Canadian journalism labour tax credit
For an organization to qualify for the Canadian journalism labour tax credit, it must be a qualifying journalism organization (QJO). To be a QJO, the organization must first be designated as a qualified Canadian journalism organization (QCJO). It must then also meet the following conditions:
- it is primarily engaged in the production of original written news content;
- it does not carry on a broadcasting undertaking as defined in the Broadcasting Act;
- in the tax year in which it seeks to claim the credit, it does not receive an amount from the Aid to Publishers component under the Canada Periodical Fund; and
- if it is incorporated with share capital, it meets specific ownership conditions of a Canadian newspaper as defined in the Income Tax Act.
The Canadian journalism labour tax credit is a refundable tax credit that is calculated by applying a rate of 25% to the total qualifying labour expenditure incurred for a period in the tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2019, in respect of each eligible newsroom employee of a QJO. The credit is available to an organization that is a corporation, a trust or a partnership.
An eligible newsroom employee of a QJO, means an individual who:
- is employed by the organization in the tax year;
- is employed by the organization (or is reasonably expected to be employed) for a period of 40 consecutive weeks that overlaps that tax year;
- works, on average, a minimum of 26 hours per week throughout the portion of the tax year in which the individual is employed by the organization;
- spends at least 75% of their time engaged in the production of news content, including researching, collecting information, verifying facts, photographing, writing, editing, designing and otherwise preparing content; and
- meets any other conditions that may be prescribed.
A qualifying labour expenditure is generally the amount of salary or wages payable by a QJO to an eligible newsroom employee in respect of the portion of the tax year throughout which the organization is a QJO, less the amount of any assistance received or entitled to be received in the year regarding that employee. Note that the credit does not apply to salaries or wages that are in respect of a period before January 1, 2019.
While there is no maximum amount of qualifying labour expenditure that can be incurred by an organization in a given tax year, these expenditures are subject to an annual cap of $55,000 per eligible newsroom employee (prorated by the number of days in an organization's tax year), which provides the organization with a maximum credit of $13,750 per eligible newsroom employee per tax year.
For more information on the Canadian journalism labour tax credit criteria, go to Guidance on income tax measures to support journalism.
If you have questions about the Canadian journalism labour tax credit, please call the Businesses and self-employed individuals line at 1-800-959-5525.
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