Decoding Your Notice of Assessment: Avoiding RRSP Over-Contributions 0

Posted On July 20, 2023, by Angela Delaney

Welcome to our new education series, ‘Special Tax Topics.’ Our topic today is aimed at helping you navigate the often complex world of tax documents. We’ll show you how to read your Notice of Assessment (NOA) to avoid over-contributing to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Let’s delve into it.

Understanding Your Notice of Assessment

The NOA is a statement sent by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) after assessing your tax return. It details your income, deductions, credits, and the amount of tax you owe, if any. Importantly for today’s topic, it also outlines your RRSP deduction limit for the upcoming year.

How to Find Your RRSP Deduction Limit on Your NOA

The NOA has a clear layout, but can sometimes feel overwhelming with its abundance of numbers and tax terms. Here’s how to find your RRSP deduction limit:

Look for the section labelled RRSP deduction limit statement, which is typically found on Page 3. This section provides a detailed account of how your RRSP deduction limit for the next year was calculated.

Look for the bolded line titled “RRSP Deduction Limit for 20XX”: This is the maximum amount you’re allowed to contribute to your RRSP for the upcoming year. This figure does not include any unused RRSP contributions from previous years, so be sure to check the line labeled, “Available contribution room for 20XX” to confirm how much additional amounts you can contribute.

Remember, the CRA also allows for a $2,000 lifetime over-contribution buffer, but this isn’t tax-deductible and exceeding this may result in penalties.

Avoiding RRSP Over-Contributions

Knowing your RRSP deduction limit is the key to avoiding over-contributions. Follow these tips:

Refer to your NOA regularly: Your NOA isn’t a document to glance at and then forget. Keep it handy and refer to it whenever you’re considering making an RRSP contribution.

Keep track of your contributions: Monitor your RRSP contributions throughout the year to ensure you’re staying within your limit. Don’t forget to consider any contributions your employer makes to your RRSP.

Consider your future income: If you anticipate a significant income increase in the near future, you might want to save some of your RRSP contribution room for that time. Remember, RRSP contributions are more beneficial when your income is higher.

Get professional advice: If you’re unsure about anything, consult with a tax professional. They can provide personalized advice tailored to your circumstances.

In conclusion, understanding your NOA and, specifically, your RRSP deduction limit is vital for effective financial planning. Stay tuned for more tax tips and tricks in our ‘Special Tax Topics’ series.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. We highly recommend consulting with a tax professional before making any decisions based on this information.


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This blog is not meant to provide specific advice or opinions regarding the topic(s) discussed above. Should you have a question about your specific situation, please discuss it with your GBA advisor.

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