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First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

The First Home Savings Account (FHSA) in Canada offers several key guidelines for prospective first-time home buyers:

Purpose and Availability:

The FHSA is a registered plan designed to help first-time homebuyers save for their first home in a tax-efficient manner. It became available starting April 1, 2023.

Eligibility and Account Opening:

Qualifying Individuals: To open an FHSA, individuals must be at least 18 years old, not more than 71 years old, a resident of Canada, and a first-time home buyer.

Account Providers: FHSAs can be opened through banks, credit unions, trust or insurance companies, and come in three types: depositary, trusteed, and insured FHSAs, each offering different investment options

Contribution Limits:

The annual contribution limit is $8,000, with a total lifetime limit of $40,000. Even if the account is opened partway through the year, the full $8,000 annual limit is allowed for that year.

Tax Deductions and Growth:

Contributions to the FHSA are tax-deductible, and the savings grow tax-free within the account. This provides a dual tax advantage – deduction on contribution and tax-free growth.

Unused Contribution Room:

If the full annual contribution limit is not utilized, up to a maximum of $8,000 can be carried forward to future years, allowing for flexibility in savings.

Withdrawal Rules:

Withdrawals from the FHSA to purchase a qualifying home are tax-free. This makes the FHSA a valuable tool for accumulating a down payment on a first home.

Closing the FHSA:

Maximum Participation Period: The period begins with the opening of the first FHSA and ends on December 31 of the 15th year, when the holder turns 71, or the year following the first qualifying withdrawal.

Closure Procedures: Before the end of the maximum participation period, FHSAs should be closed to avoid unintended tax consequences. The remaining funds can be transferred to RRSPs or RRIFs or withdrawn as taxable income.

These guidelines are crucial for prospective first-time homebuyers, as they outline the benefits and limitations of the FHSA in the context of saving for a home purchase. It’s important to understand these rules to make the most of this savings opportunity.

For detailed information and specific conditions related to the FHSA, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency’s webpage: First Home Savings Account (FHSA) –