2019-0832221E5 Subscriber of an RESP

Please note that the following document, although believed to be correct at the time of issue, may not represent the current position of the CRA. Prenez note que ce document, bien qu'exact au moment émis, peut ne pas représenter la position actuelle de l'ARC.

Principal Issues: Whether an incorporated registered charity can enter into an RESP.

Position: No.

Reasons: Except for a public primary caregiver, a corporation is prohibited from entering into an RESP as a subscriber.

Author: Podor, Karina

Section: 146.1(1) definition of "subscriber", "education savings plan"; 248(1) definition of "individual"

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                                                                                                                                     K. Podor
September 1, 2020


Re:  RESP subscriber

This is in reply to your emails dated November 28, 2019 and March 12, 2020 in which you request our views about a proposal for a registered charity to establish registered education saving plans (RESPs) for certain specified children. In particular, you wish to clarify whether the charity would qualify as an RESP subscriber. The charity is a corporation and is not a public primary caregiver, as that term is defined in subsection 146.1(1) (footnote 1). We apologize for the delay in our response.

Our comments

This technical interpretation provides general comments about the provisions of the Act and related legislation (where referenced). It does not confirm the income tax treatment of a particular situation involving a specific taxpayer but is intended to assist you in making that determination. The income tax treatment of particular transactions proposed by a specific taxpayer will only be confirmed by this Directorate in the context of an advance income tax ruling request submitted in the manner set out in Information Circular IC 70-6R9, Advance Income Tax Rulings and Technical Interpretations.

Pursuant to the definitions “subscriber” and “education savings plan” in subsection 146.1(1), only an individual (other than a trust) and a public primary caregiver are eligible to enter into an RESP with a promoter. As the term “individual” is defined in subsection 248(1) to expressly exclude a corporation, the registered charity in your proposal would not qualify as an RESP subscriber.

We trust these comments will be of assistance.

Yours truly,


Dave Wurtele
Section Manager
for Division Director
Financial Industries and Trusts Division
Income Tax Rulings Directorate
Legislative Policy and Regulatory Affairs Branch


Note to reader:  Because of our system requirements, the footnotes contained  in the original document are shown below instead:

1  Unless otherwise stated, all statutory references in this document are to the Income Tax Act (the “Act”).

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