Government web site contributed to TFSA confusion

Canada Revenue Agency site of little help to TFSA holders.

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The absence of a specific word on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) web site made it difficult for holders of Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) to find information that might have saved them money, according to a government study.

The agency’s web page describes the scenario in which account holders have too much money in their TFSA as “excess” contributions. However, online users preferred the search term “over-contribution” when seeking answers on this subject, and were directed away from the pertinent CRA site.

Even those users savvy enough to find the CRA page were given no information on how to remedy the situation.

According to the government, up to 72,000 people received CRA notices last June informing them that they might face tax penalties for violating TFSA rules.

The CRA web site has since been updated.

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