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Tuition Receipt for RESP Withdrawals

This whole getting money out of an RESP has now turned into a money-making business for everyone (except me, of course). The excellent factor about the RESP program is money to get money, but unfortunately, Universities are trying to make their own money as well.

Both universities I am dealing with seem well prepared for me because on their websites are effectively the statement:

Dear Parent of our Student,

If you thought that extricating your money from an RESP was going to consist of us simply sending you a letter for free, or sending you an e-mail stating this, think again. We feel that sending out a letter to you that states that you have paid for your child’s education (no the bank won’t take our receipt from your payment, we all agreed that would be too easy) is something we should make some money on as well, so you will need to pay us $11.50 for this letter.

Please note: this is not an actual letter from any Canadian University, it is a paraphrase of the message sent, with much embelishment by me.

Do I sound bitter? If not, I need to take that creative writing class on how to write more bitterly.

Most of this money is after-tax money that will not be taxed if I withdraw it from the account (whether my child is at school or not) or thought about in any fashion, yet to extricate Dime One from this account, I must have this letter, which I must then go to a local bank branch (no this does not work over the phone, or online) and have them approve me taking the money out. Will there be a fee for my bank to approve this letter? Right now, I would not be surprised (but even more bitter? You Bet!) but I hope not.

I am displeased as punch about this whole thing, as you can tell. However, at least I know about it now, so I may get money out of this sometime before Thanksgiving (I hope). The other issue is I must get these documents from two separate universities (in different provinces), and I have not heard from my other daughter what fee her University will extricate from me to get at the RESP.

So when you think about the CESG that you get when you put your money in an RESP, remember to subtract this fee (a yearly thing I must do) from your “takings” in this Government Savings Plan.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Am I the only one that thinks the whole fee thing is a bit overblown? It’s a $12 fee for the university to give you a confirmation of enrollment letter, which will allow you to access up to $7200 in FREE MONEY from the government, in the form of the CESG.

    Yes, it sucks that the university wants their pound of flesh, but realistically it’s a tiny expense relative to the benefits of the RESP.

  2. I’m not sure who you are bitter towards? The university has nothing to do with the RESP – why would they provide the letter for free?

    You should talk to your provider – the verification of enrolment letter is a not a federal requirement as far as I know. If you argue enough they might relent and accept something else.

    As for withdrawing contributions – you can do that anytime without documentation, but any grants attributed to those contributions will have to be returned to the government. So, obviously it’s much better to provide proof of enrolment.


    1. Disagree, if the University is charging for a letter that they know needs to be given for RESP contributions (and their web site points this out), I view that as collusion with the Banks on this one (yes I am very paranoid, don’t point that out, it is evident).

  3. Hahah! That’s a great letter. It does seem JUST a little embellished.

    Isn’t it better than nothing though? It IS after tax money but when the gov’t gives us a small miniscule hand-out, I’d take it!

    I haven’t had to contribute to RESP’s yet, alas, because I have no children. I’ll let you know in a few years time what I think. 😉

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