No Food for Thought

Complicating complications: TFSA contribution limit

admin Saturday June 18, 2022
In the early 21st century, some Canadian politicians were worried that the federal government's debt was only a few hundreds of billions of CAD-s. The conservatives—perhaps also worried about unemployment among accountants—had the great idea of creating tax-free savings accounts, accessorily succeeding in making an excessively complicated personal income tax system even more complicated.1

A few years later, the conservatives—probably worried that the federal debt would fall under a trillion dollars—increased the yearly contribution limit from 5500$ to 10 000$. When they finally lost power, the liberals brought it back to 5500$. Unfortunately, no other government with enough courage to do the right thing has come after, so TFSA has persisted to this day. If you don't want to be the one financing stupid governments, you still need to understand TFSA rules and continuously know your contribution limit.

1: Unless, of course, they would simply have been trying to leave their mark, by reminding us forever of how good the PPC CPC is at taking populist measures.

Some may track their limit manually, but after a while, this usually gets quite complicated. Thankfully, WOWA's page on the topic helps in 2 ways. It first provides a calculator, which will unfortunately be inconvenient for many. But as the page then explains, you can also get (somewhat) that information directly from the CRA!

That is, of course, if you've already used the CRA's My Account... or if you're willing to go through an Insane (and half-broken) process involving some 15 minutes of wondering how a national G7 government can make such a simple thing so complicated, in 2022. I for one have been lucky enough to survive the resulting head-banging and get access to the precious amount.

I suppose simplifying a complicated complication will always be somewhat complicated.

Update: Once you receive - of course by paper mail - you CRA security code, you can go back to the website. Once you will manage to remember how you connected, and once that authentification method starts to work again, you will be able to enter your security code. But not before entering again all of the same strange information CRA asked you hoping to authenticate you before you signed up. For the last time, hopefully... until your security code's expiry, not even 1½ year after you signed up!

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