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First home savings account (FHSA)

Save tax-free for a qualifying home with an FHSA.

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FHSA introductory rate

5.00 % 1

Open an FHSA and watch your savings grow with this limited-time interest rate. 2

What is an FHSA?

An FHSA is a new registered plan that lets you save tax-free for a down payment on your first qualifying home. 3

FHSA benefits

Tax-deductible contributions

FHSA contributions are eligible for a tax deduction, which reduces your taxable income for the current year or a future one.

Tax-free earnings

Investment income grows tax-free.

Tax-free withdrawals

You can withdraw your money tax-free to buy your first qualifying home. 4

FHSA explained

FHSA eligibility

You can open an FHSA if:

  • You're 18 or older (not more than 71 on December 31)
  • You're a Canadian resident
  • You or your spouse or common-law partner didn't own a primary residence you were living in the year before the account was opened or during the previous 4 calendar years

FHSA contribution limit

Your contribution room is $8,000 per year, up to a lifetime limit of $40,000.

If you contribute less than the annual limit, you can carry forward the unused room (maximum $8,000) to the following year.

So each year, you can use up to $8,000 of the unused portion, up to a maximum annual contribution of $16,000. 5

FHSA loans

You can take out a loan to maximize your FHSA contributions. Contributing the maximum amount helps to reduce your taxable income and if you get a tax refund, you can use it to pay back your loan. 6

FHSA contribution deadline

The deadline is December 31 of the tax year. You can deduct your contributions on your tax return the year you make them, or later on to take advantage of the tax deduction in a future year.

When to close an FHSA

You must close your FHSA by one of the following dates, whichever comes first:

  • December 31 of the year you turn 71
  • December 31 of the year of the 15th anniversary of opening your FHSA
  • December 31 of the year following your first qualifying withdrawal

Good to know

Are you already contributing to an RRSP? You can transfer some of this money to an FHSA tax-free if you don't exceed your FHSA contribution room. If you're saving up for a home and you meet the eligibility requirements, this new plan might be the best option for you.

Keep in mind that you won't get RRSP contribution room back for this transferred amount or receive another tax deduction.

How to open the FHSA

1. Open the FHSA

Log in to AccèsD to open your FHSA and start contributing.

Not a Desjardins member or prefer some help with your investment plan?


2. Start contributing 

Contribute to your FHSA now or set up automatic transfers to take the work out of saving.

Qualified investments for an FHSA

Find out which investments you can hold in your FHSA.

FHSA – Savings Account

Grow your money quickly with no fees to buy your first home.

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Learn more about FHSA – Savings Accounts.

FHSA or HBP: Which one to choose?

You can use your FHSA and HBP together to make a down payment on your first home, or choose the one that's best for your needs and goals.

FHSA

You can withdraw all your contributions (lifetime limit of $40,000) and the accumulated investment income from your FHSA to buy a qualifying home. 3

Withdrawal taxes

You won't be taxed on the amount withdrawn if you use it to buy a first qualifying home. 4

Repayment

You don't have to pay back the amount withdrawn from your FHSA.

HBP

You can withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP to buy a qualifying home. 3

Withdrawal taxes

You won't be taxed on the amount withdrawn if you pay back the required amount each year to your RRSP. 7

Repayment

You have 15 years to pay back the amount withdrawn from your RRSP. You must start your repayments during the second year after the withdrawal.

All about buying a first home

Learn about the steps for buying a home so you can start the process with confidence.

FAQ

Is there a penalty if I exceed my FHSA contribution limit?

Yes. A 1% tax on excess contributions to an FHSA would apply each month. You can remove this penalty by withdrawing the excess amount. Otherwise, the excess amount is deducted from your contribution limit for the following year.

What happens to my FHSA if I don't use it?

If you don't use the funds in your FHSA, you can choose to: 

Can I contribute to my child's or spouse's or common-law partner's FHSA?

No. You can't directly contribute to another person's FHSA. However, you can personally give money to your child or spouse or common-law partner so they can contribute to their FHSA.

In all cases, only the FHSA's holder can make contributions and claim tax deductions for those contributions. In addition, investment income generated in the FHSA will not go to the person who gave money to the account holder.

Do I have to deduct my contributions on my tax return the same year they're made?

No. You don't have to deduct contributions for the year that you make them. This means that contributions you make during a year you're earning a lower income could be used to reduce your taxable income for a year you're earning a higher income.

For example, a student with a part-time job can contribute $1,000 to their FHSA but wait until they have a higher salary after they graduate before applying the corresponding deduction. They could then get better tax savings.

Can I combine my FHSA with my spouse's or common-law partner's FHSA to buy a qualifying home?

Yes, you can combine your FHSA funds to buy a first qualifying home. 3

Can I withdraw more than $40,000 from my FHSA?

Yes, you can withdraw more than $40,000 from your FHSA. Depending on your investment strategy and resulting gains, you may be able to withdraw more than your total contribution amount if your investment does well. Also, any investment income generated in your FHSA is tax-free.

Contribute to your FHSA

Online

Open your FHSA on AccèsD and start contributing today.

By phone

Montreal area:

514-224-7737 Phone number of customer service for the Montreal area. This link opens your phone app. (514-CAISSES)

Elsewhere in Canada:

1-800-224-7737 Phone number of customer service for Canada. This link opens your phone app. (1-800-CAISSES)

We can also call you when it's convenient.

With an advisor

Book an appointment on AccèsD if you're a member, and meet with an advisor online, in person or over the phone.

Other tax-sheltered savings options

TFSA

A tax-free savings account (TFSA) lets you grow your savings tax-free for your goals.
Learn more about TFSA

RRSP

A registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) lets you reduce your taxable income so you pay less tax.
Learn more about RRSP
Rate subject to change without notice. Certain conditions apply. A qualifying home is a housing unit located in Canada. This includes existing homes and those being constructed. Single-family homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, and apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes or apartment buildings all qualify. A share in a co-operative housing corporation that entitles you to possess, and gives you an equity interest in a housing unit in Canada, also qualifies. However, a share that only provides you with a right to tenancy in the housing unit does not qualify. To make a non-taxable withdrawal from your FHSA, you must meet the conditions described in form RC725 Request to Make a Qualifying Withdrawal from your FHSA External link. Your contribution room accumulates from the year you opened your FHSA. Borrowing to invest is leveraging. The risk associated with using borrowed money to buy securities is higher than when using your own cash. If you borrow to buy securities, you're required to pay back what you've borrowed plus the interest stipulated in the terms of the loan, even if the securities you bought drop in value. Talk to your mutual fund representative for more information about leveraging. Your repayment period starts the second year after the year when you first withdrew funds from your RRSP for your HBP. Each year, you must repay at least 1/15 of the amount you withdrew from your RRSP. These contributions can't be deducted from your taxable income. The portion non-reimbursed in a year will be added to your taxable income for that year. To make a non-taxable withdrawal under the HBP, you must meet the conditions described in form T1036 Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) Request to Withdraw Funds from an RRSP External link.