The first thing to note is that RDSP accounts are a tax-sheltered account. And that means that the assets within the account can grow without needing to pay tax on the growth of the investments until such time as withdrawals are made on the account.
Another thing to note about the withdrawals is that not all of the dollars that you withdraw from an RDSP are taxable.
Contributions made to the RDSP account won’t be taxed as they have already been tax paid dollars that are going into the account. It will just be the grants and the growth and any bonds that are paid into the account which would be taxed on withdrawal.
Another piece of information about RDSP taxation is that the assets in an RDSP are sheltered from provincial assistance programs. Most programs have an asset limit with which a person eligible for Disability Tax Credit can accumulate assets. And in Alberta, AISH does not allow individuals to hold assets greater than $100,000 currently, however RDSP dollars do not count towards that $100,000 limit.
RDSPs are taxed when withdrawn, but again the taxation is only going to be occurring on grants, growth and bonds. And when those withdrawals are made, the withdrawals do not affect federal income-tested benefits such as guaranteed income supplement or old age security.
When withdrawals are made from the RDSP account, the withdrawals are going to be a proportionate representation of contributions, grants, bonds, and income in the account; and so you will be taxed accordingly on those withdrawals.
Withdrawals made within 10 years of the most recent grant or bond, should be avoided whenever possible because they will trigger a claw back of a proportionate amount of the grant and bond.
You may also be wondering what occurs on the death of the beneficiary of the RDSP account. If a grant or bond has been paid into the account within 10 years at death, those grants and bonds would need to be repaid to the government. But if 10 years has elapsed since the last grant or bond has been paid, the proceeds of the RDSP account in full would form part of the beneficiary’s estate.
If the beneficiary of the RDSP does have testamentary capacity, it is recommended that a will is drawn up so that the proceeds of those assets in the RDSP and others can be distributed according to the terms of the will.
And it is also important to know that an RDSP does not replace a disability trust for the beneficiary.
If there is an inheritance contemplated for your family member that has access to the Disability Tax Credit, there can be some trust planning done around any inheritance that you may desire to provide to that beneficiary. And it is important that you speak to a lawyer when contemplating that as part of your own estate planning objectives.
RDSPs can be complex vehicles, but so valuable and important to your family and to the financial future of the beneficiary of that plan. If you have any questions, please reach out to us and we’re happy to discuss.
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.
Here is a friendly reminder of the contribution limits and cut-off dates for RRSP and/or TFSA contributions if you are planning to make one this year, and have not already done so.
The cut-off date for your RRSP contributions to count toward reducing your income for 2020 is Monday, March 1, 2021. In order to meet this deadline, you should make your contribution by February 25th to allow for your deposit to clear your bank account. The 2020 contribution limit was 18% of your taxable income up to a maximum of $27,230, whichever is less. The 2021 contribution limit is $27,830. If you have unused contribution room from previous years, you may contribute more than the maximum, but one needs to be careful not to over-contribute.
If you would like to contribute to a TFSA for 2021 the limit is $6,000 for the year, unless you have not maxed out your contributions. The maximum one could have deposited into their TFSA account since 2009 is $75,500 as of 2021.
Contributions can be made 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. Instructions must be sent to us by 11:00am on Thursday, February 25 in order to meet the deadline.
Online Banking Transfer (Bill Payment): Add your Custodian (“Credential Securities” or “National Bank Financial”) 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. Please note this must be submitted before midnight on Friday, February 26 in order to meet the deadline.
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 you would like it deposited to. We must receive these instructions by Thursday, February 25 at 3:00pm at the latest in order to process in time.
If you have any questions or would like to book a video or phone appointment to review your accounts, please contact our office.
You may have noticed we have adopted a new look. Some changes in Securities Regulations have made it necessary for us to hold ourselves out differently when discussing investment related activity as opposed to financial planning and insurance. As such, we have registered the names Blackburn Davis Wealth for investments and maintain Blackburn Davis Financial for our insurance and financial planning activity.
Because of this change we decided after almost 15 years, it was also time for a refreshed logo and brand. This new look has come with a new website and videos. We encourage you to browse our new website and would love to hear your feedback.
Please note that this is all that has changed. We remain the same people committed to your retirement and financial planning needs.