Tax-Deferred Is Not The Same As Tax-Free

Tax-deferred is something that must eventually have taxes paid on it. On the other hand, tax-free will not need any tax payments made.

Ken Green

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This is often misunderstood. To be clear, “tax-deferred” does not mean the same thing as “tax-free.” Tax-deferred is something that must eventually have taxes paid on it. On the other hand, tax-free will not need any tax payments made.

Tax-Deferred

Tax-deferred accounts allow you to realize immediate tax deductions up to the full amount of your contribution, but future withdrawals from the account will be taxed at your regular income rate. The most common tax-deferred account in Canada is the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Essentially, with these accounts, taxes on the income are “deferred” to a later date.

This account has its benefits as you get the immediate advantage of paying less taxes in the current year. Promoters of this plan often encourage high income earners to max out their tax-deferred accounts to minimize their current tax burdens with the assumption that when they retire, they will likely generate less taxable income and, therefore, find themselves in a lower tax bracket.

Tax-Free

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Ken Green

Ken is a Chartered Professional Accountant practicing in Canada. He provides tax, personal, and business financial services. https://linktr.ee/KenGreenca