Equity FAQs
October 29, 2020

Can I use my local Co-op number in other communities?

Your local Co-op number works only within the communities served by your local Co-op. Communities served by another Co-op will not use the same member number. Each Co-op is independent and has different policies regarding equity and cash back.  The communities where you can use your Prairie Co-op number are Melville, Fort Qu'Appelle, Lipton, Strasbourg Ag, Cupar, Kelliher, and Ituna.

Do you have to be a member to shop at the Co-op?

No, but by becoming a member you become a part owner of the business and share in the earnings of the Co-op. You can also attend annual meetings, vote on resolutions and run for a position on the Board of Directors.

What is Equity? How Does It Work? How do I Earn a Share of the Profits?

By buying a membership in Prairie Co-op, you are a part owner. Each time you purchase petroleum, food, home centre or agro supplies, and give your membership number, your purchases are recorded. At the end of the fiscal year, a portion of your purchases may be returned in the form of an equity allocation. The more you purchase, the more you receive in equity. Additionally, Prairie Co-op pays out a portion of that equity on an annual basis as a cash payment to you, a member-owner. Making purchases at Prairie Co-op and using your member number is a great investment in your future.

Why is my Social Insurance Number required for my membership?

Your Social Insurance Number is required under the Income Tax Act for reporting purposes and in order to issue a T4A slip. Prairie Co-operative Ltd. is required by law to have this number on file and does not violate the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
• The number provided will not be used for any other purpose.
• In the event your equity allocation is over $100.00 your SIN will assist you with the ability to collect the withholding tax held by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) when filing your annual income taxes. Not only will you be able to benefit from Prairie Co-op's equity and cash back program, you can also collect further funds from CRA.

I received a T4A in the mail. Why did I receive this?

The T4A is from the Member Refund/Allocation that you received from the previous years' equity payout. It means that your refund was in excess of $100. The total on your T4A won’t match the cheque you received last year, though, since the refund included the cash and share equity you earned and received in the previous year.
We’re required to report all refunds/allocations over $100, and to withhold and remit 15% of anything above that amount to the Canada Revenue Agency. Your refund isn’t necessarily taxable! Refunds from consumer goods/personal use (groceries, household items, gas for private car use, etc.) are not subject to tax. You are entitled to claim any withheld tax, whether taxable or not taxable income. If your allocation was not over $100, you will not receive a T4A.  

What do I do with my T4A?

Box 22, Income Tax Deducted:

The tax withheld and remitted to CRA is a direct benefit to all members and can be used as a prepayment of tax. Include the amount shown in Box 22 as part of “total tax deducted per information slips” on your income tax form.

Box 30, Allocation:

Consumer Goods (Personal Use):
If your purchases from Prairie Co-op were for personal use only, the allocation is not taxable. You receive the benefit of the tax withheld but do not include the patronage allocation (Box 30) as part of your income.
Suggestion: Write “Consumer goods only” on the copy you are enclosing with your income tax return to avoid any confusion with the Canada Revenue Agency. If you are filing electronically, enter the non-taxable portion in the non-taxable box.

Business/Farm Purchases:
If you are claiming some or all of your purchases from Prairie Co-op as expenses against income, then you must include the applicable portion of the allocation on your income tax form as taxable income. You receive the benefit of the tax withheld (box 22 of the T4A).

We advise that you consult with your accountant or tax preparer for the most accurate information regarding your T4A.

How is Equity calculated?

Every time you make a purchase at Prairie Co-op, and give your membership number, your purchase is recorded. Each commodity has a certain percentage of allocation assigned to it. These fluctuate from year to year, and are decided upon by the Board of Directors based on the performance of the Co-op. The amount of dollars spent on that commodity is multiplied by that percentage and added together to create your allocation amount.

You paid back a portion of my equity, what happens to the rest?

The remainder of the equity stays in your share account with Prairie Co-op. It will be used in calculating cash repayments in future years. It also helped finance the business, and maintain and upgrade assets to ensure ongoing success at Prairie Co-op.
When can I get my equity paid out?
Provisions for payments of equity are made for:
1. Estates
2. Members of 65 years of age - repayment only - equity balance less original $100 membership share (this is a one-time lump-sum payment  in subsequent years, your equity will be paid down to $100, provided that amount is over the $25 cheque threshold)
3. Members who move out of the trading area

It is your responsibility to notify the Admin office at 306-728-5497, or email admin@prairie.crs, and they will send you an Application to apply for any of the above, and answer any questions you may have.  Equity withdrawal forms can also be found here.

Move-away requests will be paid after ONE YEAR after approval by the Board of Directors; estates and age repayments will be paid out after Board approval at the next board meeting after application.

Why is there GST on my statement?

Canada Revenue Agency allows the GST to be returned to you based on your allocation. Prairie Co-op returns that GST to you by adding it to your equity account, ultimately getting paid back to you through cash repayments.

Why didn’t I get a cheque?

The cash repayment is approved by the Board of Directors. To qualify for a cash payment, you must have at least $100 of equity accrued in your equity share (your initial $10 membership plus $90 of earned equity), and your allocation must be more than $50.  A cheque will not be issued for less than $25.

When is a cheque considered stale-dated, and no longer valid?

Under Canadian Payments Association (CPA) Rule A4, Section 22, a cheque is considered stale-dated after six months, unless it has been certified. Financial institutions don’t have to cash a cheque if it is considered “stale-dated”. If you do not cash your cheque, and it becomes stale-dated, the equity is returned to your equity account.  Replacement cheques are not issued in the event of stale-dating.  

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