Saving Taxes on Stamps

Monday, October 12, 2009 | , , | 0 comments »

There is a way in which you avoid paying the sales tax on stamps. Sales taxes are rounded up or down at 0.5 cents. If the sales tax on an item that you are buying is less than have a cent then you don't pay tax.

In the province of Ontario where sales tax is 13% you will not have to pay tax on items that are 3 cents or less. So if you make individual purchases of 3 cent stamps then you will not end up paying tax because the price of 3.39 cents gets rounded down to 3 cents.

While this might not be practical to do, if you are really interested in saving money 18 of these stamps will allow you to mail a letter within Canada. You will save 7 cents on the mailing cost of a standard postage rate letter. Yes, you can fit 18 stamps on a standard sized envelope. Attach 5 stamps on the top row and 4 x4 grid of stamps below.

Electronic rust protection devices do not work for automobiles. Devices like the Counteract Electronic Rust Protection available for $200 from Canadian Tire are a complete waste of money.

Electronic rust protection devices use a technique called Cathodic protection. The device forces a protective flow of electrons to the metal that needs protection. Cathodic Protection can only work if there is a complete electrical circuit to bring back electrons. Automobiles cannot have a complete circuit because they are not grounded. Automobiles have non-conductive rubber tires. All of the metal to be protected needs to be surrounded by free electrons so simply grounding your car will not work.

Electronic rust protection devices have been used with success to protect against corrosion on many structures and systems including sea going ships, buried pipelines, and even reinforced concrete. All of these structures are grounded or have contact with water which has ions surrounding the metal which completes the circuit.

Modern automobiles have zinc electroplating on the entire chassis of the car to protect against rusting. Most manufactures provide 3 year warranties against rust. Extra rust protection such as oils and sprays provide minimal, if any protection. Rust occurs not where the metal is dry, nor where the metal is wet - but at the interface between the wet and dry metal.

Rust on your automobile is cancerous and more rust will form around old rust.

Preventing Automobile Rusting

  • Always park your car in your garage to prevent exposure from rain or snow. If you have no garage, cover your car with a car cover if possible.
  • Clean all dirt, salt and mud so that rust does not form underneath. This is especially important during winter when salt is used on the roads.
  • Wax your car once every four months.
  • Drive further behind other vehicles to prevent paint chips from small stones they kick up.
  • Clean out all of the drain holes so that water does not collect.
  • Use touch up paint and fix chipped paint to protect any exposed metal.
  • Remove and fix rust spots immediately to prevent further rusting.

Canadian pennies minted before 1997 used to be made of mostly copper and some tin. The value of copper has increased over the past 10 years to the point where the copper content of the penny was worth more than the face value of the 1 cent coin.

Copper prices have risen from $1.50/lb in Oct 2004 to a high of $4.00/lb in Aug 2008. With the current crash in the market the value of copper has come down to $2.50/lb.

At today's prices the following table shows the value of the copper content.

1942 - 1977 Cent Copper value 1.87 cents
1978 - 1979 Cent Copper value 1.86 cents
1980 - 1981 Cent Copper value 1.61 cents
1982 - 1996 Cent Copper value 1.43 cents
1997 - 1999 Cent Copper value 0.04 cents

The Canadian Mint stopped manufacturing 1 cent coins made out of copper in 1997. From 1979 to 1996 the Canadian Mint had been reducing the copper content to reduce the manufacturing cost of the 1 cent coin. In 1997 the Canadian Mint stopped using copper to manufacture 1 cent coins. Pennies minted after 1996 are made out of steel and copper plated. They are worth less than 0.05 cents in metal content.

For US pennies 1909-1982 have a value of 1.76 cents each.

Under Canadian law it is illegal to melt Canadian coins for their metal content.

At the same time since 1999 the Canadian mint has been removing all coins made before 1999 out of circulation. The Royal Bank of Canada has been the official distributor of coins from the Royal Canadian Mint. The Royal Bank of Canada is the largest bank in Canada. RBC since 1999 has been collecting 1 cent, 5 cent and 25 cent coins and returning them to the mint. The RCM has been melting these coins for their metal content and replacing them with cheaper steel coins.

While it remains illegal for the average Canadian to melt coins for their metal content, pre-1996 pennies can be sold on Ebay for more than their face value for their copper bullion content. Also as the RCM melts more coins the number of coins minted in years prior to 1999 also decreases. This also increases the value of these coins for coin collectors.

Check for the current metal value of Canadian coinage.