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Digital News Subscription Tax Credit
January 27, 2021
7:06 pm
Norman1
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I suspect the outlets are qualified to exclude those that don't do any actual general interest journalism.

There's no reason to give the tax benefits to newspapers that do nothing more than republish edited newswire articles.

There's also no reason to give the tax benefits to publications that are just vehicles for uncritical "advertorials" from salepeople trying to promote themselves and their products.

January 27, 2021
7:16 pm
Kidd
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To me... these paid news services drive me crazy. The internet is full of many different (free) news feeds. When i mistakenly click "The Star" and receive "if you wish to read more, pay us" i kick myself for clicking on their stupid web link.

I spend a few hours everyday trolling the internet news feeds, mostly cbc and Google news and i can honestly say, i'm covided out. I thought cnn beat stories to death. All of the, covid this and covid that, makes me curse.

If and it's a big IF. If i was going to pay for a news service, it would have to be real, unbiased news. Not opinion pieces, twisted slants on what someone else thinks is the news. I have moronic opinions of my own, i don't care what theirs is.

January 27, 2021
7:44 pm
Bill
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Perhaps that's the case, Norman1, though this link indicates it's in respect of original news content ("Original news content should be primarily focused on matters of general interest and reports of current events, including coverage of democratic institutions and processes"):
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/corporations/business-tax-credits/canadian-journalism-labour-tax-credit/guidance.html#h_2

The question still remains for me, i.e. what is the impetus for, the purpose of, this measure, what need is the gov't trying to address with this new credit? Knowing that would make it easier to know, in the absence of a list that has more than La Presse, whether or not a particular digital subscription qualifies or not when filing this year's T1.

January 27, 2021
9:00 pm
Loonie
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Winnipeg Free Press has a good explanation of what to claim. This formula can probably be applied to other papers.
https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/tax-credit/

January 27, 2021
9:06 pm
Loonie
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For Bill, here's an explanation of why the tax credit was introduced.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/media-tax-credit-subscriptions-1.4923197

January 27, 2021
11:57 pm
RetirEd
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For those of you who get frustrated by "paywalls" that limit the number of acticles one can read a month, day or whatever... they're pretty simple. Every one I've tried has been fooled by cookie clearing.

But, I agree, I usually just hit the BACK button when I see a paywall. It's not like they aren't trying to serve us ads, mostly from criminal fraudsters or political extremists...
RetirEd

RetirEd

January 28, 2021
5:40 am
Bill
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Thanks, Loonie, but the CBC article fails to address why this particular small corner of activity of the economy, out of all economic activities, is that important to the gov't to give it a separate tax credit line on the tax return, and to set up a fairly elaborate process of vetting including a Board, a panel of journalists, detailed regulations, etc, to determine what news outlets are "qualified" for this fairly small credit on the tax return? This from a gov't that is handing out money as fast as it can while admitting they're not being very careful about unqualified people receiving these much larger amounts. Anyway, no big deal, no need to pursue further here, I think I get what's going on.

January 28, 2021
6:41 am
dommm
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I subscribe to the Toronto Star paper edition that allows me to login to the digital addition. Does anyone have any idea how much if any of my subscription amount I can claim? Thanks

January 28, 2021
7:00 am
Bill
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You're allowed to claim the difference between a paper only subscription and your paper & digital subscription. If no difference you are allowed to claim what the Star charges for digital only subscription. If no such thing you can claim what similar outlets to the Star charge for their digital subscriptions. I'm not sure if that's 100% right, I stand to be corrected.

January 28, 2021
7:09 am
Norman1
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Bill said
Thanks, Loonie, but the CBC article fails to address why this particular small corner of activity of the economy, out of all economic activities, is that important to the gov't to give it a separate tax credit line on the tax return,…

Newspapers and democracy: Struggling in the face of the internet explains the democracy impacts around the demise of newspapers.

Useful local journalism used to be funded by newspapers as a side effect of selling ads to businesses and small classified ads to individuals. All that ad money has now been siphoned off by the likes of Google, eBay, and Kijiji.

Not a problem in highly populated areas, like Toronto, where there are TV and radio stations to continue to employ journalists. But, it is a problem in smaller areas where the news reporting is only through a local newspaper. Once gone, the local politicians can do all sorts of shenanigans without anyone realizing until it is too late.

January 28, 2021
7:52 am
Norman1
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The Star - Subscribe has the pricing for home delivery ($5.99/week) and ePaper edition ($2.99/week).

I suspect one can claim around $2.99/week.

