Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

August 19, 2011 14:56 ET

Ministers Shea and Flaherty Offer Flexibility to Those Who Mistakenly Over-Contributed to Their TFSAs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 19, 2011) - Our Government is pleased that Canadians are increasingly taking advantage of the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) since its launch in 2009. Indeed, approximately 6.7 million Canadians have already opened a TFSA.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) continues to work to increase awareness of TFSA guidelines among Canadians and financial institutions.

Of the nearly 6.7 million Canadians who have a TFSA, we are pleased that over 98 per cent have managed their TFSA accounts in accordance with the guidelines. This year, less than 1.5 per cent of TFSA holders will be receiving a letter from the CRA asking to provide further information about their accounts.

Our Government recognizes that some genuine confusion about the rules for the TFSA in these initial years will naturally occur. We understand that it may take time for some Canadians to learn about the program. The CRA will continue to build on existing communications and work with financial institutions to ensure that Canadians have access to all available information.

As a result, we would like to confirm that for the 2010 filing year, the second year of the program, we will once again be as flexible as possible in cases where a genuine misunderstanding of the TFSA contribution rules occurred.

Every TFSA holder who receives a letter indicating that they may have over-contributed will be able to ask the CRA to review their specific file and, where appropriate, waive taxes on excess contributions for 2010.

It is important that we hear from you if you want to be considered for this administrative relief.

Also, if you receive such a letter, please be advised it does not automatically mean that you will be subject to a tax. It simply means that more information is needed. The proposed TFSA return is not a notice of assessment. Individuals who received a proposed TFSA return have 60 days to respond.

If you have questions about your TFSA, you are encouraged to contact the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 or visit our Web site at:


National Revenue Minister Gail Shea and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty today offered flexibility to those who over-contributed to their Tax-Free Savings Account. If you receive a proposed TFSA return package within the next few weeks that indicates that you have over-contributed to your TFSA, you have three options to consider.

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Contact Information

  • Nancy Bishay
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue

    Noel Carisse
    Media Relations
    Canada Revenue Agency