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Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)




TFSAs: Save for a specific goal

  • Registered savings plan you can use to grow your money tax-free to carry out your projects and put money aside for a rainy day
  • Contributions are not income-deductible
  • Withdrawals are non-taxable1
  • Income earned in a TFSA does not affect your eligibility for federal benefits and credits

1. Certain restrictions may apply depending on the investment chosen.

  • To open a TFSA, you must:
    • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
    • be 18 years of age or over
    • be a resident of Canada
  • The maximal annual contribution is cumulative:
    • 2009 to 2012: $5,000
    • 2013 and 2014: $5,500
    • 2015 : $10,000
    • 2016 : $5 500
    Example : For 2015, TFSA contribution room was $41,000 and for 2016, it’s $46,500 if you were never contributed.
  • Annual unused contribution room, along with withdrawals from your TFSA during previous years, is cumulative. Learn more about your TFSA contribution rights at the Canada Revenue Agency site.
  • Overcontributions are subject to a tax of 1% per month.
  • Savings grow tax-free
  • When you want to save systematically
  • Zero risk
  • A variety of features and terms
  • Invest in stock markets with a safety net
  • Income and capital security
  • Recognized fund managers
  • Easy access to all markets
  • Portfolio diversification


  • With or without the help of an investment advisor
  • Stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds and more

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2. Desjardins Funds are offered by Desjardins Financial Services Firm Inc., a Desjardins Group company.

Deposit insurance :

Depending on which province your caisse is located in, deposits in each caisse are guaranteed3 by the Autorité des marchés financiers or the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario, subject to their prescribed conditions.

Desjardins caisses in Quebec are registered with the Autorité des marchés financiers, in conformity with the terms of the Deposit Insurance Act. In Ontario, deposits in registered savings plans are insured for their total amount by the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO). Other deposits in Canadian dollars are insured up to $100,000. To learn more about deposit insurance, visit the websites of the Autorité des marchés financiers and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario.

3. This guarantee does not apply to money invested in mutual funds or other investment vehicles whose value and returns fluctuate depending on market performance, such as stocks, bonds and Treasury bills, to name a few.

Compare TFSAs and RRSPs

TFSAs and RRSPs are 2 different registered savings plans that allow you to save money tax-free.

TFSAs : Save for a specific goal RRSPs : Save for retirement
A TFSA is a registered savings plan that allows you to put money aside tax-free to reach short-term goals throughout your life. It is useful for :
  • renovating your home
  • buying a car
  • starting a business
  • taking a trip
An RRSP is a registered savings plan that allows you to build tax-free retirement savings while also reducing your tax load at the time of contribution. It is useful for :
  • saving for retirement
  • buying or building your first home
  • financing your education

There may, however, be exceptions to these rules :

  • TFSAs may sometimes be better than RRSPs to save for retirement.
  • Borrowing from your RRSP to buy a home through the Home Buyer's Plan is often a very effective strategy.
  • A TFSA may also be useful when you have contributed the maximum to your RRSP and are seeking an additional tax deduction.

Determining which plan is better for you can be complex. Discuss it with your Desjardins advisor.

TFSA and RRSP comparison chart
Contribution deadline January 1 to December 31 of current year Febuary 29, 2016
Age limit None The year of your 71st birthday
Contribution amount Annual maximum:
  • 2009 to 2012: $5,000
  • 2013 and 2014: $5,500
  • 2015: $10,000
  • 2016: $5,500
18% of income earned the preceding year, up to $24,930 in 2015 and $25,370 in 2016.
Are contributions income tax deductible? No Yes
Withdrawals Non-taxable Taxable
Investment income Non-taxable Non-taxable
Unused contribution room The unused portion of your maximum allowable contributions since 2009 The unused portion of your maximum annual amount deductible since 1991
Excess contributions Not allowed Up to $2,000 above the maximum allowable annual contribution
Impact of withdrawals on benefits from social programs None Added to taxable income.
Do withdrawals increase contribution room? Yes, equal to the qualifying amount withdrawn1 and added to the contribution room for the following year. No
Are spousal contributions allowed? No. However, money you give your spouse to contribute to a TFSA is not subject to attribution rules. Yes. The contributing spouse claims the tax deduction even if he or she not the beneficiary.
Taxable upon death? No. Amounts generated prior to death can be rolled over to the spouse tax-free. Yes, except if rolled over to spouse, or to minor or disabled child.
Can it be used as collateral for a loan? Yes No

Eligible investments for TFSAs and RRSPs

Since RRPS and TFSAs are savings plans, you can invest in them using a wide range of eligible investment products.

Type of investment TFSA RRSP
Regular Savings Account  
Tax-free savings account
Guaranteed fixed-rate investments
Market-linked guaranteed investment
Desjardins Funds
Guaranteed investment funds - Helios2 Contract
Stock market securities
Surplus shares  

Learn more about RRPSs

1. Following changes recommended by Finance Canada, withdrawals of overcontributions, non-qualified investments and amounts attributable to swap transactions, or of any related investment income, do not create additional TFSA contribution room. Some of this income will be taxed at 100%.

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