Online, electronic, or telephone applications

Tax-free savings account (TFSA) issuers have various options for obtaining information from potential holders. When issuers gather client information using an “online, electronic, or telephone” (hereafter referred to as “paperless”) application process, they must meet the following requirements:

  • The information to be captured on the paperless application must be the same as what is required on the paper application form of an approved specimen. As long as the information on the approved application form is captured on the paperless version, the paperless application does not need to be submitted for our review.
  • If the issuer does not have an approved specimen and wishes to capture information using a paperless application process (instead of a paper application form) then, in addition to the Declaration of Trust/Terms and Conditions/Policy and Endorsement (as applicable), a hard copy of the screen shots, electronic form(s), or telephone script must be submitted for our review and approval. In this situation, the regular specimen approval process will be followed.
  • The holder must be provided with the following:
    • a copy of the Declaration of Trust/Terms and Conditions/Policy and Endorsement (as applicable) that is consistent with the approved specimen;
    • a contract number; and
    • a confirmation of the date and time of application.
  • The issuer will consider the completed application as a request to file an election to register the qualifying arrangement as a TFSA once the holder has provided consent. The issuer is responsible for determining what constitutes consent (such as the electronic or digital signature, or telephone acceptance).
  • Your records must abide by the retention requirements found in the latest versions of IC78-10R, Books and Records Retention/Destruction, and IC05-1R, Electronic Record Keeping.
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