Q

What do I need to know about taxes and Spousal RRSPs?

R

Spousal RRSPs allow for partners with some annual income disparity to even out their retirement savings, therefore offering the potential to decrease your retirement income taxes (since the high-income earner won't be required to take out a larger minimum when their RRSP is converted into a RRIF).

Tax Slips:

  • Contribution receipt (2017)
  • Contribution receipt (First 60 Days)
  • T4RSP if HBP or LLP (or straight withdrawal)
  • the names on the slip will be different (will have contributor’s name, then the annuitant)
    • contributor gets to claim on taxes

*Why they are important: *

  • Your contribution receipts allow you to claim the appropriate deduction to your income taxes!
  • Being issued a T4RSP is a reminder that you made a withdrawal from your RRSP account and confirms that your RRSP provider has notified the CRA of this withdrawal (incase you need to repay the withdrawal within a certain timeframe, like with Home Buyer’s Plan withdrawals or Lifelong Learning Plan withdrawals).

*Limitations/Call to Action *

  • It’s important to remember that each individual has the same RRSP contribution limit regardless of whether they’re contributing to their own RRSP or a Spousal RRSP for their partner!
  • You may annually contribute whichever is lower of the following:
    • 18% of your earned income from the previous year or;
    • a maximum of $26,010 (2017)
  • There are also certain expectations when you make a withdrawal from an RRSP! If you made a withdrawal from an RRSP and paid withholding tax on that withdrawal, then there’s nothing further to worry about. But, if you made a tax-free withdrawal under the Home Buyer’s Plan or Lifelong Learning Plan:
    • Generally, you must repay a Home Buyer’s Plan withdrawal back to your RRSP within 15 years (For more detailed information, visit
    • Generally, you must repay a Lifelong Learning Plan withdrawal back to your RRSP within 10 years (For more detailed information, visit
    • Note that aside from receiving a T4RSP you will not receive any other tax slips from your RRSP provider in relation to a HBP or LLP withdrawal - the onus will be on you to claim a repayment to your RRSP on your personal income taxes based on the amount you contributed (as per your contribution slip). You can find further instructions on how to claim an RRSP withdrawal repayment on your taxes on the CRA’s website.
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