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Digital news subscription tax credit

Notice to the reader

This measure has received Royal Assent

We have revised the response to question 3 for clarification purposes.



1. What is the Digital news subscription tax credit (DNSTC)?

Budget 2019 proposes to introduce a new non-refundable tax credit for amounts paid by individuals after 2019 and before 2025 for qualifying subscription expenses.

2. How will I claim the DNSTC?

You will be able to claim the credit on your personal income tax and benefit return for the years 2020 to 2024.

3. What is a qualifying subscription expense?

A qualifying subscription expense is the amount you paid in the year for a digital news subscription with a qualified Canadian journalism organisation (QCJO) that is primarily engaged in the production of original written news content and it is not engaged in a broadcasting undertaking as defined in the Broadcasting Act.

A digital news subscription is an agreement entered into between you and the QCJO that entitles you to access content of the QCJO in digital form.

4. How will the credit calculated?

The maximum credit will be calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate (15%) by the total of all amounts you paid for qualifying subscription expenses in the year up to $500.

5. Who can claim the DNSTC?

You can claim the DNSTC if you have entered into an agreement with a QCJO for a digital news subscription.

6. Can the claim be shared?

Only the individual(s) who entered into the agreement can claim the credit. If more than one individual is entitled to claim the qualifying subscription expense for a year (i.e. spouses, roommates, etc.), the total amount can be split between you, provided that the total amount claimed is not more than the maximum amount that would be allowed if only one of you made the claim.

7. What amount can I claim for the DNSTC?

You can claim the total of all amounts you paid for qualifying subscription expenses in the year to a maximum of $500. However, if the digital news subscription provides you access to content in non-digital form or content other than content of the QCJO, only the cost of a stand-alone digital subscription to the content of the QCJO will be an eligible expense. If there is no stand-alone subscription, then only one half of the amount paid is an eligible expense.

Amounts paid to an organization will be eligible only if, at the time they are paid, the organization is a QCJO.

8. Are there limitations on which digital subscriptions are eligible?

Yes, only digital subscriptions with QCJOs are eligible.

9. Where can I get more information?

The CRA provides the latest information on the proposed changes on Canada.ca. Taxpayers should check online regularly for updated forms, policies, guidelines, questions and answers, and guidance.

In the meantime, please consult the Department of Finance Canada's Budget 2019 documents for details.

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