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Registered Education Savings Plan
A Registered Education Savings Plan, or RESP, is an investment vehicle used by parents to save for their children's post-secondary education in Canada. The principal advantages of RESPs are the access to the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) and a source of tax-deferred income.
An RESP is a tax shelter, designed to benefit post-secondary students. With an RESP, contributions (comprising the investment's principal) are, or have already been, taxed at the contributor's tax rate, while the investment growth (and CESG) is taxed on withdrawal at the recipient's tax rate. An RESP recipient is typically a post-secondary student; these individuals generally pay little or no federal income tax, owing to tuition and education tax credits. Thus, with the tax-free principal contribution available for withdrawal, CESG, and nearly-tax-free interest, the student will have a good source of income to fund his or her post-secondary education.
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Canada Education Savings Grant
The Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) is provided to complement RESP contributions, wherein the government of Canada contributes 20% of the first $2,500 in annual contributions made to an RESP. After changes introduced in the 2007 Canadian federal budget, the government may contribute up to $500 per year to a participating RESP. This income is available upon withdrawal from the RESP by a post-secondary recipient, with a maximum lifetime contribution of $50,000. Any contributions over this amount are subject to taxation.
The government grants introduced in 2005, entitled Additional CESG, allowed an additional 10% or 20% for a total of an extra 30 or 40 cents on each dollar of the first $500 contributed to an RESP, depending on the family income of the beneficiary's primary caregiver. An application is made through the promoter of the RESP, which is often a bank, mutual fund company or group RESP provider
Canada Learning Bond
The government of Canada also provides a Canada Learning Bond (CLB) to encourage lowincome families to contribute to an RESP. Families with children born on or after January 1,2004, and who receive the National Child Benefit, will receive an additional $500 CLB when they open an RESP and $100 for each year they remain eligible.
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