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Practical Financial Solutions: It costs when you miss the RRSP deadline

Roger Higgins
By Roger Higgins
February 8th, 2016

It’s a fact proven time and again by many thousands of Canadians:  Contributing to investments held within a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is often the best way to save for retirement.

It is also an indisputable fact that missing the deadline for making your maximum 2015 contribution can be costly.

Here’s why:

  • If you are in a high income bracket this year but will have a lower marginal tax rate in a future year, your tax benefit from that future RRSP contribution will also be lower.
  • The additional tax refund you didn’t get because you didn’t contribute this year is not available to make investments or pay down non-deductible debt.   
  • The government does not allow you to make RRSP contributions after the end of the year that you turn age 71. So, if you (or your spouse) are turning 71 in 2016, you should consider making an RRSP contribution by December 31, 2016, or you’ll lose that tax-saving opportunity.
  •  If you are making a contribution to a spousal RRSP, do it before December 31 each year to reduce the time before it can be withdrawn. A contribution to a spousal RRSP must stay in the RRSP for three calendar years before it is withdrawn, or the withdrawal will be “attributed” back to the contributor.
  •  If you are claiming a spousal RRSP deduction for a deceased spouse or common law partner, the contribution to the spousal RRSP must be made in the year of death or during the first sixty days after the end of that year or the opportunity for this deduction will be lost.
  • If you are required to make a loan repayment under the Home Buyers Plan or Lifelong Learning Plan, missing your contribution will result in a taxable income inclusion for that year.

The deadline for making RRSP contributions for the 2015 tax year is February 29, 2016. Don’t miss it and don’t miss out on other tax-saving, income-building opportunities – talk to your professional advisor soon.

This column is sponsored by Roger Higgins, a BA, CFP Division Director for Investors Group in the Kootenays. For all your financial planning needs, contact Roger at 250-352-7777 of email at

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