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RRSP First Time Home Buyer
As you might be knowing, an RRSP withdrawal incurs withholding taxes. But there are exceptions like the RRSP First Time Home Buyer Plan (HBP) and the RRSP Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) in which case the withdrawals you make are not taxed.
This guide will uncover all the details of the RRSP First Time Home Buyer Plan including what exactly it is, its repayment, its limit, advantages and disadvantages.
RRSP First Time Home Buyer: What is it?
The RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) First Time Home Buyer Plan (HBP) is a specialized scheme in your RRSP retirement plan, designed to assist first-time homebuyers in purchasing a home.
It allows eligible individuals to withdraw funds from their RRSP to use towards the purchase or construction of a qualifying home, providing a way to enter the real estate market with financial support.
However, please note that some RRSPs, such as locked-in or group RRSPs, do not allow you to make a withdrawal from them.
A housing unit located in Canada. This includes existing homes and those being constructed. A share in a co-operative housing corporation that entitles you to possess, and gives you an equity interest in a housing unit located in Canada, also qualifies.
The following all qualify:
Qualifying Home for RRSP First Time Home Buyer Plan
- single-family homes
- semi-detached homes
- mobile homes
- apartments in:
- apartment buildings
- condominium units
Applicable to first-time homebuyers, however it is important to note that, according to the CRA’s definition, even if you’ve previously owned a house, you can still qualify as a first-time homebuyer. In the CRA’s perspective, you qualify as a first-time homebuyer if neither you, your spouse, nor your common-law partner has occupied or lived in a house owned by either of you in the last four years.
This plan allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP without incurring any withholding taxes from your RRSP provider. You have the option to withdraw a single lump sum or several smaller amounts, but the total must not exceed $35,000 to avoid taxes.
However there is a condition that you must repay the borrowed amount. You must repay the borrowed amount within 15 years, starting from the year following the year in which you borrowed.
Please consult your financial advisor for more and specific information.
RRSP first time home buyer repayment
As mentioned, the RRSP First Time Home Buyer Plan requires you to repay the amount withdrawn.
Based on the amount borrowed, the CRA will send you annual notices specifying both the total amount and the minimum payment required for that particular year.
If you’re unable to pay the required amount in any given year, the minimum amount will be added to your taxable income for that year.
Withdrawn funds must be repaid into the RRSP over a specified period to maintain the tax advantages. The repayment period typically spans 15 years, with annual minimum repayments required.
RRSP first time home buyer limit
There is a maximum limit to the amount that can be withdrawn from an RRSP under the HBP. At the time of writing this guide, the maximum withdrawal limit is $35,000 per individual.
Beyond a $35,000 amount you are charged with applicable taxes.
Couples buying a home together can each withdraw up to this limit, resulting in a combined potential withdrawal of $70,000.
How to participate in the RRSP First Time Home Buyer Plan
The RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) First Time Home Buyer Plan (HBP) is an excellent opportunity for eligible individuals to access funds for the purchase or construction of their first home. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to participate in the Home Buyer Plan:
Step 1: Check Eligibility
Before considering participation, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. The basic eligibility conditions are:
You should be considered a first time home buyer. According to the CRA’s definition, even if you’ve previously owned a house, you can still qualify as a first-time homebuyer. In the CRA’s perspective, you qualify as a first-time homebuyer if neither you, your spouse, nor your common-law partner has occupied or lived in a house owned by either of you in the last four years.
For example, if you are making a withdrawal on July 31, 2024, you cannot have lived in a home as your principal place of residence that either you or your spouse or common-law partner owned or jointly-owned from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2024.
If you have previously participated in the HBP, your HBP balance must be zero at the beginning of the calendar year of your withdrawal.
Written agreement: You must have a written agreement to buy or build a qualifying home.
Resident of Canada: You must be a resident of Canada at the time of withdrawal.
Intention to occupy the home: You must intend to occupy the qualifying home as your principal place of residence, within one year of buying or building it.
You can read the detailed eligibility here.
Step 2: Review Maximum Withdrawal Limits
Identify the maximum amount you can withdraw from your RRSP under the HBP. As of the last update, the limit is $35,000 per individual. If you’re purchasing a home with a spouse or partner, each person can withdraw up to this limit, potentially providing a combined withdrawal of $70,000.
Step 3: Complete the T1036 form
Step 4: Submit the Form to your RRSP provider
Once you have completed the T1036 form, submit it to your RRSP provider. This is typically the financial institution where your RRSP is held. Ensure that you provide all required information and documentation.
Step 5: Use the funds for buying or building your sweet home
Once your RRSP provider processes your request, you will receive the funds. These funds can be used towards the purchase or construction of your first home. It’s crucial to adhere to the rules and timelines associated with the use of these funds.
Step 6: Begin the repayment process
Understand the repayment requirements. The repayment period is typically 15 years, and you are required to make annual minimum repayments. Begin the repayment process within the required timeframe to maintain the tax advantages associated with the HBP.
Step 7: Maintain proper records
Maintain detailed records of the HBP transaction, including the withdrawal, use of funds, and repayments. These records will be essential for tax purposes and compliance with the HBP regulations.
Step 8: Seek professional advice if needed
Consider consulting with a financial advisor or tax professional. They can provide personalized guidance based on your financial situation, helping you make informed decisions about participating in the Home Buyer Plan.
RRSP first time home buyer form
To access the RRSP First Time Home Buyer Plan, individuals need to fill out the appropriate form. The designated form is T1036 – Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) Request to Withdraw Funds from an RRSP. This form is submitted to the financial institution holding the RRSP from which the funds are to be withdrawn.
RRSP first time home buyer advantages and disadvantages
RRSP First Time Home Buyer Advantages:
a. Financial Assistance: The HBP provides a source of funds to help first-time homebuyers accumulate a down payment.
b. Tax Deferral: While the funds are withdrawn from the RRSP, they are not subject to withholding taxes, offering a form of tax deferral.
c. Flexibility: The HBP allows flexibility in how the funds can be used, whether for the purchase or construction of a home.
RRSP First Time Home Buyer Disadvantages:
a. Repayment Requirement: The mandatory repayment schedule might be challenging for some individuals, especially considering other financial obligations.
b. Impact on Retirement Savings: Withdrawing funds from an RRSP reduces the amount available for retirement, potentially impacting long-term financial goals.
c. Potential for Market Loss: If the RRSP is invested, selling investments to access HBP funds could result in realized losses if the market has declined.
Note: Withdrawals from the RRSP First Time Home Buyer Plan do not incur any taxes, making it a tax-efficient way to access funds for the purpose of home purchase. This tax advantage enhances the financial benefits of the program for eligible individuals.
The RRSP First Time Home Buyer Plan can be a valuable tool for those looking to enter the housing market. However, individuals should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages and consider their financial situation and long-term goals before utilizing this program. Seeking advice from a financial advisor can help ensure that the decision aligns with one’s overall financial strategy.