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What is a First Home Savings Account (FHSA)?

The FHSA is a registered plan that was created specifically to help save for purchasing your first home. Your contributions are tax deductible and when you withdraw the funds to purchase your first home, the money is tax free1.

Who qualifies for a FHSA?

You can open an FHSA if you are:

  • a Canadian resident
  • aged 18 – 71
  • a first-time homebuyer2
How much can you contribute?

The FHSA allows you to contribute $8 000 a year with a lifetime contribution of $40 000. Once you open your FHSA you immediately qualify for the $8 000 contribution room, and can carry this forward for the next year if you do not use it3.



Yes you can, but you are still restricted to the annual and lifetime contribution limits and values.
With an FHSA, you can contribute a lifetime maximum of $40,000 and qualifying withdrawals are also tax-free—however, they don’t need to be repaid. A HBP allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP tax-free, subject to eligibility and conditions, but it must be paid back within 15 years. You can contribute to both an HBP and FHSA.
If you don’t use the money in your FHSA within 15 years of opening the account, or by the end of the year you turn 71, you can transfer it—tax-free—to an RRSP or RRIF. You can also withdraw it, but then you will be taxed on the amount you withdraw
Any funds remaining after you purchase your home can be transferred tax-free to an RRSP or RRIF, or withdrawn on a taxable basis.
You and your spouse can each open your own FHSA as long as you both qualify as first-time homebuyers. You can both use your FHSA to purchase your home. As a couple, your annual combined contribution room would be $16,000 ($8,000 x 2), with a lifetime maximum of $80,000 ($40,000 x 2). However, you cannot contribute to each other’s FHSA – you would both need your own.
No, don’t over contribute. If you do, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will assess a 1% penalty per month on the over-contribution.

Not quite yet, smartopen will have the FHSA accounts ready soon.

  1. A qualifying first-time home buyer for the purposes of opening an FHSA is considered as follows: at any time in the calendar year before the account is opened or at any time in the preceding four calendar years, you did not live in a qualifying home (or what would be a qualifying home if located in Canada) as your principal place of residence that either you owned or jointly owned; or your spouse or common-law partner (at the time the account is opened) owned or jointly owned.
  2. To make a “qualifying withdrawal”, you must be a first-time homebuyer who is a resident of Canada, have a written agreement to buy or build a qualifying home in Canada before October 1 of the year following the year of withdrawal, and intend to occupy the qualifying home as your principal place of residence within one year of buying or building it. You must not have acquired the qualifying home more than 30 days before making the withdrawal.

New members will be required to open a Member Share Account