Escaping the hand of a taxman is a rare occasion in Canada. However, TFSA (Tax-Free Saving account) is an option that gives you the opportunity to save your returns and withdraw funds from the account tax-free. The option is a cost effective way to save for both short-term and long-term objectives.

You gain both in keeping cash within TFSA and making surplus revenue. Withdrawing funds from your TFSA doesn’t count against some other governmental payments like the OAS (Old Age Security) benefit.

Contrary to the case with other saving options like RRSPs (Registered Retirement Saving Plan), you don’t have to wait until you get to the lower revenue tax category to withdraw the cash. You can withdraw from the TFSA at any given time as need be and no tax will be applicable.

It is important to know of some tricks to avoid unnecessary tax fines, when you withdraw cash from the TFSA. Pretty simple – taxed cash in and untaxed money out. But most Canadians do not know the rules and they keep paying fines to the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) for going beyond their TFSA contribution room. Most of such cases occur as most people underrate their actual contribution limits while others occur from not knowing the TFSA withdrawal rules.

tfsaCRA allows you to withdraw any amount from the NTSA and the withdrawn amount is added to the next tax year’s contribution limit. Note “Next year”.

The rule of thumb here is after you have withdrawn from the account; you cannot replace the funds inside the same tax year even when you are aiming at restoring your previous level.

If for instance you withdraw funds from the TFSA to cater for an emergency and you have maxed out your contribution limit, the funds become irreplaceable for the remaining part of the year.

If you attempt to stuff the withdrawn funds back to the account, this will count as an over-contribution and attracts tax penalties. You will be served with a letter from CRA to inform you of the violations and the tax applicable. A penalty of 1 percent of the excess amount every month your account is above the contribution limit.

However, CRA has waived these fines in most cases but you cannot take the risk and wait for tax waiver period – it may never come. The safest thing is to know the TFSAs withdrawal rules and stick to them. 

Types of Chequing Accounts

Depending on unique account features, account holder's age and other elements, there are several types of chequing accounts. Some chequing accounts fall under several categories. To choose the ideal chequing account, first you need to evaluate your specific banking desires and make comparisons based on operational costs for each option. You can use our chequing account comparison tool available online.

Personal Chequing Account

This special chequing account may have several features – non-fee or unlimited transactions. Some financial institutions only have personal chequing account option, but offer discounts and extra benefits for seniors, youth, and students instead of having specialized options.

Seniors Chequing Accounts

Most senior chequing accounts comprise of teller aided transactions plus a hard copy statement every month at no extra charges. You are only eligible for this option, if you are 60 years and above and for others at least 65 years of age.

Youth Chequing Accounts

These children accounts in most cases offers unlimited monthly transactions and most of them earn interest based on the balance held in the account. For you to be fully qualified for this option, you have to be under the majority age in your location (territory or province). The youth chequing account doubles up as a chequing account and a saving account.

Student Chequing Accounts

Most chequing accounts for students provide unlimited transactions per month but will be charge for interac e-Transfers. To be a suitable candidate for specialized or student-rebate personal accounts, you need to be a student on full-time basis. Post-secondary and secondary students qualify for student chequing accounts too, but it depends on the bank.

U.S. Dollar Chequing Accounts

US dollar chequing accounts include zero or very low monthly fees and limited transactions per month. Some financial organizations offer interest of the account balance. The main benefit for this option is the ability to withdraw and deposit US dollars without paying currency conversation fees.

Unlimited Chequing Accountstfsa

This category of accounts permits unlimited withdrawal transactions without any extra charges. The account may also include Interac e-Transfers and teller-aided transactions depending on different financial institutions. Unlimited chequing accounts may charge high monthly fees and have extra features. In some cases an unlimited chequing account is non-fee, if it is a digital online account.

No-Fee Chequing Accounts

As the name suggests, non-fee chequing accounts have no monthly fees, but Interac e-Transfer and non-bank cash withdrawals service fee is applicable. No-fee chequing accounts are mostly offered by online digital banks, have no branch or teller-aided transactions. Other features comprise of unlimited monthly transactions and earn interest on the cash balance in your account.


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