{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MillionDollarJourney

Thanks for the mention Mike! I expect people with good savings habits will take full advantage of this new account. I know I will.

2 Canadian Dream

Thanks for the link and the list of other articles on the TFSA. By the way in the government documents it states 2009 will the be the start of these accounts. So that should give us some time to debate these things to death before using them!


3 Canadian Capitalist

Thanks for the link Mike. I think the new account will be a boon for diligent savers. I know it will for us.

4 Mortgage Broker

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the CMT link as well!

The TFSA is a good little vehicle for saving a mortgage downpayment. It’s nice that it works for non-first-time homebuyers as well (unlike the Home Buyers Plan).

Have a wonderful day!

5 Doug Atkinson

Are there any hidden fees or service charges with the TFSA?


6 Four Pillars

Doug, any fees will be charged by the financial institution that administers it – it will be the investor’s responsibility to find out any such fees.

7 Doug Atkinson

Thanks for the response, I’ve been checking around and so far with looking at a few bank sites and some phone calls to credit unions none of them are expecting to be charging any fees.

8 Darren Conley

Mike, do you know how many years the contribution room is carried forward? For instance, I am a Canadian citizen working overseas as a non-resident, and therefore I don’t pay income tax at all. But if I decide to renew my residency several years in the future, will I have several years worth of contribution room saved up?

For example, I come back to Canada in 2013, will I then have $20,000 (4 years) worth of contribution space in my TFSA?

9 Four Pillars

Hi Darren, any contribution space earned can be carried forward indefinitely – similar to an RRSP.

However a non-resident does not accrue any contribution room. See #14 in the following link:



10 Shelly


I’m looking at opening an investment TFSA. Was thinking of opening up an account with RBC (because I bank there). Can you suggest any other financial institutions that may have a better program?



11 Four Pillars

Shelly, I think pretty much any other financial institution is probably a better choice than RBC. Ok, maybe they aren’t that bad.

The problem with RBC is electronic access which is limited and fees. Their trading fees are a ripoff and although the TFSA has no account fees this year – that won’t last.

If you want to do stocks and ETFs then I suggest Questrade. If you want a savings account type of TFSA then ING or President’s Choice are pretty good because of no fees.

12 Kim

Great information…and I have $5000 in an ING TFSA.
I was wondering if there are consequences of taking some of the money out of my ING TFSA and opening another TFSA at a different institution that allows Stock purchases in the account rather than just cash? As I understand it, any increase in the value of the stock is tax free which COULD be quite substantial.

13 brian

Hi Mike

Is the TFSA considered a taxible income for the given year? I am trying to figure a way to reduce my taxible income without putting anymore into my RRSP’s.

Any info is greatly appreciated


14 Four Pillars

Brian, I don’t understand your question.

15 brian

I guess what I mean to ask is, how does a TFSA effect our yearly taxes? Is it calculated on your tax return much the same way a RRSP is? I am looking for ways to reduce my net income at the end of the year without having to pump up my RRSP’s.

16 Four Pillars

Brian, there is no changes to net income because of contributions or withdrawals to a TFSA.

RRSPs are the best way to accomplish that.

17 The Gibbons Family

I had a savings account opened for me when I was 5 years old. Today as a parent, we tried to open a savings account for my 8 year old, who just started a paper route.
The hassle we have gone through over the past several weeks trying to open this account is too much – and we still don’t have what we wanted. First they said they needed a Birth Certificate. Now they say they need a Social Insurance Number.
Without a SIN for our 8 year old, we came home today with a non-interest bearing chequing account instead of a savings account. That’s a good way of teaching your child the value of saving?
This TFSA is only available to people 18 years and older??? Children younger than 18 have to get a SIN to open a savings account, which is subject to interest?
Who are these people we elect to make these ‘brilliant’ decisions?

No one should have to provide a SIN to a financial institution, unless and until their account earns a large amount of money – or never. It’s just a means of tracking people and double-taxing people.

18 Mike

Gibbons Family – Everyone needs a SIN sooner or later. Get the sin for the kid and move on with your life.

I don`t know why kids can`t have TFSAs but they would be a waste of time since most under 18s don`t pay much if any income taxes.

19 The Gibbons Family

A TFSA should be available to anyone, not just those over 17. It just doesn’t make sense to allow an 18 year old to save money in a TFSA, but subject children under 18 to possible taxes.
When I was a chld, I didn’t need a SIN to open a savings account, Today’s children shouldn’t need one either.

20 Mike

When you were a child you probably didn`t have the carseats that your child used – things change.

You can try different banks to see if there are others that don`t require a SIN.

21 TryingToSave

Hi Mike,

The information here is fantastic. Thank you so much.

I had a question and I was wondering whether you could help me with it. I have student loans at prime interest rate which I pay monthly and I am wondering whether it would be worth for me to open a TFSA account. The account sounds attractive since I plan to do some investing however should I be paying my student loan instead of putting money into this account?

I look forward to your answer.

-Trying to Save

22 Four Pillars

TTS – thanks. Saving money and paying down debt are both great actions and it is hard to go wrong with either choice or some combination of the two.

23 Roger

Are there any charges if you make an initial deposit to a TFSA of $10,000 in one bank, which is more than the annual contribution limit of $5,000? How about if you have TFSA in other bank/banks?

24 Karen

Which bank etc would be good for TFSA mutual funds? Lowest fees etc.

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