About the digital news subscription tax credit
Proposed changes to legislation announced
On April 17, 2020, the Department of Finance announced draft legislative proposals that would make adjustments to the journalism tax measures introduced in Budget 2019. These changes will help ensure that the measures achieve their initial objectives. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will administer the legislation on the basis of these proposed amendments, notwithstanding that the legislation may only be enacted at a later date.
The proposed amendments, announced by the Department of Finance in April 2020, clarified the CRA’s authority to publish both the names of organizations whose digital news subscriptions are eligible for the subscription tax credit, and the qualifying subscriptions they offer. As a result, a process is in place so organizations can get confirmation from the CRA that the subscriptions they offer are eligible for the digital news subscription tax credit for individuals.
The digital news subscription tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit for amounts paid by individuals to a qualified Canadian journalism organization (QCJO) for qualifying subscription expenses after 2019 and before 2025.
Qualifying subscription expense
A qualifying subscription expense is the amount a subscriber paid in the year for a digital news subscription with a QCJO that does not hold a licence as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Broadcasting Act. To qualify for the credit, a digital news subscription must entitle an individual to access content in digital form that is primarily original written news.
How can a QCJO request a determination of eligible subscription(s)
A QCJO can complete and submit Form T622, Digital News Subscription Tax Credit – Eligible Subscription to request confirmation that the subscriptions it offers are eligible as qualifying subscriptions. Eligible subscription names will be published on the List of qualifying digital news subscriptions page on Canada.ca.
Organizations can submit Form T622 either at the time that they apply for designation as a QCJO or at a later date.
For more information on applying for QCJO designation, go to Supporting Canadian Journalism.
Organizations whose subscriptions no longer qualify for the credit are required to inform their subscribers.
How individuals can claim the digital news subscription tax credit
Individuals who have entered into an agreement with a QCJO for a qualifying subscription that is eligible, can claim the credit on Line 31350 of their T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return for the years 2020 to 2024.
A list of organizations that offer eligible qualifying subscriptions will be posted on the List of qualifying digital news subscriptions page on Canada.ca.
The List of qualifying digital news subscriptions is compiled based on organizations that submit a request to the CRA for a determination as to whether the subscriptions they offer meet the criteria in the Income Tax Act. Other organizations may offer a subscription that qualifies for the digital news subscription tax credit, but may have not requested a determination from the CRA. You should contact the organization who offers the digital subscription for more information if the name is not on this list.
The maximum credit will be calculated by:
- multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate (15%) by the total of all amounts paid by the individual for qualifying subscription expenses in the year up to $500.
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 them provided that the total amount claimed is not more than the maximum amount that would be allowed if only one of them made the claim.
If the qualifying subscription is eligible and provides 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; and
- if there is no stand-alone subscription, the amount is limited to the cost of a comparable stand-alone digital subscription that provides access to content of a QCJO. If there is no comparable digital news subscription then only one half of the amount paid is an eligible expense.
Subscribers should keep all their receipts in case the CRA asks to see them at a later date.
For more information on the digital news subscription tax credit criteria, go to Guidance on the income tax measures to support journalism.
If you have additional questions about the digital news subscription tax credit, please send an inquiry through our webform.
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