† No purchase necessary. Open November 18, 2023 to February 29, 2024 to legal residents of Canada who at the time of entry: (a) have reached the age of majority in their province or territory of residence; and (b) qualify to open a CIBC FHSA in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations and Canada Revenue Agency requirements. Three (3) prizes available, each consisting of $8,000 CAD in the form of a cheque or deposit into winner’s CIBC Deposit account, if applicable. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries. Math skill test required. Review full contest rules: cibc.com/FHSAContest Opens in a new window..
1 To open an FHSA at CIBC, the individual must be a resident of Canada with a SIN who has reached the age of majority in their province or territory. The individual must also be a first-time homebuyer, meaning the individual did not at any time during the part of the calendar year before the account is opened or at any time in the preceding four calendar years live in a “qualifying home” (or what would be a qualifying home if it was located in Canada) as their principal place of residence that either (i) they owned or (ii) their spouse or common law partner owned (if the individual has a spouse or common law partner at the time of opening the account).
A “qualifying home” is a housing unit located in Canada. This includes existing homes and those being constructed. Single-family homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, and apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings all qualify. A share in a co-operative housing corporation that entitles you to possession, and gives you an equity interest in a housing unit located in Canada, also qualifies. However, a share that only provides you with a right to tenancy in the housing unit does not qualify.
2 Withdrawals from the FHSA to purchase a qualifying home must be made using a prescribed form.
To withdraw funds on a non-taxable basis, the holder must:
- Be a first-time homebuyer at the time of withdrawal;
- An individual counts as a first-time homebuyer for this purpose where, during the 4 previous calendar years and during the period of the current year ending 31 days before the withdrawal was made, the individual did not live in a home that they owned or jointly owned
- Have a written agreement in place before the withdrawal to buy or build a qualifying home (in Canada) with the acquisition or completion date of the qualifying home before October 1 of the year following the date of the withdrawal;
- Intend to occupy that home as the principal place of residence within 1 year of acquiring the qualifying home;
- Be a resident of Canada from the time of the withdrawal until the home is acquired; and
- Not have acquired the qualifying home more than 30 days before the withdrawal is made.
If the above conditions are met, the entire balance in the FHSA can be withdrawn on a tax-free basis in a single withdrawal or a series of withdrawals.
3 The Income Tax Act requirement to open an FHSA is minimum age 18, but a holder must be at least age 19 to open an FHSA securities account in provinces where the age-of-majority is 19 years.
4 Starting in the year the FHSA is opened, the holder can contribute, or transfer from an RRSP, a total of $8,000, plus any carry-forward available. The maximum lifetime amount that can be contributed or transferred to an FHSA is $40,000. An individual may carry-forward up to $8,000 of any unused contribution room in any year. Carry-forward amounts only start accumulating after an individual opens an FHSA for the first time. Unlike RRSPs, contributions made within the first 60 days of a subsequent year can’t be deducted in the previous tax year.
Where a holder transfers an amount from their RRSP into their FHSA, it would not be a taxable withdrawal from their RRSP (however they would not get back any RRSP contribution room).
Individuals can own more than one FHSA but the total amount they may contribute to all of their FHSAs cannot exceed their annual and lifetime contribution limits. Individuals must keep track of their own contribution room. There is a 1% per month penalty tax on any overcontributions.
Similar to RRSP contributions, there is no requirement to claim the FHSA deduction in the tax year in which a contribution is made. The amount can be carried forward indefinitely and deducted in a later tax year.
5 The Account can remain open for a maximum of 15 years, subject to the following conditions:
- Account must be closed at the end of the year following the year in which the earliest of the following happens:
- 14th anniversary of the date the individual first opened an FHSA;
- Account holder turns 70 (an account can be opened at age 71 but has to be closed before the end of the year);
- A qualifying withdrawal is made; or
- The holder dies.
- Savings in the FHSA not used to buy a qualifying home can be transferred on a tax-deferred basis into an RRSP (without specifically needing contribution room) or registered retirement income fund (RRIF); or withdrawn on a taxable basis.
- Taxable withdrawals will be subject to withholding tax (at the same rates as RRSP withdrawals, except for in Quebec where the rates will be similar to taxable withdrawals from an RESP).