Canadians are taking advantage of their Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) to generate tax-free passive income to supplement their pension or build investment portfolios to fund a comfortable retirement down the road.
TFSA contribution limits
The TFSA limit is $6,500 in 2023 and will increase to $7,000 in 2024. Since its inception in 2009, the TFSA cumulative maximum contribution space is now $88,000 and jumps to $95,000 next year.
Interest, dividends, and capital gains earned inside the TFSA are tax-free and can be removed at any time without concern that the income will bump investors into a higher marginal tax bracket or put Old Age Security (OAS) payments at risk of a clawback.
Money removed from the TFSA during the year opens up equivalent new contribution room in the following calendar year in addition to the regular TFSA limit.
The market correction in certain sectors of the TSX this year is giving investors an opportunity to buy top Canadian dividend stocks at discounted prices. Yields are now higher than rates on Guaranteed Investment Certificates in many cases, and there is good upside potential on a rebound.
BCE (TSX:BCE) increased its dividend by at least 5% in each of the past 15 years. The stock currently trades near $53.50 per share compared to the 2023 high of around $65.
BCE just reported solid third-quarter (Q3) 2023 results and is on track to hit its guidance for revenue growth and free cash flow growth this year. Earnings per share are expected to slip by 3-7% largely due to higher borrowing costs and some challenges in the media group. However, the overall business is performing well in a difficult economic climate.
Investors who buy BCE at the current level can get a 7.2% dividend yield.
Enbridge (TSX:ENB) trades for close to $46.50 at the time of writing compared to a 2022 high of around $59. The drop is largely due to rising interest rates rather than any operational issues at the energy infrastructure giant.
Enbridge continues to make strategic acquisitions to drive revenue and cash flow growth. The latest announcement is a US$14 billion deal to acquire three natural gas utilities in the United States. The addition of the assets will make Enbridge the largest operator of natural gas utilities in North America.
Enbridge increased its dividend in each of the past 28 years. At the current price, investors can get a dividend yield of 7.7%.
Bank of Nova Scotia
Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) has underperformed its large peers in recent years, but the new chief executive officer is making changes at the bank to help drive better shareholder returns. Investors should get an update on the results of a strategic review of the business when the Bank reports fiscal Q4 2023 results and/or at the investor day scheduled next month.
In the meantime, contrarian investors can get a 7.1% dividend yield from BNS stock. The bank remains very profitable, even in a challenging economic environment, and has a solid capital cushion to ride out turbulence if a recession turns out to be deeper than expected.
The bottom line on top stocks for a TFSA
BCE, Enbridge, and Bank of Nova Scotia pay attractive dividends that should continue to grow. If you have some cash to put to work in a TFSA, these stocks look cheap today and deserve to be on your radar.