Yes, this is entirely possible.
Before you transfer a TFSA account, it’s important to share some info on the two distinct types of TFSA accounts in the market as they may influence your transfer process slightly.
- Bank TFSA’s – these are accounts that hold your funds in cash and you earn interest on the cash over time. No shares or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are bought.
- Investment TFSA’s – these are different accounts in which funds/cash are typically invested in assets in the form of various instruments (eg. shares, ETF’s or funds).
The transfer of a bank product TFSA is slightly easier, as the funds are in cash and therefore no transfer of instruments is required.
Now to the transfer process. It’s a simple one that involves just a few easy steps:
- You'll need to have an EasyEquities account set up. If you don't already, you can register here.
- Fill out the online form here.
- Complete Section A (Investor Details) of the EasyEquities transfer form that will be emailed to you.
- Transfer Type – if transferring from a bank-type TFSA, you are likely to be transferring a Rand value. If transferring from another Investment-type TFSA, it may be units only or a combination of shares and cash. Pick the appropriate option
- Transfer Amount - if you are not transferring your entire TFSA account from the other provider, then you need to select a partial transfer (rather than a 100% / full transfer) and complete Appendix A.
- Enter your EasyEquities UserID into the blocks provided in Section B (Transfer To) of the form. You can find your User ID by following these instructions – How do I find my EE Number / UserID?
- Email the form to your existing broker as well as to email@example.com
How long does it take?
While we do our very best to limit the timeframe to as short as possible, due to the various parties involved and the complexity of transferring a TFSA account, transfers usually take between 2-4 weeks.
That complexity is brought on because of the annual contribution limits that apply to a TFSA account. In order for EasyEquities to take on the details of an account correctly, the broker that is ‘losing’ the account, has to issue a certificate in which they specify to us the details of how much money you invested in each of the years that your account was active.
But please don’t worry. We’ll do all the hard yards. Just follow the steps above and our excellent Transfers Department will keep you updated on your transfer along the way.
There is a regulation stipulating that "a product service provider must refuse to transfer any amount in respect of a tax free investment during the last 10 business days of any year of assessment". This stipulation is in place to avoid a situation where accounts are in transfer over the end of the Tax-year as this would cause issues with annual and lifetime contribution limits and what year they are allocated to.