How to Track your TFSA contributions

January 10, 2023


Tax-Free Savings accounts are excellent tools for wealth planning, but they come with potential complications when there are many transactions over several years that alter the amounts you can invest in the future.

As a reminder, the federal government sets the annual addition to your TFSA room (in 2023, the addition was $6,500) which accumulates following the year you turn 18, or since 2009, whichever came later. The current lifetime limit (as of 2023, if you have never contributed to a TFSA before and were 18 in or before 2009) is $88,000. Any withdrawals made from your TFSA are added back to your room, but not until the following calendar year.

In my experience, the best way to track your TFSA contribution room when you have a lot of “ins and outs” is a combination of tools:

  1. Access to My CRA.

The Canada Revenue Agency is the entity responsible for tracking your TFSA contributions and withdrawals which determines your contribution room in the end. The financial institution(s) with which you hold your TFSA(s) report your transactions to CRA on a regular basis, however, the data transfer is not instant. If you check your TFSA room today after making a contribution yesterday, your available room reported online today will not be accurate. It can take months for some institutions to send their data.

  1. Maintaining your own accurate records

It may seem daunting to track many transactions but used in combination with access to My CRA it will give you the most accurate and current information, considering the fact CRA’s data is not always up to date. I recommend using My CRA to obtain your TFSA room up to the current year, and then comparing your own records to calculate your current room.

If you have a pre-authorized contribution or systematic withdrawal occurring on your TFSA, i.e., several transactions occurring through the year, it can get complicated to keep your records accurate. I have developed a tool that may help: an interactive spreadsheet to manage your contributions and withdrawals.


RELATED: What happens if I over-contribute to a TFSA?


Some banks and fund companies may provide you with a TFSA transaction summary which is helpful. However, it is also possible to have a TFSA at several institutions, so to rely on one to track your TFSA room potentially provides an incomplete picture.

In the end, financial advisors are well-versed on the rules surrounding TFSA contribution room. Reach out to your advisor or investment representative for help with determining how much you can invest.


The comments contained herein are a general discussion of certain issues intended as general information only and should not be relied upon as tax or legal advice. Please obtain independent professional advice, in the context of your particular circumstances. This Blog was written, designed, and produced by Natalie LeBlanc & David Moore, PFP, STI for the benefit of David Moore, PFP, STI who is an Investment Fund Advisor registered with Investia and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Investia Financial Services Inc. The information contained in this article comes from sources we believe are reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities. Mutual Funds, approved exempt market products and/or exchange-traded funds are offered through Investia Financial Services Inc.

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