20+ Difference between TFSA and RRSP

Both tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) and registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) may help you save and invest more money.

It isn’t always obvious how you should safeguard your income, but your savings plan may incorporate a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), or both.

But if you’re going to have to choose between the two, knowing the differences will help.

Comparison Between TFSA And RRSP

Founded inIn 2009, the federal government started the procedure to set up the account, which also marked the first year of the operation.The federal government opened the account and gave it an official name in 1957.
Age limitCandidates must be legally eligible to open a bank account in their name, typically at 18 in the US. The legal drinking age may vary between different states.To open the account, you must meet three criteria: being under 71 years old, having earned income, and filing a tax return. You will only be eligible to open the account once you satisfy all three of these criteria.
Advantage on taxUnder the terms of this agreement, you won’t be required to pay taxes on either your withdrawals or your earnings.Your money can grow tax-free and without any immediate tax consequences through contributions to a qualified retirement plan, allowing you to defer the realization of tax benefits to a later date.
Rules of withdrawalTax-deductible in any year, regardless of the motivation (subject to any specific investment terms).Withdrawals from the account are taxable unless used for primary residence or postsecondary education. Transferring the money to an annuity or RRIF before turning 71 avoids double taxation.
FlexibilityYou are free to use it in any manner that strikes your fancy, and it is accessible to you whenever you need it.The only exceptions to accessing funds from the account without penalty are for first-time home purchases and education expenses covered by the Lifelong Learning Plan.

Major Difference Between TFSA And RRSP

What exactly is TFSA?

In 2009, the first participants were able to open a Tax-Free Savings Account. All you need is your social insurance number (SIN), and you can start saving tax-free now if you’re 18 or older in Canada.

No income tax deduction is available for TFSA contributions. Any profits or payments made to the account are tax-free, even if they are withdrawn.

The cost of a loan taken out specifically to fund a TFSA contribution and any other fees linked with the account are not tax deductible.

Key Difference: TFSA

  • If you live in Canada and want to save money without paying taxes, you may open a Tax Free Savings Account or TFSA.
  • In technical terms, a TFSA is the polar opposite of an RRSP. It’s not hard to figure out that the TFSA is tax-free. 
  • An individual may save $5,000 in a TFSA over a year and then withdraw the money tax-free whenever needed.
  • Tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) are similar to registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) but may be used for various purposes.

What exactly is RRSP?

An RRSP, or Registered Retirement Savings Plan, is a Canadian investment and savings instrument available to both workers and self-employed individuals.

Contributions to an RRSP are made using after-tax dollars, which grow tax-free until withdrawal and are then subject to the individual’s marginal tax rate.

There are numerous similarities between 401(k) plans in the United States and Canada’s Registered Retirement Savings Plans, but there are also significant distinctions.

Key Difference: RRSP

  • A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a savings plan whose primary purpose is accumulating funds for use during retirement.
  • Contributions to this may be deducted in specific ways for individuals.
  • Withdrawals from RRSPs must be made before the account holder becomes 71 years old.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has also pointed out that RRSPs are tailored for retirement, but TFSAs are not.

Contrast Between TFSA And RRSP


  • TFSA- If you pass away and leave your TFSA to your spouse or children, they will be responsible for paying taxes on any appreciation in value after your passing.

    Suppose the beneficiary’s portion of the profits from the TFSA is less than the account’s value on the beneficiary’s date of death. In that case, the beneficiary is exempt from paying any taxes on their inheritance.
  • RRSP- Withdrawals from a 401(k), 403(b), or other qualified retirement plan are taxed at the ordinary income rate.

    The amount of money that will be passed down to your children as an inheritance from you will be available after all financial obligations have been met, such as paying taxes.


  • TFSA- Money taken out at any moment is not subject to taxation. You won’t owe any taxes when you cash out your funds.

    If you have a tax-free savings account (TFSA) and you take money out of it, the amount you took out is the maximum amount you are allowed to deposit back into the account during that calendar year.
  • RRSP- You are free to withdraw whatever amount of money you desire, although the withdrawals may be subject to taxes, and you may do so whenever you wish.

    Any money that is taken out of an individual’s bank account is subject to income tax, and the individual is responsible for paying that tax.


  • TFSA- Savers in Canada can lower their taxable income and qualify for additional tax advantages if they open a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).

    When money is withdrawn from a tax-free savings account (TFSA), any profits gained on assets that were maintained within the account, such as capital gains or dividends, are exempt from taxation. This is because TFSAs are designated as tax-free savings accounts.
  • RRSP- If you are a resident of Canada and want to save money for your retirement, one option that is available to you is to open what is known as a “Registered Retirement Savings Plan.”

    RRSPs provide several tax benefits to investors, and it is in the investor’s best interest to take advantage of as many of these advantages as possible.


  • TFSA- It is strongly recommended that travelers refrain from bringing any cash back into the nation after returning from a trip abroad.

    Because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not consider dividends a tax shelter, a withholding tax of 15% must be paid on dividends.

    The recipient of the dividends must pay this tax. The person who receives the profits is the one who is responsible for paying this tax.
  • RRSP- Permits investments from countries other than its own and meets the criteria set out by many international organizations.

    Because there are no laws in place to manage this, the maximum number of unnatural components that may be put into the product is not restricted in any manner, and this may include more than one.


  • TFSA- The first day of 2009 saw the official launch of tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), which had been established the year before.

    The original intention was to provide a convenient location for individuals to start saving for emergencies.

    Still, these accounts have rapidly shown to be flexible, or people have proven to be financially resourceful. They are now being used to manage income levels for tax and benefits purposes.

    Though praised as a well-thought-out government policy, many Canadians are either unfamiliar with or puzzled by TFSAs.
  • RRSP- To encourage workers and business owners to put away more money for retirement, the Canadian government created RRSPs back in 1957.

    The original 10% foreign content restriction was increased to 20% in 1994 and 30% in 2001 before being eliminated entirely when it became apparent that it served no purpose other than generating fees for fund managers (as synthetic foreign funds allowed people around the limits anyway).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can you claim a tax deduction for the money you put into your TFSA?

No. When you make donations, you do so with money already subject to taxation.

As a result, they are not deductible upfront and cannot be used to lower the amount of your taxable income.

However, with very few exceptions, you won’t have to pay taxes on any of your withdrawals from a TFSA.

Q2. What are the consequences of making a premature withdrawal from a TFSA?

Withdrawals of any amount from a tax-free savings account are free of charge. That is one of the many benefits that it offers.

The government of Canada designed this sort of savings account with the intention that it might be used for any reason at all and not only for retirement savings.

Therefore, you can withdraw whenever you choose during your life without incurring any penalties.

Q3. Who can open a Roth IRA?

The establishment of an RRSP is a breeze. The sole requirements to meet to qualify are that you be under the age of 71, that you be a resident of Canada (for tax purposes), and that you submit your income taxes in Canada.

Even if you are still a minor, you can join up. You will need the verbal or written permission of a parent or legal guardian.

Q4. How much of a tax reduction can I anticipate getting if I open an RRSP?

That is conditional upon the amount you give and the tax rate you fall into.

You may be able to avoid paying taxes on a significant amount of your income if you make contributions equal to or more than the maximum allowed (or even more in the case of individuals who have unused contribution rooms carried over from previous years).

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