As the penny becomes a thing of the past, some businesses are now refusing to accept the coin despite the fact it is still considered legal tender.

A viewer named Karen wrote Steele on Your Side after shopping at several dollar stores in Surrey that wouldn't accept her pennies. Karen wanted to know if a business is allowed to refuse the coin, and whether it’s still legal tender.

The Federal Department of Finance says that consumers can still use pennies for cash transactions with businesses that choose to accept them. But it is up to the business to decide which legal tender it will accept. If a business doesn't want to accept dimes, it doesn't have to and that's the case with the penny as well.

Still, the penny will retain its value indefinitely and Canadians may redeem their pennies at their financial institution. Some financial institutions may require large amounts of pennies to be rolled or wrapped for deposit. Canadians should consult their financial institution in advance to determine how best to make deposits.

The Department of Finance says the estimated savings for taxpayers from phasing out the penny is $11-million a year.