What you should know about TFSAs
Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) are registered savings plans with the ability to earn investment income that is tax free. These funds can provide security for the future and financially prepare you for retirement. Other registered savings plans include Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) and the Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP). Anyone who is 18 years of age or older, is a Canadian resident and has a Social Insurance Number can open a TFSA.
Did you know that as of January 1, 2015, the annual contribution was increased from $5,500 to $10,000? Only 14% of Canadians are aware of this fact. Contributions of up to $5,000 per year for 2009-2012; $5,500 for 2013-2014; and $10,000 for 2015 can be deposited. Unused contribution room (the maximum amount you can contribute to your TFSA) can be carried forward to following years. More than half of Canadians who have a TFSA only contribute once a year; however, there is no limit to the number of contributions made in a year as long as you do not exceed your contribution room. Penalties will be assessed for over-contributions.
When a withdrawal is made, you are able to replace the amount within the same year if you have available TFSA contribution room. You can determine your TFSA contribution room through the Canada Revenue Agency. Any income earned in the account whether it be interest income, dividends or capital gains is sheltered from tax as long as it stays in the TFSA. Government benefits and credits such as Old Age Security (OAS), Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), Employment Insurance (EI) and Age Exemption Tax Credit are not affected or reduced as a result of income earned in a TFSA. The income earned also does not affect your eligibility for federal credits such as the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB), Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) and Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax Credit (GST/HST). If you are interesting in learning more about Tax Free Savings Accounts, contact YourStyle Financial.