FIRST HOME SAVINGS ACCOUNT (FHSA)
A First Home Savings Account (FHSA) is a registered plan that can help you save for your first home tax-free. No minimum balance is required to open an account, and a full range of investment products are available. Contact your trusted Stark & Marsh advisor today to discuss the next steps in opening a First Home Savings Account.
To open a First Home Savings Account (FHAS), you must be:
At least 18 years of age and no less than the age of majority in the province where you live
A Canadian resident
You will be considered to be a first-time home buyer if you did not, at any time in the current calendar year before the account is opened or at any time in the preceding four calendar years, live in a qualifying home (or what would be a qualifying home if located in Canada) as your principal place of residence that either:
you owned or jointly owned or
your spouse or common-law partner (at the time the account is opened) owned or jointly owned
As home ownership becomes increasingly challenging for Canadians, I am confident that participating in this program will prove highly advantageous. The benefits of having this account are numerous, and I am eager to see my clients reap the rewards!
You can make tax-deductible contributions of up to $8,000 a year in an FHSA, up to a lifetime maximum of $40,000. Unused room can be carried over to the following year, up to a maximum of $8,000. Opening an account today is highly recommended because carrying over available contribution balances is allowed. Even if you are not able to start contributing right away, having an available balance will prove advantageous in the future.
Contribute tax-free for up to 15 years
Any contributions exceeding the limits are subject to a tax of 1% per month.
Did you know?
After 15 years or age 71 your FHSA will roll to an RRSP or a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
Non-qualifying withdrawals are 100% taxable income.
The qualifying home must be in Canada.
You must have a written agreement in place to buy or build a qualifying home by October 1 of the year after your withdrawal, and you also must intend to live in the home as your principal residence within a year of buying or building it.
You must be a resident of Canada from the time of the withdrawal to the acquisition of the qualifying home and a first-time home buyer when you make the withdrawal.
Is the FHSA the best way to save for a home?
The tax advantages offered by the FHSA can make it the most tax-efficient of all the registered accounts available in Canada, but using the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan and TFSA can also bring advantages. You may use all three. The route you choose may depend on your situation.
Discover how each saving account may benefit your circumstances. Learn more about Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP), and Tax-Free First Home Savings Accounts (FHSA) in the chart below.
- A registered plan where your investment earnings and withdrawals are tax-free
- Used for a variety of short and long-term savings goals
- All Canadian residents with a Social Insurance number over the age of 18 are eligible
- Investments such as Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GIC’s), Mutual Funds, Stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (EFTs), and cash are held in TSFA accounts.
- A registered plan where your contributions are tax-deductible (up to your personal deduction limit) and investment earnings are tax-deferred (you are charged taxes when you withdraw funds)
- All Canadian residents with a Social Insurance Number, under the age of 71, who have earned income and filed a tax return are eligible.
- Investments such as Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), Mutual Funds, Stocks, Savings deposits, Exchange Traded Funds (EFTs), and cash are held in RRSP accounts.
- A new registered plan designed to help first-time homebuyers. Contributions are tax-deductible, and investment earnings and withdrawals are tax-free if used to purchase your first home.
- Canadian residents with a Social Insurance Number (SIN) who are aged 18-71, & you and/or your spouse or common-law partner have not owned a home in the current calendar year and at any time in the preceding four calendar years are eligible for the FHSA.
- Investments such as Stocks and Exchange-Traded Funds (EFTs) can be held in a FHSA.
Get Started Today
Contact your trusted Stark & Marsh advisor today to discuss the next steps in opening a First Home Savings Account.
Questions? Contact Candace Gelleta, our Wealth Management Advisor, directly by completing the contact form below.
Candace Gelleta CFP®, RRC®
SENIOR WEALTH MANAGEMENT ADVISOR
Candace has been actively involved in financial planning since 2014. She is a Registered Retirement Consultant RRC®, has a Financial Planning diploma from the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning, and has completed her Certified Financial Planner CFP® certification through FP Canada.
Candace works with Stark & Marsh clients to build a financial plan that considers Financial, Insurance, Retirement, and Estate needs. She works closely with the Stark & Marsh accounting and tax advisor to ensure the complete financial picture, including tax implications, are contemplated.
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