How to Shop At Costco Without A Membership
Most of us know that if you want to buy anything from Costco you need a membership card. Those who do have memberships also know that you can’t lend your card to your spouse or friend as the member is required to present the card at the checkout point.
Now there is a way to shop at Costco without a membership card. The answer; shop using a Costco Cash Card. When you use a Costco Cash Card you don’t actually need a membership. The card acts as both your membership and your method of payment. You simply present the Card at the checkout and you are good to go. These cards can be preloaded with amounts from $25 to $1,000.
Like anything that has pro’s, there is one drawback. You do need a Costco member to purchase the card for you. Once they have loaded the card you are off and running and only need their help again when your funds are used up.
This is a great alternative for spouses and gift giving.
This month’s commentary comes to you as a result of one of my clients asking me to comment on what is the impact of one’s income taxes when one turns 65. The list below is not an absolute A to Z, but does highlight some of the key benefits available to those who have reached age 65 and beyond.
Things That Will Affect Your Income Taxes When Your Turn 65
Employment Income – Some clients continue to work past age 65 even though they are receiving pensions. In most cases, the employer will not deduct enough tax. Find out from your tax preparer what your average tax rate is to ensure your employer is deducting enough tax from you. This concept would also apply if you are receiving pension income from various sources.
CPP Deductions – If you continue to work past age 65, you can choose to continue to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan and receive a higher P\pension later. If you are 65, are currently having CPP deducted from your pay cheque and you no longer want to contribute, let your employer know and ask them to stop making deductions.
Pension Income Split – As of 2007 you have been able to split up to 50% of your eligible pension income with your spouse. There is not an age restriction for splitting pensions received from a Defined Benefit or Defined Contribution Plan. Those who want to split pensions received from a Registered Retirement Income Fund have to wait until the age of 65 before splitting this pension. It can be an effective tax reduction strategy to start taking money out of your RRSP/RIF starting at age 65 rather than waiting for the legislative requirement starting at the year after your 71st birthday.
Age Tax Credit – In the year you reach 65 you can claim a non refundable age tax credit on your Income Tax Return. Those earning less than $32,961 for 2011 would receive the maximum amount while those with income exceeding $76,541 (2011) receive nothing. The age credit starts to get clawed back at a rate of 15% when your income exceeds $32,961.
Old Age Security – If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can receive the Old Age Security Benefit once you reach the age of 65. The current maximum OAS Benefit is $544.98 per month and is taxable. If your net income exceeds $69,562 for 2012 you can expect your OAS to be clawed back in a similar way as the age credit.
Guaranteed Income Supplement – Low income individuals who receive the OAS may also be eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Eligibility requirements are based on your income and marital status. For more information visit http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/oas/gis/guaranteeddincomesupplement.shtml
Ontario Trillium Tax Benefit – Although the Trillium Tax Benefit is available to eligible individuals at all ages over 18, the benefit does have some enhancements when you reach age 65. This benefit, introduced in 2012, merges together the previous Ontario Sales Tax, Property Tax, Energy and Northern Resident Tax Credits. You can do a quick calculation to see if you are eligible at http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/taxcredits/CalculatorQuestions.asp
Health Home Renovation Tax Credit – If you are 65 years or older in Ontario, you could qualify for a tax credit to help with the cost of making your home safer and more accessible. The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit is a permanent, refundable personal income tax credit for seniors and family members who live with them. If you qualify, you can claim up to $10,000 worth of eligible home improvements on your tax return. The amount of money you get back for these expenses is calculated as 15 per cent of the eligible expenses you claim. For example, if you spend and then claim $10,000 worth of eligible expenses, you could get $1,500 back.
You may also be eligible for other benefits if you previously lived or worked in a foreign country.