A: Your RRSP contribution limit for each year is shown on the previous year Notice of Assessment. You can also access Canada Revenue Agency's online services at www.cra-arc.gc.ca and use your Epass or Quick Access to open My Account for Individuals, or contact Revenue Canada at 1-800-267-6999.
Q: I went over my RRSP contribution limit for 2013. What should I do?
A: If the excess contribution is less than $2,000, you can carry-forward the excess amount on Schedule 7 and deduct it in a future year when you have accumulated more RRSP room. If your excess contribution is more than $2,000, you will be subject to penalty tax. In which case, to avoid getting taxed on an amount that was never deducted, you might want to withdraw the excess amount using either Canada Revenue Agency forms T3012A or T746.
Q: I'm not sure if I should be contributing to my own RRSP or to my wife's. What information can I use to make my decision?
A: It all depends on the level of income you and your wife can expect at retirement. To minimize taxes, you should try to equalize the retirement income between the two of you. If your wife will receive a company pension when she retires (and you will not), it may be best to contribute to your own RRSP. If the situation is reversed, you should contribute to her RRSP, until she has generated enough capital in her RRSP to generate an income equal your own retirement income.
Q: What are the tax benefits of contributing to my wife's RRSP?
A: It is an excellent way to split income between spouses. You get the same deduction as when you contribute to your own RRSP, but the deduction is subject to your own RRSP contribution limit, not your wife's. The RRSP will belong to your wife, so when the money is withdrawn, she will have to report it as income. To summarize, you get the deduction but she reports the income. However if a spousal RRSP is withdrawn during the year purchased or the preceding two years, the income is attributed back to the contributor to the extent contributions were made to any spousal RRSP.