January 28, 2021
8:29 am
dommm
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Norman1 said
The Star - Subscribe has the pricing for home delivery ($5.99/week) and ePaper edition ($2.99/week).

I suspect one can claim around $2.99/week.  

Thanks Norman1 & Bill

January 28, 2021
9:15 am
Bill
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I agree, as the home delivery cost includes the online subscription in this case (which I presume is the norm).

But I'm not buying that this gov't has it as a priority that rural folks don't get hosed by local politicians, especially in an age when everybody's got access to all that info on the internet. Plus CBC article link makes no mention of rural focus, nor do the provisions have any wording that suggests the credit is targeted to folks outside large metro areas. But doesn't much matter, I'm sure we all have our own ideas about what motivated this as a priority for a new tax credit.

January 28, 2021
9:18 am
gicjunkie
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dommm said
I subscribe to the Toronto Star paper edition that allows me to login to the digital addition. Does anyone have any idea how much if any of my subscription amount I can claim? Thanks  

Considering the fact that the Toronto Star is always offering some kind of promo discount, it would depend on your own subscription cost as to how much you could legally claim. Call the Star subscription desk to confirm your rate, or you could just wing it within reason. What are the odds that the CRA will audit you?

January 28, 2021
9:25 pm
Loonie
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I imagine most of us pay the bill by credit card or PAD, so it shouldn't be very difficult to establish what you actually paid. You will need that info IF you ARE audited, so you should keep the documents.

Info in #13 above suggests that CRA believes the qualified news organization "should" provide customers with a relevant tax receipt. "Should" seems an odd word in this context. Will they or won't they? If they do, it will add operating costs for next year's sub!

January 28, 2021
9:38 pm
Norman1
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I think the challenge was not substantiating what one paid.

The challenge is more about how much of what one did pay, for home delivery of the newspaper or magazine, is for online access to the contents of the newspaper or magazine.

The newspaper should itemize the subscription, like

$2.99/week - Content & online access
$3.00/week - Printed copy & home delivery
$5.99/week - Total

January 29, 2021
4:13 am
Kidd
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The art of distraction. I've mentioned this before.

HEY... gasoline is on sale, 3 cents off a litre and then there's a 2 mile lineup to save $1.50.

The bottom line here is. This is canada, with a government policy of 'tax everyone poor'. Even if your media purchase is $500, the tax savings will amount to $1.50. And everyone is soooo happy. Julie P. the french canadian queen gets a pension of $150,000 a year, for 3 years 4 months of service and you the pee-on get a media tax credit of a $1.50? Happy days are here, happy days are here.

Let's play trivia. What do Michael Bryant, Kevin O'Leary and Julie Payette have in common?

January 29, 2021
10:10 am
Bill
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I don't know abut that $2.99 amount, that's the subscription price for the digital paper plus Starweek Magazine, they don't mention the latter in the $5.99 deal - ?

Plus the home delivery price specifically says the digital paper in that offer is complimentary, thus you'd pay no different if you never activated or used the online access, so not clear what the value of the digital edition only is out of the $5.99 deal, or the $3.99 weekend deal for that matter (and is the complimentary epaper on the weekend deal just for those two days?).

Looks like a very complicated calculation might be needed, based on the promos on offer at the time you start your subscription (as gicjunkie points out). Or just claim the $500 max credit, probably .0000001% chance CRA cares!

Kidd, totally agree re distractions. Lots of people seem to enjoy spending their time chasing a buck here and there, gov't knew about distraction even back in days of Roman bread and circuses. And good for Julie P, etc, some people have "ambition", etc so of course they end getting the spoils that the pee-ons don't care to chase.

January 30, 2021
1:35 pm
Norman1
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Starweek Magazine is the weekly TV listings. Not sure if the Toronto Star still offers it in print form. The printed magazine was an extra 50¢/week option for home delivery subscribers.

Maybe dock ½ x 50¢/week = 25¢/week off the $2.99/week to remove the value of the digital Starweek Magazine?

It doesn't matter whether the home delivery subscriber accesses the digital version of the paper or not. The Toronto Star is not paying their journalists to write one story for the printed paper and another story for the digital version of the paper. The digital version of the paper is not a different newspaper.

January 30, 2021
4:18 pm
Bill
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I got that content is the same in the two formats, just being devil's advocate by pointing out The Star is making clear the consideration for the digital access is zero, they explicitly state it's "complimentary", i.e. free. CRA could say, ok, we're not here to dispute the the seller's declaration, so no digital credit re that $5.99 deal, the full amount paid is for the delivered paper.

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