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Personal finance and tax top our list of most-read stories 

From maximizing the principal residence exemption to calculating retirement savings, the insights in our most popular stories for 2021 highlight the expertise of CPAs

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Woman calculating expensesSeven of our top articles for 2021 were related to taxation or personal financial planning (Getty Images/MStudioImages)

Tax and financial planning have long been favourite topics with our readers. But, in 2021, no less than seven of our 10 most popular articles were related to those subjects in some way. (Online security came in third with three articles.) 

Heading the top 10 was our story on the principal residence exemption, followed by a range of topics, from what to do when you overcontribute to an RRSP or TFSA to how to optimize your retirement savings. 

In case you missed them, here are our top 10 stories for 2021.

  1. 4 common questions about the CRA’s principal residence exemption
    Under the Principal Residence Exemption (PRE), the sale of your primary residence can be exempted from capital gains tax in most cases. But determining eligibility for the exemption can sometimes be complicated. This article looks at the questions clients might ask and how CPAs can respond.

  2. 4 threats to watch out for when a hacker gets your phone number
    Many people have become used to sharing their phone numbers and other personal information digitally for everything from online registration forms to new account profiles. This story emphasizes the importance of preserving your online security.

  3. Over-contributed to your RRSP or TFSA? Here’s what to do
    It’s a common problem: you’ve contributed too much to your registered plan(s), possibly because you forgot to check your contribution limits for the year. But, provided that you act quickly, you can minimize penalties and interest.

  4. 4 cases where it may make sense to withdraw funds from your RRSP
    Common wisdom has it that you should let your funds grow within your RRSP until you retire. But in some circumstances—if you’re buying your first home or looking for a way to finance your studies, for example—it might make sense to access some of your funds early.

  5. Steer clear of these 5 recent scams: Here’s how
    From the infamous SIN scam to email money transfer fraud, this article details some of the most ubiquitous tricks  criminals use to gain access to their targets’ accounts—and how to avoid them.

  6. You’ve filed your tax return, but you forgot something. Now what?
    Just as you might inadvertently overcontribute to your TFSA or RRSP, you might also forget to claim a deduction or to report some of your income on your personal tax return. Luckily, the CRA has developed a process to help file an adjustment. Here’s how—and when—to do it.

  7. 3 current scams to keep on your watch list—and avoid
    Like No. 5 above, this story emphasizes the importance of protecting yourself against common scams, from package delivery fraud to spear phishing and ransomware attacks.

  8. Common sense advice to nail those retirement savings
    When you save for retirement, it’s important to base your calculations on after-tax dollars. Also, don’t assume 70 per cent of your pre-retirement earnings will be enough to guarantee a comfortable lifestyle. Here, we look at these and other tips for ensuring you make savvy choices as you build your nest egg.

  9. The true cost of babies
    For parents-to-be, finding out what it actually costs to raise a child can be a real eye-opener. This article summarizes some of those costs, as outlined in the popular CPA Canada book, The true cost of babies.

  10. How much money do you need to feel comfortable?
    To go by one survey, it seems Canadians have outsized ideas of how much they need to feel financially at ease. Here, experts explain what numbers make sense for most people. 

    Note: Information included in the articles was accurate at the time of publication and may have changed. 


CPA Canada has a wealth of resources to keep you on top of your budget and savings. Plus, learn how to nip emotional spending in the bud and protect yourself from fraud.