Hurry! 1 CRA Benefit to Claim Before December 29 

Before you say goodbye to 2023, check up on all deadlines. You can claim this CRA benefit in your 2023 tax filing if you act before December 29.

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TIMER SAYING TIME FOR ACTION

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It’s that time of year when you are in a holly-jolly mood as the year-end nears. But before you write your out-of-office email and shut down the laptop for a week, ensure you meet the December 29th deadline to claim a new Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) benefit that started this year. 

The new $8,000 CRA tax benefit 

This year the CRA introduced the First Home Savings Account (FHSA). It is like your other registered savings accounts for a dedicated goal that offers tax benefits. 

If you are a Canadian aged between 18 and 71 and do not own a house, you can open an FHSA for 15 years. You can invest any amount between $0 and $8,000 through your FHSA in stocks, bonds, and ETFs and deduct your FHSA contribution from your 2023 income tax bill. 

But to get the tax benefit in your 2023 tax filing, you need to invest the money by the end of 2023. Since December 30 is a Saturday of the holiday season, it is safer to do your FHSA contributions before December 29. 

If you miss the deadline, need not worry. You can carry forward your $8,000 contribution room for 2023 to 2024 over and above the next year’s contribution room of $8,000. In total, you can invest up to $16,000 next year. Do not stress about the contribution limit, as you have 15 years to invest $40,000 in FHSA, with the $8,000 contribution room adding up every year for the next five years. 

Two growth stocks to buy before the end of 2023 

While the CRA is offering a golden opportunity to earn tax-free returns on an extra $8,000 investment, the stock market is offering an opportunity to jump early in the growth rally of 2024. After two years of bearish momentum triggered by rising interest rates, the tables are changing. The Bank of Canada has already paused interest rates since July and could now cut rates next year. 

Growth stocks are a good bet in a lower interest rate environment as investors shift their money from bonds to equity shares. Here are two growth stocks to buy before 2023 and enjoy a double-digit return next year. 

Constellation Software 

Constellation Software (TSX:CSU) is an evergreen growth stock you can consider buying. This constellation of hundreds of niche vertical-specific software companies continues to compound its cash flow using its acquisition model. It acquires small software companies with stable cash flows through its umbrella companies. One of its umbrella companies, Topicus.com, is also trading on the stock exchange. 

When the tech stocks were depressed in 2022, Constellation made some value acquisitions and boosted its 2023 earnings. In the first nine months of 2023, it has earned 100% of its 2022 revenue and 73% of its 2022 earnings per share. Its fundamentals continue to grow consistently while its stock price reported subdued growth, rising only 22% in the last two years. Its growth picked up in November, and the stock surged 22% in less than two months. 

Now is a good time to hop on the growth rally and hold the stock for five to seven years. It has the potential to more than double your money in these years. 

Technology stocks ETF 

While you invest in individual tech stocks, consider getting complete exposure to the sector with iShares S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology Index ETF (TSX:XIT). The ETF recovered to the December 2021 levels after bottoming out in October 2022. Had you invested in the ETF at the bottom, you would have earned a 73% return in 14 months. 

All is not lost, as the rally has just begun. Shopify, Constellation, and CGI are its top three holdings. They rose to this level as share prices surged. The ETF has also invested in future outliers that could drive growth once they begin their rally.

Since your FHSA allows you to invest for up to 15 years and withdraw tax-free to buy your first home, the above-growth stocks can help you build a sizeable downpayment. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Shopify and Topicus.com. The Motley Fool recommends CGI and Constellation Software. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Fool contributor Puja Tayal has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 

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