introduced an annual EAP threshold limit of $20,000, indexed annually by the consumer price index (see table below). On an administrative basis, we consider all legitimate EAP requests below this threshold to be acceptable. We do not expect promoters to assess the reasonableness of each expense item as long as the conditions permitting an EAP are met.

The $5,000 limit for the first 13 consecutive weeks of enrolment in the previous 12-month period remains. Prior to completion of the first 13 consecutive weeks of studies in the previous 12-month period, the Minister designated for purposes of the Canada Education Savings Act (CESA) is required to approve, on a case-by-case basis, an EAP amount that is substantially higher than the $5,000 limit stipulated in the Act.

While the $5,000 limit remains under the Act, the promoter does not need to determine if the request for an EAP is reasonable if the amount requested is within the annual limit.

Annual EAP threshold limits
Year Limit
2021 $24,676
2020 $24,432
2019 $23,976
2018 $23,460 
2017 $23,113
2016 $22,794
2015 $22,501
2014 $22,125
2013 $21,928
2012 $21,498
2011 $20,912
2010 $20,623
2009 $20,500

RESP contributions

The October 2007 budget amended the Act and added the definition designated provincial program. The definition is relevant for deduction purposes under paragraph 60(x) and to the definitions of contributions and trust in subsection 146.1(1) of the Act. A designated provincial program is a program administered under an agreement entered into under section 12 of the CESA or is a prescribed program. This amendment applies to all specimen plans for the 2007 and later tax years. All specimen plans must be amended to add a definition of designated provincial program and to modify their definitions of contribution and trust to meet the requirements of section 146.1 of the Act.

Where to get help

Registered Plans Directorate

You can find more information at Savings and pension plan administration.

By telephone

Toll-free in Canada and the United States: 1-800-267-3100.
If you are calling from outside of Canada or the United States, call us collect at 613-221-3105. The Registered Plans Directorate accepts collect calls.

By mail

Registered Plans Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency
Ottawa ON  K1A 0L5

By courier

Information Holdings Operation Section – Registered Plans
Registered Plans Directorate
Canada Revenue Agency
875 Heron Road, B70
Ottawa ON  K1A 1A2

We welcome feedback on this bulletin. Send comments by email to RPD.LPRA2@cra-arc.gc.ca.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: