TFSA, RRSP and Savings Account Calculator

How taxes are applied to an investment can make an incredible difference.

Since 2009, all Canadians 18 and older have had a new option to save where all earnings and withdrawals are tax free. While there are limits to the amount you are able to contribute, you can make tax free withdrawals at any time for any purpose. This calculator is designed to help compare a normal taxable investment to a TFSA and a RRSP.

 

TFSA, RRSP and Savings Account FAQ

Taxable Savings

This is an ordinary, taxable, savings account. There are no restrictions for deposits or withdrawals, but all earnings and capital gains are taxable. In addition, there is no tax deduction to any deposits to an ordinary taxable account.

Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)

This is a flexible savings account that allows Canadians 18 and older to save for any purpose and withdrawals are tax free. The contribution limit for 2020 is $6,000, not including any catchup contributions for previous withdrawals or years where you didn't contribute the maximum. In recognition of the fact that people are likely to have multiple savings objectives at various stages of their lives - e.g. vacation, wedding, car, home or cottage - the full amount of withdrawals may be re-contributed to a TFSA starting the following year, to ensure that there is no loss in a person's total savings. For complete details of how a TFSA works please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/tax-free-savings-account.html.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

This is a savings account set up primarily for retirement savings. Contributions to a RRSP are generally tax deductible but withdrawals are taxed at your normal income tax rates. There are additional restrictions to how you can withdraw funds from this type of account. For complete details of the how a RRSP compares to a TFSA, please see https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/retirement-planning/comparing-savings-options.html.

Starting balance

Any existing balance for the accounts.

New contributions

Your periodic contribution. All contributions are assumed to happen at the beginning of the period.

Contribution frequency

The frequency of your contributions. The options are weekly, every other week, twice monthly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or Annually. All contributions are assumed to be made at the beginning of the period.

Years to contribute

Number of years you plan on making contributions.

Annual rate of return

This is the annual rate of return you expect from your investments. The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the types of investments you select. The Standard & Poor's 500® (S&P 500®) for the 10 years ending December 31st 2019, had an annual compounded rate of return of 13.2%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1, 1970 to December 31st 2019, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500®, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.7% (source: www.standardandpoors.com). Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a financial institution may pay as little as 0.25% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.

It is important to remember that these scenarios are hypothetical and that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index and the compounded rate of return noted above does not reflect sales charges and other fees that investment funds and/or investment companies may charge.

Income tax rate

Your marginal income tax rate. This is used to estimate the amount of tax you will pay on your RRSP and taxable account options.

Compensate for tax-deduction

If you check this box the calculator will assume contributions to the RRSP investment are tax deductible when they are made. The calculator will then increase the contribution amount for the RRSP investment by the amount required to make the net contribution equal to the investments that have contributions made on an after-tax basis.