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Do more with your money with a First Home Savings Account
What is a First Home Savings Account (FHSA)?
An FHSA is a plan that helps eligible Canadians save for their first home tax-free by combining certain features of a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).
What are the benefits of an FHSA?
You can invest up to $8,000 a year (with a lifetime maximum limit of $40,000) towards the purchase of a first home. Contributions to an FHSA are tax deductible and earnings within it are tax-free when used towards buying your first home.
Can an FHSA be combined with the Home Buyers’ Plan?
Both the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) and the FHSA can be used on the same home purchase. This article provides a helpful comparison between the HBP and FHSA.
Find the FHSA option that works for you
Frequently asked questions
You can contribute up to $8,000 per calendar year, up to a lifetime maximum of $40,000. Your contribution room starts in the year you first open an FHSA. You can carry up to $8,000 of unused room forward to the next calendar year.
Yes—with certain limitations.
Any unused contribution room can be carried forward, but it can only be carried forward to the next calendar year. The maximum amount of unused FHSA contribution room that can be carried forward to the next year is $8,000. Beyond that, it is not cumulative.
For example, if you open your FHSA in December 2023 and contribute $3,000, your FHSA carryforward will be $5,000 ($8,000 minus $3,000). Your FHSA participation room in 2024 will be $13,000, calculated as follows:
$8,000 (current year) plus $5,000 (FHSA carry forward from 2023) = $13,000
If you do not use the balance in your FHSA towards the purchase of a first home, the value of your FHSA can be transferred into your RRSP or Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) on a tax-deferred basis, regardless of your RRSP contribution room.
You can also withdraw the value of the account but it will be subject to withholding tax and considered fully taxable income in the year of withdrawal.
Your FSHA can stay open for 15 years or until you reach 71 years of age (whichever comes first). An FHSA must also be closed by December 31 of the year after the first withdrawal is made from the account.
There are some similarities and differences between investing money in an RRSP, an FHSA and a TFSA. This helpful article can help you understand which option is best suited to your savings goals.
No, if you own a house, you cannot open an FHSA. If you wish to help a dependent open an FHSA for themselves, you would need to transfer the funds to the dependent and the dependent would need to open the FHSA in their own name. You also cannot open an FHSA if your current spouse or common-law partner owns a house.
You can open an FHSA if you're a Canadian resident for tax purposes and have a SIN or temporary SIN. Please note that you must also be the age of majority in the province or territory where you live and meet the criteria for a first-time homebuyer1. This includes not owning a residence outside of Canada in the last four years.
Yes, if an FHSA is opened this year, $8,000 is added to your FHSA participation room. If you do not make a contribution this year, the participation room will carry forward to next calendar year. The maximum amount of unused FHSA participation room that can be carried forward is $8,000 per calendar year.
Depending on the investments within your FHSA, a deposit minimum may be required upon opening for the account to be valid and remain open.
Yes, you can set up a recurring contribution to your FHSA through a PAC. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process using ATB Personal. To set up a PAC for your ATB Wealth FHSA, speak to your advisor or call 1-855-541-4387.
Please note that it is the FHSA holder’s responsibility to ensure that any contributions made through one-time deposits or through a PAC do not exceed the annual contribution limit of $8,000 and lifetime contribution limit of $40,000.
Yes, you can have more than one FHSA, at more than one financial institution if you wish. However, it’s your responsibility to ensure that contributions made to all of your FHSAs do not exceed the contribution limits of $8,000 per calendar year and lifetime contribution limit of $40,000.
Learn more about a First Home Savings Account
What’s a First Home Savings Account?
Learn how this account can help you save for your first home—tax-free.Learn more
Help your child purchase their first home.
What to know when gifting money to your child to help them buy a home.Read more
Ready to buy a home today?
Our team of specialists is ready to help you find the best mortgage for you.Learn more
This means you or your spouse or common-law partner did not own a qualifying home that you lived in as a principal place of residence at any time in the year the account is opened or the preceding four calendar years.
Related documents: Little Book of FHSA (PDF)
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