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What do I need to know about the FHSA to buy my first home?

Here are the eligibility criteria for the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA):

  • Be a Canadian resident and at least 18 years old.
  • Like the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP), you must not have lived in a property you or your spouse owned in the year you open the account or in the four previous calendar years.
  • You must not have previously used the FHSA to buy a home.

Is there a maximum contribution limit?

  • Unlike a TFSA or RRSP, the carry forward of unused annual limit is capped at $8,000 less the previous year's contributions.
  • The lifetime contribution limit is $40,000 per person.

Good to know

  • These amounts will not be adjusted for the cost of living or inflation.
  • You can only use the FHSA to buy a property once.
  • When you withdraw funds from your FHSA for the purchase of a home, you must close all your FHSA accounts before the end of the year following the first withdrawal.

Is there a time limit to use your FHSA?

The FHSA can stay open for a maximum of 15 years*. After that, the funds will have to be used to buy a home or be transferred to an RRSP or RRIF. The funds can also be withdrawn, but they will be taxed.

*Your FHSA has to be close on December 31 of the year in which the earliest of these events occur:

  • The 15th anniversary of opening your first FHSA
  • You turn 71 years of age
  • The year following your first qualifying withdrawal from your FHSA
  • The year following your death

Can I carry forward a contribution to my FHSA?

You can carry forward up to $8,000 of unused FHSA contribution room to the following year.


If you contribute only $6,000 the first year, you can contribute the unused $2,000 the following year. Since this amount is in addition to the annual contribution limit of $8,000, you can contribute up to $10,000 in the second year.

Please note that your maximum contribution allowance is a total of $40,000.

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