Use the first 60 days of the year to max out contributions to your RRSP. You have until March 1st, 2017 to reduce your 2016 income and get a higher tax refund.
There are several advantages in maxing out your contributions to your RRSP. All of the income you earn in the plan is exempt from tax (as long as the funds remain there). Additionally, you can withdraw tax-free funds from your RRSP for qualifying home purchases.
The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a program that allows Canadians to withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year from their RRSPs to buy or build a qualifying home for themselves or for a related person with a disability.
Under this plan, only first-time home buyers are eligible to participate, unless the special rules for persons with disabilities apply.
Each spouse or common-law partner can withdraw eligible amounts under the HBP from any RRSP under which he or she is the annuitant. Each person can withdraw up to the $25,000 limit, or $50,000 if purchasing the property jointly.
Any RRSP contributions made must remain in the RRSP for at least 90 days before they can be withdrawn under the HBP. After 90 days, the RRSP may generate a tax refund, which can then also be applied toward the down payment.
You have up to 15 years to repay to your RRSP from the second year following the year of withdrawal. If the required repayment is not made, the owing amount will have to be included as income in the year of the shortfall.
This is an excellent opportunity to save for your first down payment. Make sure you make use of it!