This is a letter to the editor.

Critics of the recent $4,500 increase in the contribution limit for TFSAs claim it only benefits the wealthy. What they are overlooking is that the TFSA is the only tax-advantaged vehicle available to many Canadians for accumulating retirement savings.

There are a large number of single-income families in Canada. For the parent who stays at home, there is no other tax-advantaged vehicle available to fund a retirement income. Those parents don’t get a government or corporate pension and won’t be receiving CPP benefits because they weren’t eligible to contribute. They are also not allowed to fund a RRSP because allowed contributions are based on earned income.

Read: Election 2015: The parties on taxes

Where do stay-at-home parents get money to contribute to a TFSA? Some receive money from their working spouses, some inherit money from family, some receive divorce settlements and some have a share in the proceeds on the sale of their homes.

There are many tax-advantaged avenues available for members of the workforce to save for the future. For stay-at-home parents, the TFSA is the only one. The $10,000 annual contribution limit should be left in place.

As for the wealthy, the tax savings on the income earned on an extra $4,500 TFSA contribution won’t be enough to buy new tires for their Porsches.

Geoff Whitlam is president of Mackie Research Capital Corporation.

Have something to say? Write a comment or email us at We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and length.

For more on TFSAs, see:

Half of Canadians foggy on what can go in a TFSA

TFSA: Not always a simple decision

Which tax platform benefits your clients most?

Do clients understand TFSAs? 5 things to ask

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You are correct…the tax advantage to the wealthy is not much but the lost tax revenue is substantial. I believe that there are better ways to help low income families than increasing TFSA contributions that they most likely can not afford to fully utilize. If a single income family is maximizing the income earners RSP and has an extra $10,000 a year to invest I would suggest that many would consider them wealthy. The higher limit is certainly good for me personally but I would gladly give it up for something that actually helps those who need it.
Jan Armstrong

Friday, October 2 @ 3:30 pm //////

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