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[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3368 posts
1177 upvotes
Woodbridge

Spousal RRSP

Hi all. I've tried to find this information but I must not be looking hard enough... it seems like a fairly simple question.

If someone opens a spousal RRSP that their spouse contributes to and down the line that person's income increases and they want to start making their own contributions, do they need to open a separate RRSP for themselves to contribute to, or can they contribute to the same account or change it to a regular RRPS?

Second question - for tax purposes... if my wife opens a spousal RRSP today and I contribute to that account and my own account, do I just list the total amount on Simple Tax or do I need to be aware of some separate way to distinguish between the amount contributed to my account and the amount contributed to my wife's spousal account?

Thanks!
7 replies
Newbie
Jul 5, 2008
77 posts
63 upvotes
GTA
OntEdTchr wrote: If someone opens a spousal RRSP that their spouse contributes to and down the line that person's income increases and they want to start making their own contributions, do they need to open a separate RRSP for themselves to contribute to, or can they contribute to the same account or change it to a regular RRPS?
She should open a separate RRSP later.
I have a spousal RRSP and just recently opened my own RRSP now that I can make my own contribution.
OntEdTchr wrote: Second question - for tax purposes... if my wife opens a spousal RRSP today and I contribute to that account and my own account, do I just list the total amount on Simple Tax or do I need to be aware of some separate way to distinguish between the amount contributed to my account and the amount contributed to my wife's spousal account?
You put your total contribution amount (your RRSP + her spousal RRSP) in line 20800.
I don't know about Simple Tax but with StudioTax, you could provide a breakdown.
The breakdown does not show on Schedule 7 but you have receipts as proof.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
1358 posts
1140 upvotes
Ottawa
One can make a contribution to a Spousal RRSP as either a Spousal Contribution or a Personal Contribution. A Spousal RRSP can serve both purposes.

There are tax implications on the person making Spousal contributions to the Spousal account if funds are withdrawn - particularly the rule of attribution. The rule of attribution states that if you withdraw money from a Spousal RRSP, the contributor will be taxed on the withdrawal if there has been a Spousal contribution made in the year of the withdrawal or the two preceding years. If a Personal contribution is made to the Spousal and subsequently withdrawn, the Spousal contributor will be hit with a tax bill if there have been any Spousal contributions within that tax year or the two previous.

Think carefully before treating a Spousal as a Personal RRSP. Your wife should consider opening a separate Personal RRSP later, rather than making Personal contributions to the Spousal.
Last edited by Dynatos on Feb 1st, 2021 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
1358 posts
1140 upvotes
Ottawa
OntEdTchr wrote: Second question - for tax purposes... if my wife opens a spousal RRSP today and I contribute to that account and my own account, do I just list the total amount on Simple Tax or do I need to be aware of some separate way to distinguish between the amount contributed to my account and the amount contributed to my wife's spousal account?
I believe they're aggregated in the same line item on the tax filing.

As the contributor, you'll receive contribution receipts for both your wife's Spousal and your Personal. You'll actually receive two receipts for each, if you continued to contribute to both in the first 60 days of 2021.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3368 posts
1177 upvotes
Woodbridge
Great, thanks so much! This clears things up.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
1358 posts
1140 upvotes
Ottawa
OntEdTchr wrote: Great, thanks so much! This clears things up.
Just to add - I'm not sure how it works with other RRSP issuers, but with TDDI, when one makes a contribution to a Spousal RRSP, there's a radio button or dropdown to explicitly indicate whether it's a Spousal or Personal contribution. Then they separate it out in receipts come tax time.

We've been making only Spousal contributions on my wife's side for a few years, but we've chosen to keep her Personal RRSP, which pre-dated our marriage, as a separate account. We've actually been mulling over consolidating her Personal and the Spousal, for simplicity, which effectively converts the Personal to a Spousal.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3368 posts
1177 upvotes
Woodbridge
Dynatos wrote: Just to add - I'm not sure how it works with other RRSP issuers, but with TDDI, when one makes a contribution to a Spousal RRSP, there's a radio button or dropdown to explicitly indicate whether it's a Spousal or Personal contribution. Then they separate it out in receipts come tax time.

We've been making only Spousal contributions on my wife's side for a few years, but we've chosen to keep her Personal RRSP, which pre-dated our marriage, as a separate account. We've actually been mulling over consolidating her Personal and the Spousal, for simplicity, which effectively converts the Personal to a Spousal.
Okay, that's good to know. We're looking at opening a spousal one through Questrade so I'll keep an eye out for anything like that.
Member
Feb 9, 2018
420 posts
305 upvotes
OntEdTchr wrote: Okay, that's good to know. We're looking at opening a spousal one through Questrade so I'll keep an eye out for anything like that.
Questrade doesn't allow personal contribution into a spousal RRSP so that should not be an issue.

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