The recently introduced First Home Savings Account (FHSA) offers an opportunity to tax-shelter money to be used for a home purchase for eligible participants.

For clients who wish to help their adult children (over age 18) save for a house, gifting money to be contributed to this account has many benefits for your adult child. Contributions create a tax-deduction for the owner of the account (your adult child), which can be deducted when contributed or carried forward to use in future years when income will be higher.

Contributions grow within the account tax-free, and are withdrawn tax-free for the purchase of a home.

The account balance must be used within 15 years of opening the account to purchase a home, however if it is not, it can be added to the account owner’s RRSP, even if they do not have room available.

There is an annual contribution limit of $8,000, and a lifetime limit of $40,000. Unused contribution room can be carried forward for use in future years.

Use of the FHSA does not preclude an individual from also using the Home Buyers Plan (HBP) with their personal RRSP accounts.

If you have any further questions pertaining to these accounts, please reach out to us.

Understanding RDSP Accounts: Working with RDSP’s

Understanding RDSP Accounts: Working with RDSP’s

This is Part 2 in our 3-part series on RDSP accounts or Registered Disability Savings Plans.

Today we are talking about working with RDSPs.

RDSPs are an effective way to save for your child’s financial future, or for your own if you are age of majority.

RDSPs can be started if you are eligible for the disability tax credit.

Contributions can be made to an RDSP up to a lifetime maximum of $200,000. Grants can also be earned in an RDSP – the government will contribute up to $70,000. Bonds can be paid into an RDSP from the government as well and bonds can be paid up to $20,000. Bonds are based on income – family income or your personal individual income; and it is a lower income threshold than grant contributions. You can consult the current legislation for the amount of income on an annual basis. Grants will be paid to an RDSP based on contributions and can be paid up to 300% of any contribution that has been made.

A contribution can attract up to $3,500 of grant money with a $1,500 contribution if family income is under, currently, about $100,000. And that can be collected back on years that grants may not have been applied for or one was eligible, but did not open an RDSP in time. You can go back up to 10 years to collect unearned but eligible grants in an RDSP.

RDSP withdrawals are designed such that an RDSP is kept open for the long-term financial security of the beneficiary of the RDSP. If withdrawals are made within 10 years of a grant or bond being paid into the account, there can be a proportionate claw back on withdrawals, and grants and bonds may need to be paid back to the government to some extent. Therefore, waiting for 10 years before withdrawals are made, is usually a really effective way to maintain the integrity of the account.

When withdrawals are made, you can withdraw in two formats. One is a Disability Assistance Payment or a DAP, and that’s a one-time lump sum withdrawal that might be made. An LDAP or a Lifetime Disability Assistance Payment is made or has to be started by the time the beneficiary is age 60. And it’s an annual recurring amount that needs to be withdrawn on a regular basis. There are some minimum and maximum requirements on an LDAP withdrawal, and it is dependent on a number of factors within the RDSP account.

You may be wondering what the difference is between a holder of an RDSP and the beneficiary. The holder of the RDSP is the individual who makes the decisions on the account. The beneficiary is the one who receives the benefit of the RDSP account. Many times the holder and the beneficiary are the same individual, but that is not always the case. For example, if the beneficiary is a minor, oftentimes the parents or guardian will be the holder of the RDSP account. And grants and bonds will be based on any income of the beneficiary’s family or parents in that circumstance. When the beneficiary and holder are the same individual, the beneficiary has to be at least 18 years of age and has to have capacity to make decisions on their own.

Parents can maintain the holder status on their child’s RDSP account, even if the child is 18 years of age or older, if the parent is the legal guardian of the child still.

RDSPs can be some of the most important dollars that families save for their loved ones, but they are also very complex. If you have any further questions, please reach out to us and we’re happy to discuss.

Understanding RDSP Accounts: Working with RDSP’s

Understanding RDSP Accounts: The Basics of RDSP’s

This is a three-part series in which we review RDSP Accounts (or Registered Disability Savings Plans). Today we are going to discuss the basics of RDSPs.

So, who are Registered Disability Savings Plans for? They are designed for people who receive the disability tax credit, and an RDSP can be opened when you are eligible for the disability tax credit. It can be opened either for yourself if you are the holder and beneficiary and are age 18 or older or it can be opened by a parent or guardian of a beneficiary who is under the age of 18.

An RDSP is designed for long-term savings to provide financial security to individuals who qualify for the disability tax credit.

One of the best features of the Registered Disability Savings Plan is that it is eligible for really significant grants and bonds from the government.

If an individual is able to make a contribution of $1,500 – depending on family income, there can be grants of up to $3,500 or 300% of the contribution that has been made.

Bonds can also be paid into an RDSP account – they are not based on contributions, but they are based on a family income that is quite a bit lower than that of grants.

The amount of income that grants and bonds are eligible based on changes every year, so consult your Financial Planner for the current year income amounts.

Grants and bonds can be earned up to the age of 49. If an individual was eligible for the disability tax credit, but perhaps had not applied or was not aware that the RDSP was available, you can actually make contributions and earn back grants from previous years of eligibility that have not been earned yet – and you can go back up to 10 years.

In a circumstance where you are catching up on grants that you were eligible for but have not claimed, you can contribute up to $4,500 and receive grants of up to $10,500. Bonds will be paid as well on years where one was eligible, but not earning bonds; and bonds do not require a contribution, so simply opening an RDSP while eligible is an effective way to receive some money from the government.

There are up to $70,000 of grants that are available for a lifetime as well as $20,000 of bonds that are available for a lifetime. An individual can contribute up to $200,000 to an RDSP in their name.

