Tax Free Savings Accounts: Just the Facts

April 7, 2011

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Here are the most important facts about the Tax Free Savings Account.

Introduction of the Tax Free Savings Account: January 1, 2009, right at the height of the economic meltdown

What's new: Stephen Harper promises to double the contribution limits to the Tax Free Savings Account, from $5,000 a year to $10,000.

REALITY CHECK

After-tax income of Canadian individuals in 2008: $31,400

Median after-tax income of Canadian individuals in 2008: $25,400

Drop in number of full-time jobs in the recession, from peak to trough: 465,000 ( in seasonally adjusted terms)

Proportion of Canadian households that saved in 2009: 57% (43% did not) (Source: Statistics Canada, custom data ordered by CCPA, to be released soon)

Cost of TFSA to public treasury, as estimated by Budget 2008: $920 million over first five years of implementation, $3 billion a year upon full operationalization

Number of accounts by end of 2010: 4.8 million

Eligible population (18+): estimated to be approx 26 million

Proportion of Canadians who took advantage: 18% (would be a lower share of all Canadian households, since some families will have several members with accounts)

Canadians’ Number One Concern: Healthcare

Canadians’ Second Concern: Jobs

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