Personal finance and taxes top our list of most read stories

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

Tax and financial planning have long been favorite topics for our readers. But, in 2021, no fewer than seven of our top 10 most popular articles were related to those topics in some way. (Online safety came in third place with three items.)

Topping the top 10 was our story on the homestead exemption, followed by a variety of topics, from what to do when you overcontribute to an RRSP or TFSA to optimizing your retirement savings.

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

  1. 4 Common Questions About the CRA Homestead Exemption
    Under the Principal Residence Exemption (PRE), the sale of your principal residence may be exempt from capital gains tax in most cases. But determining exemption eligibility can sometimes be tricky. This article looks at questions clients might ask and how CPAs can answer them.
  2. 4 threats to watch out for when a hacker gets your phone number
    Many people have grown accustomed to sharing their phone numbers and other personal information digitally for everything from online signup forms to new account profiles. This story emphasizes the importance of staying safe online.
  3. Did you overcontribute to your RRSP or TFSA? This is 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 as long as you act quickly, you can minimize penalties and interest.
  4. 4 cases in which it may make sense to withdraw funds from your RRSP
    Common wisdom says 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 may make sense to access some of your funds early.
  5. Stay Away From These 5 Recent Scams – Here’s How
    From the infamous SIN scam to email money transfer fraud, this article details some of the most pervasive tricks criminals use to gain access to their targets’ accounts and how to avoid them.
  6. You have filed your tax return, but you forgot something. Now what?
    Just as you could inadvertently overcontribute to your TFSA or RRSP, you could also forget to claim a deduction or report part of your income on your personal tax return. Fortunately, 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 #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 tips for nailing down those retirement savings
    When saving for retirement, it’s important to base your calculations on after-tax dollars. Also, don’t assume that 70 percent of your pre-retirement income will be enough to ensure a comfortable lifestyle. Here, we discuss these and other tips to ensure you make smart decisions as you build your savings.
  9. The true cost of babies
    For parents-to-be, finding out how much it really 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?
    According to a survey, it seems that Canadians have outsized ideas of how much they need to feel financially comfortable. Here, the experts explain which numbers make sense to most people.

    Note: The 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.

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