Should RRSP and TFSA Transactions be Included when Calculating ACB?

You may own the same security in both your non-registered account and registered accounts (TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP, and RDSP accounts).  As discussed, adjusted cost base should be calculated jointly when an identical security is owned in multiple non-registered accounts.

Transactions in registered accounts should not be considered when calculating ACB.  Securities in registered accounts are not subject to capital gains tax (and similarly, capital losses in a registered account cannot be used to offset capital gains in a non-registered account).  When the same security is owned in both a registered account and a non-registered account, transactions within the registered account have no affect whatsoever on the ACB and capital gains for the security in the non-registered account.

However, although the transactions in a registered account are not factored in directly to ACB, a transaction in a registered account can trigger the superficial loss rule for a transaction in a non-registered account.  Therefore, it’s still important to pay attention to the dates of transactions in a registered account when transactions for the same security occur during a similar time frame in a non-registered account.

18 thoughts on “Should RRSP and TFSA Transactions be Included when Calculating ACB?

  1. Km0m

    My broker transferred some shares of a REIT from my non-registered account to my RRSP account to make my annual contribution. Is it possible to track this using your ACB tools? If so how?

  2. Km0m

    My broker also transferred another equity, all shares, from my non-registered US trading account to my non-registered CAD trading account. Does this same rule apply? Do I treat it as a sell with a superficial loss?

  3. Km0m

    Since it is a transfer between personal accounts, how do I enter it? Do I enter it as a sell using the currency exchange, and then start it again as a new security? But the ACB would be all screwed up then.



    Assuming that the stocks were transferred in-kind between your own non-registered account, you would not need to enter any transaction. There would be no affect on ACB and no capital gain or loss would be triggered.

  5. Ignac Vucko

    I have read that the superficial loss rule will apply if you sell a security in non-registered account but buy it from a registered account within the 61 day window. As such, while ACB for registered accounts don’t strictly need to be calculated, trade dates for securities that are in common between non-registered and registered accounts must be tracked.

    If this is correct, I think this FAQ answer should be modified to specifically mention this.


  6. Km0m

    Thanks for the heads-up. I made the correction today following acb directions regarding editing this type of transaction and I cancelled the loss when the security was sold and transferred to my registered account.

  7. Andy

    Could a person have a superficial loss within a registered account like RRSP when they eventually withdraw the money? Let’s say a person sells a stock in RRSP at a loss, and then a week later buys that same stock in a non-registered account, holding it for over 30 days.



    It doesn’t matter whether or not a loss within an RRSP account is superficial or not. Either way, the loss cannot be claimed. And in any case the loss cannot be re-added to the ACB of shares purchased in a non-registered account.

  9. F L

    Would you recommend be used to track RRSP, TFSA transactions for the purpose of tracking capital transactions and investments – portfolio tracking / trade journal usage?

  10. Post author

    F L,

    Although you’re free to do so, is not designed to be a portfolio tracking solution. It is only intended to calculated capital gains and losses on deemed dispositions. It does not support calculating rates of return or portfolio performance, nor does it handle unrealized gains or losses or calculation of total return including distributions.

  11. Phil

    Presuming that equity withdrawn from a TFSA occurs at its FMV and establishes a new ACB, if the equity drops in value and is subsequently sold at a loss, does it create a capital loss that could later be used to offset a capital gain? Would deeming provisions be triggered in the case where the amount of money originally invested is less than the loss? Example – cash inside a TFSA purchased stock at $1/share and increased to $5/share before it was withdrawn. After being withdrawn, if the stock dropped to zero, the value of the capital loss would be less than the amount originally paid.


  12. zasid

    this sound all so complex do you have any blog post series like for beginner investor to understand this tax madness in Canada like from AtoZ at a beginner level like a 5yr could understand I have met with accountant who did my taxes last year and he asked me to ACB on my RRSP shares and charged me for it and now in your article it says ACB Is not require in registered account am so so so confused feels like he took advantage of me of not knowing this.

  13. Post author


    Yes, a capital loss would occur in that scenario (provided that the superficial loss rule does not apply). The fact that the original purchase price is higher than the final selling price has no impact.

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