To support Canadian digital news media organizations in achieving a more financially sustainable business model, the government introduced a new temporary, non-refundable 15-per-cent tax credit for qualifying subscribers of eligible digital news media.
This is a temporary, non-refundable 15-per-cent tax credit on amounts paid by individuals for eligible digital news subscriptions. This will allow individuals to claim up to $500 in costs paid towards eligible digital subscriptions in a taxation year, for a maximum tax credit of $75 annually. In the case of combined digital and newsprint subscriptions, individuals will be limited to claiming the cost of a stand-alone digital subscription.
Eligible digital subscriptions are those that entitle a taxpayer to access content provided in a digital form by a qualified Canadian journalism organization (QCJO) that is primarily engaged in the production of written content. A subscription with a QCJO carrying on a broadcasting undertaking (as defined in the Broadcasting Act) will not qualify for this credit.
Amounts paid by an individual will be eligible only if, at the time they are paid, the organization is a QCJO. If an organization ceases to qualify as a QCJO, that will not cause amounts paid by individuals for subscriptions prior to the loss of QCJO status to cease to qualify for the credit.
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.
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.
This credit will be available in respect of eligible amounts paid after 2019 and before 2025.
For more information:
Digital News Subscription Tax Credit
Government of Canada website
For more information on the digital news subscription tax credit criteria, go to Guidance on income tax measures to support journalism.