No, a U.S. resident should not contribute to a RRSP account. RRSP contribution rules allow you to contribute a certain percentage of your earned income, but since your income is not from a Canadian source, you would not be eligible for any tax deductions in Canada.

However, even though you are not eligible to contribute to your RRSP, you are still allowed to keep your RRSP to let your investments grow without being subject to tax in Canada. As a U.S. resident, you can elect to defer income generated from your investments in your RRSP until it is withdrawn by filling out Form 8891 each year with your tax return.

In addition, if you are emigrating from Canada, you should maximize your contribution in the year that you leave Canada. The government gives you 60 days after year-end to make this contribution. Also, it is important to note that if you have taken any money out of your RRSP under the Home Buyer's Plan (HBP) or other plans, you should arrange to repay the amount before becoming a non-resident. Otherwise, that outstanding amount may be subject to income tax for the year of emigration. (To learn more about the retirement planning process, read Retirement Planning.)

If you do plan on staying in the U.S. for an extended period, you may want to look into opening an individual retirement account (IRA). You will be allowed to open an IRA in the U.S., as long as you are a legal U.S. resident with a valid social security number. This will allow you to defer taxes on contributions you make from income earned in the U.S. (For more information on choosing the right IRA, take a look at our article, Which Retirement Plan Is Best?)

  1. When can catch-up contributions start?

    Most qualified retirement plans such as 401(k), 403(b) and SIMPLE 401(k) plans, as well as individual retirement accounts ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Who can make catch-up contributions?

    Most common retirement plans such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans, as well as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) allow you ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can you have both a 401(k) and an IRA?

    Investors can have both a 401(k) and an individual retirement account (IRA) at the same time, and it is quite common to have ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are 401(k) contributions tax deductible?

    All contributions to qualified retirement plans such as 401(k)s reduce taxable income, which lowers the total taxes owed. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are 401(k) rollovers taxable?

    401(k) rollovers are generally not taxable as long as the money goes into another qualifying plan, an individual retirement ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are catch-up contributions included in the 415 limit?

    Unlike regular employee deferrals, catch-up contributions are not included in the 415 limit. While there is an annual limit ... Read Full Answer >>
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