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TFSA Transfer? Now is the Time ?


I borrow this concept from Million Dollar Journey who had this as one of your end of year things you should be thinking about doing. Most of the hints are good ones, but this one had me scratching my head a little.

TFSA Piggy Bank

Now let’s be clear that you can transfer from a TFSA that you own to another TFSA (that you own), if you do a DIRECT transfer, as outlined by the CRA here. I am not sure if you get the transferred TO institution fill in the forms, or the transferred FROM institution fill in the forms, but this is really what you should be doing, if you are thinking of doing a transfer from one TFSA to another. There might be fees involved, depending on whom you are dealing with.


The other idea is to cash out money from TFSA account, and then wait until in the new year to move it into another TFSA account. I suppose an example of this might be if you had a Mutual Fund TFSA account, and you wanted to transfer money to a Trading TFSA (e.g. TD Mutual Funds account to a TD Waterhouse TFSA account), but I think you are better off doing this as an official transfer, and the following up with the CRA after it all happens to make sure that it has not done anything wonky to your TFSA limits.

The CRA has a very helpful article Example – Qualifying transfers between TFSAs of the same individual, have a read and see if your transfer can be done. There have been lots of stories of folks making mistakes with their TFSAs and having to pay hefty fines from the CRA for their misunderstanding of the rules.

Am I missing the point on this one?


  • Edward December 23, 2015, 3:42 PM

    There are a lot of people confused as to what they’re allowed to put in the next year if they cash one out in order to move it. The answer is whatever the new year’s allowance is + whatever your withdrawal was the previous year.

    Example: Somebody did insanely well and their TFSA is now work $120K. They cash it out in December and the next year they are allowed to put in $120,000 + $5500 into any TFSA account/vehicle they want. (There are people out there who will argue that you’re only allowed all the accumulated limits from 2009 onwards ($46,500), but they’re wrong . You’re allowed to put in the year’s limit plus *any* previous years’ withdrawal.)

    • bigcajunman December 23, 2015, 6:04 PM

      Agreed, but wouldn’t it just make more sense to fill in the forms and have the bank do it for you?

  • Dan December 18, 2015, 9:38 AM

    Actually, I was going to do just that. Cash out a TFSA from a high interest savings account and then in the new year, write a cheque to deposit the funds to a different institution where I have a trading account TFSA. This will avoid the transfer fee.

    • bigcajunman December 18, 2015, 10:35 AM

      How much are the fees (if you don’t mind me asking?)

  • My Own Advisor December 14, 2015, 3:09 PM

    My TFSA was maxed since earlier this year so nothing to do with year-end 🙂

  • Tawcan December 14, 2015, 1:56 PM

    I think it makes more sense to do a direct transfer in most cases. This way you can contribute more money in the new year.

    • bigcajunman December 14, 2015, 4:34 PM

      That is certainly my view on it, but maybe I am missing something ?

  • Michael James December 14, 2015, 1:33 PM

    That all sounds reasonable enough to me. In almost all cases, you need to fill out forms with the TO institution. They are motivated to get the job done. The FROM institution is motivated to obstruct.

    • bigcajunman December 14, 2015, 1:55 PM

      That was my thinking as well, when I have transferred RRSPs and such the TO folks do a GREAT job!


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