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A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) helps you grow your money faster because you don’t pay taxes on the interest or investment income you earn.
CIBC Investor’s Edge Jul. 26, 2022 3-minute read

What's a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)?

A TFSA is a registered savings vehicle that helps you grow your money faster because you don’t pay taxes on the interest or investment income you earn. The plan can include a mix of investments including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, GICs and more.

Are you eligible for a TFSA?

To open a TFSA, you must live in Canada, be 18 years or older and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). Contribution room accumulates beginning in the year in which you turn 18. Depending on the type of investment you choose, you may need to wait until you turn 19 to start contributing if the age of majority is 19 in the province or territory where you live.1

How does a TFSA work?

Your maximum contribution room for a year


TFSA dollar limit


Total of unused contribution room from previous years


Withdrawals made in the previous year2

Contribution room is per person, not per account. You can have multiple TFSA accounts at multiple financial institutions, but it doesn’t increase your contribution room.

It’s your responsibility to keep track of your TFSA contribution room so you don’t overcontribute.3 One way to check your contribution room is to sign on or register for an online account with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Opens in a new window..

The CRA tracks all of your TFSA contributions and updates your contribution room at the beginning of every calendar year.

  • The TFSA dollar limit gets set every year. For example, in 2023, it’s $6,500. Remember that this limit is not the same as your maximum contribution room.
  • If you can’t contribute up to the limit in any given year, no problem: you can carry it forward. This means if you’ve never had a TFSA, were at least 18 in 2009 and have been a Canadian resident since then, you can contribute up to $88,000 in 2023 because of the unused contribution room you’ve carried forward.
  • You can withdraw your money for any reason, at any time, tax-free. Plus, you can add the withdrawal amount back into your TFSA the next calendar year or in later years.4

TFSA Dollar limits since 2009
Year Amount Total
2009 $5,000 $5,000
2010 $5,000 $10,000
2011 $5,000 $15,000
2012 $5,000 $20,000
2013 $5,500 $25,500
2014 $5,500 $31,000
2015 $10,000 $41,000
2016 $5,500 $46,500
2017 $5,500 $52,000
2018 $5,500 $57,500
2019 $6,000 $63,500
2020 $6,000 $69,500
2021 $6,000 $75,500
2022 $6,000 $81,500
2023 $6,500 $88,000
2024 $7,000 $95,000

Both TFSAs and RRSPs are integral pieces of a good financial plan. Find out more about these two important savings and investment options and how they can help you meet your goals.

Learn more about TFSAs and RRSPs.


1 The age of majority is 19 in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon. It’s 18 in the other 6 provinces. 

2 Withdrawals made in the previous year does not include withdrawals made to correct over-contributions.

3 If you overcontribute to your TFSA, the extra amount will be taxed at 1% for every month it’s in your TFSA.

4 This does not apply to withdrawals to correct over-contributions.

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