The tax advantages of balancing assets between spouses aren’t as great as they used to be, but there is still some advantage to shifting assets (legally) from one spouse to another. For example, a couple can reduce their income taxes if taxable dividends are attributed to the lower income spouse.
To this end, my wife and I have been trying to increase her financial assets at the expense of mine. The main tool for doing this has been for all family expenses to be paid out of my income. She saves all money that comes into her hands.
Under the TFSA rules, one spouse can contribute to the other’s TFSA without the resulting income being attributed back to the contributor. This is explained clearly a few paragraphs into this CRA page on TFSAs.
So, I can fill up my wife’s TFSA from my non-registered account and she can leave her money in her non-registered account. This reduces the amount of taxable passive income I receive and increases hers.
Fortunately, new rules on income splitting with pension income and RRIFs make asset balancing between spouses less important, but there is still an advantage to balancing non-registered assets.