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Canadian RRSP Deadline for 2015 Tax Year - February 29, 2016

What is an RRSP?
A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a retirement investment plan registered with the government to which you or your spouse can contribute through RRSP-eligible investments, such as some stocks and mutual funds. For information on what investments are RRSP eligible, please contact a financial advisor and/or your financial institution.

Deductible RRSP contributions can be used as a means to reduce your taxes. Amounts earned in the RRSP investment is usually exempt from tax for the time the funds remain in the plan. When you cash in or receive payments from the plan (typically at retirement) you will then pay tax on those amounts.

When is the RRSP deadline for the 2016 tax year?
March 1, 2017 is the deadline for making contributions to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for the 2016 tax year.

How much can I deduct on my taxes?
The amount you can deduct on your tax filing is based in part on a percentage of your previous year's earnings and any eligible deduction room carried forward from the previous year. Your RRSP deduction limit is shown on your Notice of Assessment or Notice of Reassessment for the previous tax year.

If you are unable to use any part of your RRSP deduction limit, the unused amount can be carried forward to next year, increasing your deduction limit for that year. Unused deductions can be carried forward indefinitely.

When can I withdraw money from my RRSP?
Funds are usually held in an RRSP plan until retirement at which time they may be withdrawn or migrated to other investment plans. If your RRSPs are locked-in you will not be allowed to withdraw funds from them without penalty until you terminate employment and the plan (i.e. retirement).  

Two programs exist for making withdrawls tax-free from your RRSP under the requirement that you repay the amounts:

- The Home Buyers' Plan allows you to withdraw up to $20,000 from your RRSPs to buy or build a home for yourself or for someone who is related to you and is disabled. You have up to 15 years to repay the amount to your RRSP.

- The Lifelong Learning Plan also allows you to withdraw up to $20,000 (limit of $10,000 annually) from your RRSPs to finance training or education for you or your spouse or common-law partner. You cannot use your RRSP to fund a child's education.

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