Nova Scotia responds to the phasing out of the penny
The Government of Canada has phased out the penny. Nova Scotia government staff will round final cash amounts up or down. Electronic transactions such as debit and credit cards will not be impacted. Please see the following FAQ for more information. (PDF Version)
Frequently Asked Questions
The Government of Canada has phased out the penny. As of February 4, 2013 the Royal Canadian Mint stoped distributing pennies to financial institutions, and these institutions no longer distribute pennies to consumers, businesses, or to the government.
While most customers pay government fees and charges electronically, we want to ensure that customers who choose to pay with cash are treated fairly and in a transparent way. The Nova Scotia government is taking the same approach as many other provinces and businesses by following federal guidelines for rounding cash transactions.
Access Nova Scotia centres and all other government offices, will round up or down as follows:
- Final amounts ending in .01 or .02 will be rounded down to .00
- Final amounts ending in .03 or .04 will be rounded up to .05
- Final amounts ending in .06 or .07 will be rounded down to .05
- Final amounts ending in .08 or .09 will be rounded up to .10
Government fees and charges will be adjusted to end in five cent increments.
Questions & Answers
Can I still use pennies for NS government fees and services?
Yes. The penny will continue to be legal tender like all other Canadian coins and the Nova Scotia government will accept the coin as a means of payment. Over the coming months, the Nova Scotia Government plans to round all fees to 5 cent increments.
After February 4, will the Nova Scotia Government make change in pennies?
As long as pennies are available, they can be used as part to make change. However, in cases where pennies are not available government staff will round up or down to the nearest 5 cent increment.
Can I pay with the exact change?
Yes. Consumers can use pennies for cash transactions and the Nova Scotia Government will accept exact change.
Will the Nova Scotia Government round prices of individual fees?
The final amount in a cash transaction (or equivalently, the change owed) will be subject to rounding if pennies are not available. Individual fees, as well as any taxes, will be tabulated in their exact amount prior to rounding.
What if I want to pay with credit or debit?
Electronic payments will not be affected and customers are expected to pay the exact amount.
How will the HST be calculated without a penny?
Not all government fees are subject to HST. However, for those fees where the HST is applied, the tax will be calculated in the same manner as before. For any cash payment, only the final amount (or equivalently, the change owed) will be subject to rounding if pennies are not available. Individual fees will be tabulated in their exact amount prior to rounding.