About the digital news subscription tax credit

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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 will administer the legislation on the basis of these proposed amendments, notwithstanding that the legislation may only be enacted at a later date.

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.

Eligibility

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.

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 license 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 to apply

A new form, T622, Digital News Subscription Tax Credit, and process will be published so that organizations can get confirmation that the subscriptions they offer are eligible as qualifying subscriptions. Eligible subscriptions will be published on the CRA’s webpages.

Organizations whose subscriptions no longer qualify for the credit are required to inform their subscribers.

How to claim the credit

Individuals who have entered into an agreement with a QCJO for a qualifying subscription that is eligible, can claim the credit on their income tax return for the years 2020 to 2024.

A list of organizations that offer eligible qualifying subscriptions will be posted on Canada.ca.

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.

For more information on the digital news subscription tax credit criteria, go to Guidance on 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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Date modified:
2020-07-15