Get your RRSPs Working Building Wealth for Your Retirement Years

Don’t forget the March 1st Deadline.

2017 RRSP Rules

It’s that time again that Canadians go out and buy RRSPs for the past year. Here are some of the rules and regulations for RRSPs so you can make good RRSP decisions this year.

Who is eligible to buy RRSPs?

Anyone who has earned income, has a social insurance number and has filed a tax return can contribute to an RRSP up until December 31 of the year they turn 71. After this age if you continue to have earned income, you can contribute to a Spousal RRSP up until December 31 of the year your spouse turns 71.

This maximum age was increased from 69 to 71 in the 2007 Federal budget, giving people an additional two years to contribute.

Maximum contribution limits

Your allowable RRSP contribution for the current year is the lower of:

18% of your earned income from the previous year, or

The maximum annual contribution limit (See chart) for the taxation year less

Any company sponsored pension plan contributions (PA – pension adjustment)

 

Earned Income

For most people, earned income for RRSP purposes is the amount in box 14 of their T4 slips.

Earned income also includes self-employed net income, CPP/QPP disability payments and net rental income.

Income sources that do not qualify as earned income include investment income, pensions (including DPSP, RRIF, OAS, and CPP/QPP income), retiring allowances, death benefits, taxable capital gains and limited-partnership income.

Revenue Canada’s Form T1023 (Calculation of Earned Income) outlines all sources of earned income.

Obtaining Your Contribution Limit

After processing your tax return, Revenue Canada sends a Notice of Assessment, which includes your next years’ contribution limit. This document also shows your unused contribution room.

Or you can call your local Tax Information Phone Systems (TIPS) number, which is found in the blue pages of your phone book under Tax Services. Be sure to have your SIN and previous tax return ready.

Contributing Securities 

You don’t necessarily need cash to make an RRSP contribution. You can contribute (in kind) a security you already own outside your RRSP.

The “in kind’ contribution is equal to the fair market value of the security when contributed. The security is deemed to have been disposed of at time of contribution. Be aware that this can have tax consequences.

Unused/carry forward contribution room

RRSP contribution room accumulated after 1990 can be carried forward to Subsequent years. If you are unable to maximize your RRSP contribution this year, you are allowed to make up the difference in later years.

Over contribution

The $2,000 lifetime over contribution allowance applies to those who have reached age 18 or older.

Your over contribution can be used as a deduction in future years. ($2,000 over contribution this year an be used as part of your deduction in the following year.

Any amount in excess of $2,000 will be charged a penalty of 1% per month.

Spousal RRSP

All or a portion of your RRSP contribution can be made to an RRSP in your spouses name.

As the contributor, you get the deduction, but your spouse is the owner of the plan. This includes common-law spouse as defined by Revenue Canada

There can be tax implications when spousal funds are withdrawn.

RRSP deadline to receive a tax deduction

The deadline for a RRSP tax contribution is always 60 days after the end of the previous year to be eligible for a deduction for the 2016 tax year. This year the RRSP deadline is March 1, 2017. Consult with your financial institutions about how they are able to accommodate deadlines.

Contributions made in the first 60 days of the year can be applied against the previous taxation year or in any subsequent year.

If you are turning 71, this is the last year in which you may contribute to your RRSP. You must convert your RRSP by December 31 in the year you turn 71 into a RIF.

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