Withdrawals can be made from an RDSP at any time, but it is best to wait 10 years so that grants and bonds are not clawed back proportionately – we will discuss this concept in more depth in part two of this series.

RDSPs can be opened with any major financial institution – we can open them with our Custodians as well. Grants and bonds are paid into the RDSP shortly after contributions are made. Once we have opened the account, it is simply a matter of submitting the application to the government body – your Financial Planner and Portfolio Management team will assist with this process.

RDSP accounts are an effective way to save for your loved one’s financial security and future. We will review some of the finer details of RDSP accounts in part two of this series.

If you have questions or would like to discuss opening an RDSP account, please reach out to us.



This will serve as a friendly reminder of the contribution limits and cut-off dates for RRSP and TFSA contributions if you are planning to make one this year and have not already done so.

RRSP Contributions:

The cut-off date for your RRSP contributions to count toward reducing your income for 2022 is Wednesday, March 1, 2023. The contribution limit for the 2022 taxation year was 18% of your taxable income up to a maximum of $29,210, whichever is less. The contribution limit for the 2023 taxation year is a maximum of $30,780. If you have unused contribution room from previous years, you may utilize this room as well.

TFSA Contributions:

If you would like to contribute to a TFSA for 2023 the limit is $6,500 for the year, unless you have not maxed out your contributions. The maximum one could have deposited into their TFSA account since 2009 is $88,000 as of 2023.

Our clients can make contributions through one of the following methods:

Transfer from Non-Registered Account: If you have a Non-Registered account set-up with enough funds in it, you can simply send us an e-mail indicating the amount you would like transferred from this account to your RRSP or TFSA.

Online Banking Transfer (Bill Payment): Add your Custodian (“Credential Securities” or “National Bank Independent Network” / “NBIN” – note it may show up as either, depending on your bank) as a “Payee” through your online banking and enter your account number as the bill account number. If you need assistance finding your account number or are unsure who your Custodian is, please contact our office. If you choose this method, please also notify us with the amount you are contributing, so we can have your Portfolio Manager watch for it.

EFT from your Bank: You will just need to sign an EFT form if you have not already done so, which allows your Custodian (Credential or NBIN) to take the money directly out of your account with your consent. Once you have signed the form, we will require an email from you indicating the one-time amount you are authorizing them to withdraw from your bank account and which account (RRSP or TFSA) you would like it deposited to.

If you have any questions or would like to book a video or phone appointment to review your accounts, please contact our office at 780-490-4200.



Today we’re talking about another common question from clients – what is a RIF and how does it work?

A RIF is simply a conversion from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to a Registered Retirement Income Fund. So the income version of the tax sheltering that you receive from a registered account. A RIF is set up so you can continue to enjoy growth on your assets without paying tax as the assets grow.

Of course, you are going to be taxed when you take money out of your RIF. So how does that work?

You have to convert your RRSP to a RIF at age 71, and you must begin to draw income out of the RIF at age 72.

You can convert to a RIF prior to that if you choose to. You can also convert partially to a RIF from your RRSP account if you choose to, which can be a great way for you to use the pension tax credit for example.

So how much do you take out of a RIF when it’s time to convert? You have to take out a designated amount that’s specified by the Government as a percentage of your assets. Your assets will be calculated on December 31 of the previous calendar year and a percentage applied to it based on what CRA determines. This will give the minimum amount that you have to take out of your RIF once it’s in RIF format. You can always take more out of your RIF if you choose.

When you take money out of your RIF, it is taxed as ordinary income. The RIF minimum will not be taxed immediately, but you need to consider it in your tax planning for the year. Anything over and above RIF minimum will incur a withholding tax, and that portion will be taxed as you go. You can ask to have your RIF minimum taxed as you go as well, but it’s not automatic.

Another common question we get asked is whether you are taxed twice on a RIF? And the answer to that is absolutely not.

When you make a contribution to your RRSP in your working years, typically you are at a much higher income than you are in your retirement years. Often this means you get a great tax benefit throughout your working career to make those RRSP contributions. Following that up, you pay a much lower rate of tax when you draw that money out from your RIF.

So are you taxed on your RIF? Absolutely, but you’re certainly not double-taxed. And typically, you are seeing a significant benefit in terms of tax planning from your working career to your retirement years.

If you have any questions about how your RIF fits into your financial plan, please contact your advisor or give us a call.



There are many methods you can use to creatively give to charity to reduce your tax bill and most effectively use your donation.

In this video, we’re discussing donating securities in-kind from your non-registered account. Watch this video to understand how these donations work and the tax advantages of this method.

There are multiple methods that we can choose to use to make donations creatively and to reduce your tax bill. Today we’re going to discuss donating securities in-kind from your non-registered account.

Donating securities in-kind allows you to make a donation in a dollar amount that you choose, and to do so directly from your non-registered account to your charity of choice.

When you decide that you would like to make this type of donation, you will receive a tax receipt for the full market value of any securities that you donate to your registered charity, and you bypass the requirement to pay capital gains tax on these securities, effectively double-dipping on your tax advantage. The CRA is fully amenable to this strategy as donors often make a bit of a larger donation to their charity of choice when donating in this matter.

If you would like to make a donation of securities, simply reach out to your financial planner. We will have a conversation to understand how much you would like to donate and then discuss this with your Portfolio Manager. They will determine the type of securities and will simply fill out a form for you to provide that information to your charity.

The charity will receive your securities directly, at which point they will sell those securities, providing you a receipt for the market value of those shares at the time of sale. Again, you receive the receipt for the market value and you do not need to pay capital gains tax on those securities that have appreciated.

This is a really effective way to make donations to a charity and cause that you support and can be another effective tool in your planned giving strategy.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your planned giving with us, we’re more than happy to help. Please reach out to us.