Calculating the TFSA contribution room may seem complicated; however, there is good news. Although you should keep records about your TFSA transactions to ensure that you do not exceed your TFSA contribution room, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) tracks TFSA room similar to the way it tracks RRSP contribution room. Based on information provided by TFSA issuers, the CRA will determine your TFSA contribution room at the beginning of each calendar year.
If you are a registered user of “My Account”, you can view your TFSA contribution room. This will generally be based on your balance at the beginning of the calendar year, but keep in mind that TFSA issuers have until the end of February to provide records to the CRA for the previous year, so there may be a lag until your balance is updated early in the year. My Account is a self-service portal offered by the CRA that enables individuals to access their own tax and benefit information in a secure on-line environment. Information about your TFSA contribution room can also be found on “MyCRA”, a secure mobile application for individual taxpayers.
If you don’t have access to CRA’s online services, you can use CRA’s automated Tax Information Phone Service (TIPS) to access your individual contribution limit. Keep in mind that this information is available from mid-February to the end of December. It is also possible to request a TFSA Room Statement or TFSA Transaction Summary by contacting the CRA’s general enquiries line for individuals at 1-800-959-8281. The TFSA Transaction Summary shows the information that the CRA received from your TFSA issuer(s) about your contributions and withdrawals.
As previously mentioned, the CRA’s information is generally updated to provide your room balance at the beginning of the year. Therefore, if you have any transactions in your TFSA in the current year, you may be able to use form RC343, Worksheet — TFSA Contribution Room, to determine your current contribution room balance.