Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
For most Canadians, TFSAs are a great way to save. Your money grows faster because income and capital gains are tax-free.1 Plus, they encourage you to start saving early to meet the demands of the future without having to worry about taxes on your earnings and withdrawals.
Open a Tax-Free Savings Account today.
Key features and benefits
Earn money tax-free
Income earned on deposits and investments is not taxed.1
Withdraw money without penalties
You can take money out of your TFSA whenever you like, for whatever you like, with no taxes. The amount you withdraw can be placed back at the start of the following year.2
Flexibility and choice
Choose from several different TFSA options.
If you're married, you can, in some cases, provide funds to your spouse for him or her to contribute to a TFSA without negative tax implications while the funds remain in your spouse’s TFSA.
If you're a senior, TFSAs can be a good post-retirement tax shelter.
Income earned within TFSAs doesn't impact eligibility for Old Age Security benefits or the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
Carry over your unused annual contribution amounts
As of 2021, you can contribute $6,000:
- Up to $6,000 per year or more (previous annual limits were $6,000 CAD for 2019 to 2020, $5,000 CAD for 2009 to 2012, $5,500 CAD for 2013 to 2014, $10,000 CAD for 2015 and $5,500 CAD for 2016 to 2018), plus
- Any unused contribution room from previous years, plus
- The amount of any withdrawals made in previous years
Annual maximums apply to all TFSAs you hold at all financial institutions and excess contributions are subject to tax, interest and penalties.1
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will track your contribution room. The CRA reports this amount to individuals through the “My Account” function on the CRA website.
- Your TFSA contribution room for a year includes: the TFSA dollar limit for the year in question; unused TFSA contribution room from prior years; and withdrawals from TFSAs made in prior years.
- Your contributions should not exceed your TFSA contribution room for a year.
- The maximum annual contribution applies to all of your TFSAs held with HSBC or any other financial institution.
- Excess contributions to your TFSA are subject to taxes, interest and penalties.
- Provided that contribution limits are not exceeded and contributions are made while the account holder is a resident of Canada, income earned in a TFSA is generally not subject to Canadian taxes. Taxes of other countries or regions may apply.
- Only Canadian residents who are the age of majority in their province of residence and have a valid Social Insurance Number can contribute to a TFSA.
- Unlike an RRSP, any money you contribute to a TFSA will not be tax-deductible.
Consult your tax advisor for full details about TFSAs and how they relate to your tax situation.
While the funds are in the TFSA
- Any income or capital gains earned in the TFSA will not be taxed.1
- Most investments that can currently be held in an RRSP will also be allowable in a TFSA. Eligible investments may include certain savings accounts, GICs, mutual funds, stocks and bonds.
Generally, any funds you transfer FROM your TFSA could be considered withdrawals and any funds transferred to your TFSA could be considered contributions.
TFSA, RRSP or both?
Depending on your circumstances and what you're saving for, it usually makes sense to have both:
- Money you put into an RRSP is tax deductible and grows in a tax deferred manner. You pay tax on any money you take out
- Money you put into a TFSA isn't tax deductible but grows tax-free. You do not pay tax on any money you take out1
- A TFSA is a great alternative savings vehicle when you've maximized your RRSP contributions.
- Unlike an RRSP or RESP, a TFSA is designed to help you save for any financial goal at any point in the future – a car, home renovations, starting a new business, or just a rainy day.
TFSAs tend to be better suited for saving for a major purchase, while RRSPs are designed to help you save for retirement.
Tax benefits of a TFSA versus a non-registered account
Tax rates are assumed and may not reflect actual rates
Example for illustrative purposes only: It assumes the account holder has an annual income of $50,000 and contributes $5,000 each year for 15 years with an annual return of 6%. Investment income is 40% interest, 30% dividends and 30% capital gains. Contributions occur in the middle of the year.
Designating a beneficiary to your TFSA
How to Complete the Designation Form
Open an account
To be eligible for a TFSA, you must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a valid SIN
- Be a Canadian resident
New to HSBC?
Existing HSBC customer
If you have an account in a single name, log on to Online Banking to open an account instantly, transfer funds and start saving right away.
If you have a joint account at HSBC, you will need to follow the steps under "New to HSBC."
Or call: 1-888-310-4722
The content herein is not intended to provide specific tax advice and should not be relied upon in this regard. Please consult your tax advisor to find out which strategies suit your tax situation. HSBC Bank Canada makes no guarantee, representation, or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to the tax treatment of these services.
1 Income earned in a TFSA is not subject to Canadian taxes. Taxes of other countries or regions may apply. Contributions to Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) are limited annually. Generally, the maximum contribution room for a year is equal to the total of unused contribution room from the previous year, distributions made in the previous year and the TSFA dollar limit for the year. The maximum annual contribution applies to all of your TFSAs held with HSBC Bank Canada or any other financial institution. Only Canadian residents, who are over 18 years of age and have a valid Social Insurance Number, can make contributions to a TFSA. The age of majority is 19 for residents of Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut, which may delay the opening of a TFSA. However, the accumulation of contribution room will start at age 18. Consult your tax advisor for full details about TFSAs and how they relate to your tax situation.
Personal customers only.