RRSP Contribution Deadline 2013

by Mike Holman

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When is the RRSP contribution deadline?

The RRSP deadline for 2012 (tax year) contributions is midnight of Friday, March 1, 2013.

60 day RRSP contribution rules

When you file your 2012 tax return, you have the option of claiming any RRSP contributions made during the first 60 days of the current year. In other words – any RRSP contributions made between Jan 1, 2013 and Mar 1, 2013 can be claimed on your 2012 tax return if you wish. These are known as “60 day contributions“.

How can the RRSP deadline be midnight if the stock exchanges are closed at 4:00 pm?

Good question. This deadline is very “soft” – it really represents the day you place your purchase (or at least try to place your purchase). For example if you meet with your financial advisor at 11:30 pm, March 1 in the alley behind your local Tim Hortons, that still counts as a contribution, even if he doesn’t actually buy the investment until the next day or a couple of days later.

RRSP contribution deposit date

But if the deadline is March 1 and the advisor makes your purchase on March 3, how can that be a 60 day contribution? The answer is the “deposit date” of the contribution. If the advisor makes the purchase on March 3, you will get the prices of March 3 (also known as the “trade date”) for your investment purchase but he/she will ensure that the deposit date is set to Feb 29, which means that the institution that is handling the investment (ie brokerage, mutual fund company) will create a 60 day RRSP contribution receipt for you and you can claim it on your 2012 tax return.

Can I just call my financial advisor on Mar 3 and tell him I meant to contribute February 29th?

Yes, you can. Although some advisors might refuse the order, I’d be willing to bet that most of them will still do the purchase for you and backdate the deposit date. Just tell them that you “forgot” or come up with some other lame excuse.   More RRSP contributions mean more money in their pocket. There is a limit however, once you get a week or two past the deadline, it becomes less likely that you will be able to get a contribution receipt. The best thing is to make the contribution on time.

Is the RRSP contribution deadline always March 1st?

No, it isn’t. Here is a table of some future RRSP contribution deadlines:

Year Contribution Deadline
2013 March 1
2014 March 3
2015 March 2

How is the RRSP contribution deadline calculated?

The deadline is calculated using the following steps:

  1. Start with Dec 31 of the previous year.
  2. Move forward 60 days ie Jan 1 is 1 day, Jan 2 is 2 days etc.
  3. If the 60th day is a weekend, keep going forward in time until the next business day.

The majority of the time, the RRSP contribution deadline is on March 1st, because most years, March 1st is during the week. You’ll notice from the table that in 2014, Mar 1 is a Saturday, so the deadline is the following Monday, March 3.
Leap years can also play a part which is why sometimes the deadline is Feb 29.

2013 RRSP Contribution Limits

Find out your 2013 RRSP contribution limits.

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Welcome to Money Smarts! If you're new here, please read the "About" page to find out more about this site. If you would like to receive updates by email then sign up here or you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

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