Go beyond the RRSP: Maximizing tax deductions

September 7, 2021
Go beyond the RRSP: Maximizing tax deductions

Have you ever used, or have thought about using the registered retirement savings plan that’s available to us in Canada? If yes, I assume that you want to use it because it offers a great tax benefit, and helps you grow your long-term savings for your future retirement, right? That’s usually the case for most people. As our team of financial planners in Vancouver would tell you, the RRSP is something of interest to most people because of the above reasons.

First, let’s have a quick refresher about some key points of the RRSP, and why it has been a long-time staple in the financial planning of so many Canadians.

The RRSP contribution reduces your taxable income.

This means that if someone earns $100,000 a year, and they contribute $10,000 into their RRSP, they only need to pay taxes on $90,000 worth of income. This could mean a reduction of around $3500-$4500 of taxes paid.

The money grows tax deferred.

Deferred means not yet, so while the money is sitting inside the RRSP (being invested, hopefully, and not just in a savings account), you won’t be taxed on it every year like you would your normal income. It only becomes taxable once you decide to make the withdrawal. Which brings us to our next point.

When making a withdrawal from an RRSP you’ll have to pay full income tax.

Ideally, you would make withdrawals from your RRSP once you’re retired. The idea is that in retirement, people would generally have lower income. So even though you’re making withdrawals from your RRSP, it will be balanced out by the fact that you’re not making as much working income. There are 2 ways that you can temporarily withdrawal some money from your RRSP: The homebuyer's plan and the lifelong learning plan, but pay attention to the fine print: you'll need to pay it back at some point.

If you and your partner have different incomes, use spousal RRSP.

There are many single income families, or families where the partner make very different incomes. If this is the case, the higher income partner can contribute to the lower income spouse's RRSP. The deduction will go to the higher income spouse, but the savings will be under the lower income spouse's name. Essentially, you could get some income splitting happening.

As you can see, the biggest benefit here is that your RRSP contributions lowers your taxable income, which means you will pay less taxes. For some people it might even give them a tax refund! But here’s a secret that a lot of people don’t know, which we are excited to share with you today: there is another way to get that same tax refund, without the downside of the withdrawals being fully taxable!

In Canada, when you borrow money (that is, take on a loan), you will need to pay interest. If you invest in certain assets with that loan, the interest that you pay on the loan would actually qualify you for tax deduction as well. If you’re not sure about this, ask your accountant about line 22100 – carrying charges and interest expenses, and they’ll tell you all about it.

We can use this to our advantage. Let’s assume that you borrowed $200,000 and the bank charged you an interest of 5%.This means that in one year, you’ll be paying 5% interest, or $10,000. At the end of the year, you would have $10,000 of interest expenses, which will lower your taxable income by $10,000. You’ve achieved the same income deduction as if you contributed $10,000 into your RRSP. Not to mention, if you had invested the loan into something, making 10% hypothetically, you’d end up with $20,000! This is what we mean when we say you can go beyond the RRSP: not only do you get a tax deduction, you also get amazing potential for growth!

Talk to us to learn more about the RRSP and find out how you can supercharge your own financial plan!

The contents of this post are from informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice.

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