I think the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) still confuses people because of little rules here and there you have to abide by.
For instance, if you deposit money into your TFSA and then withdraw it in the same calendar year, you cannot re-deposit it back in until the NEXT calendar year.
Example of TFSA re-contribution rules in effect
January 2017 = You put $5500 into the TFSA
June 2017 = You withdraw $2000 from your TFSA
You now cannot re-contribute that $2000 until JANUARY 2018 or the NEXT calendar year.
1. ASK THE RECEIVING BANK FOR A FEE REBATE
When you transfer accounts, sometimes the receiving bank (to thank you for your money), will give you a rebate or a refund of any fees you had to pay from your other bank to move the account.
I know Questrade does this.
(Referral for Questrade for 10 free trades: o0soehds )
2. WITHDRAW THE MONEY IN THE ORIGINAL BANK BEFORE DEC 31st & RE-CONTRIBUTE JAN 1st TO THE NEW BANK
So let’s say you have $5000 in your old bank’s TFSA account that you want to transfer.
You don’t want to pay fees, etc…
So just withdraw that $5000 before December 31st, and re-contribute it into your new bank’s TFSA on January 1st of the next year.