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Digital News Subscription Tax Credit
January 30, 2021
6:58 pm
Loonie
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I think Bill may have a point here.
If The Star can't or won't provide a breakdown and also fails to provide a suitable tax receipt, then I think it's probabaly not worth trying to claim it. As far as I know, we don't even know if they applied or were approved for this tax credit.

January 30, 2021
8:14 pm
Norman1
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According to their FAQ, the publisher of the Toronto Star is a QCJO:

I am a home-delivery subscriber with access to thestar.com and/or the ePaper edition. Is my subscription eligible for the digital news subscription tax credit?

Your home delivery subscription comes with access to thestar.com and/or the ePaper edition. As our company is a Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization (“QCJO”), our digital subscriptions qualify for the digital news subscription tax credit. …

"Complimentary" means no extra charge. It doesn't mean the item has no value. It is also not important.

The CRA instructions I quoted earlier don't require a qualifying home delivery subscription to include digital access to be able to claim its deemed digital portion for the credit. There is even no requirement for the QCJO to offer the option of a digital-only subscription.

January 30, 2021
8:35 pm
Loonie
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OK. So, it qualifies, which I would have expected.

If anyone receives a tax receipt form The Toronto Star, or any other paper, please let us know.

January 30, 2021
8:56 pm
Norman1
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Not all QCJO's are also a registered journalism organization (RJO).

CRA has not published a QCJO list yet. CRA has only published an RJO list that only has La Presse Inc. right now.

January 31, 2021
4:33 am
canadian.100
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My local newspaper responded to an email I sent last week asking them it they were a QCJO (so I could be eligible for the digital tax credit). Their email response is me is as follows:

"xxxxxxx has applied for the Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization (QCJO) status which would make digital subscriptions or a portion of the all-access subscription eligible for the Digital News Subscription Tax Credit.

The Government of Canada has not yet granted any organization the QCJO status as of yet and, while we expect to qualify, we await their response to our application.

If determined eligible and once we understand the receipting requirements required, we will communicate this to subscribers."

So it looks like CRA has perhaps not yet processed the applications, nor granted any organization the QCJO status. I would certainly not claim the Tax Credit until my newspaper advises that they are a QCJO etc. I would think the Govt really does not want to give such Tax Credits to eligible taxpayers at this time (deficit and debt levels are huge), so to give a new Tax Credit is low priority - looks like most taxpayers won't even be aware of this Tax Credit before filing their T-1 for 2020, unless the newspapers get approved by CRA very soon and advise their subscribers accordingly.

January 31, 2021
5:36 am
gicjunkie
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This is from the Toronto Star website FAQ area:

Is my Toronto Star digital subscription eligible for the digital news subscription tax credit?

Yes. Individuals who have a digital subscription to thestar.com or the Toronto Star ePaper can claim the digital news subscription tax credit on their personal income tax return for the years 2020 to 2024. This is a non-refundable tax credit for amounts paid by individuals in the year to a qualified Canadian journalism organization (QCJO) for an eligible qualifying subscription. Click HERE to find out more about this tax credit and how to claim it

January 31, 2021
6:38 am
Loonie
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Still isn't very clear what happens if the subscription is "complimentary" to a hard copy sub but it does show that they have been approved as suitable purveyor.

January 31, 2021
6:47 am
Bill
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It doesn't say to carve out the value of something, it says "A qualifying subscription expense is the AMOUNT A SUBSCRIBER PAID in the year for a digital news subscription.........."

It will vary for different subscribers for the same paper, but if for you it was complimentary, it was tacked on to your home delivery for free, then in your case you paid zero for it. No credit. That's my view of it.

January 31, 2021
6:51 am
Loonie
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As I said earlier, a tax receipt is your best guide. If you get one, then use it. If not, forget it. It's just not worth the hassle otherwise.

January 31, 2021
7:00 am
Norman1
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canadian.100 said
My local newspaper responded to an email I sent last week asking them it they were a QCJO (so I could be eligible for the digital tax credit). Their email response is me is as follows:

So it looks like CRA has perhaps not yet processed the applications, nor granted any organization the QCJO status. …

Their response is false. Not only has La Presse been granted QCJO status by CRA, La Presse has been further granted RJO status and listed on CRA's site has having RJO status.

January 31, 2021
7:27 am
Norman1
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Bill said
It doesn't say to carve out the value of something, it says "A qualifying subscription expense is the AMOUNT A SUBSCRIBER PAID in the year for a digital news subscription.........."

It will vary for different subscribers for the same paper, but if for you it was complimentary, it was tacked on to your home delivery for free, then in your case you paid zero for it. No credit. That's my view of it.

CRA clearly says to carve it out. If one has a subscription to the hard copy, one can claim the cost of an equivalent digital access. Doesn't matter if the hard copy subscription actually includes digital access or not. Consequently, it doesn't matter if digital access is included at no extra charge to the hard copy subscription:

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.

Don't get too fixated on the "complimentary" adjective. That's just a marketing trick. If I lose $20,000 at the blackjack table and the casino makes my hotel room complimentary afterwards, was my hotel room free? No, the room and the time in the casino cost me $20,000!

January 31, 2021
7:32 am
canadian.100
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Loonie said
As I said earlier, a tax receipt is your best guide. If you get one, then use it. If not, forget it. It's just not worth the hassle otherwise.  

You are absolutely correct!

The tax credit for most subscribers would likely be a VERY small amount even if they receive a tax receipt.

January 31, 2021
10:32 am
Bill
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"A qualifying subscription expense is the amount a subscriber paid in the year for a digital news subscription....."

A subscription expense for home delivery, whether or not any other freebies are included, is not payment for a digital news subscription, does not qualify.

If it was a subscription for digital news which included free home delivery, that would be different.

Just fun trying to figure out what is allowed. If I subscribed to a newspaper (which I don't) that also provided me with digital access I'd just claim based on documents/direction (tax receipt) the paper gave me, otherwise I'd just claim the full credit. On the very remote chance CRA checks up & says I'm wrong I'd just give them the money back.

February 9, 2021
8:52 am
pwm
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I just received an email message from the Winnipeg Free Press with my Digital News Subscription tax credit number. Getting delivery of the daily newspaper included the online component in the price so apparently I qualified for this tax credit. I did not expect this because I didn't think newspaper delivery counted for the credit, and what's more I canceled my subscription in July but they still have my email address on file. If this is any indication of what newspapers are doing you may receive your tax credit number automatically without having to ask for it.

February 28, 2021
9:04 am
hwyc
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A list is forthcoming in March - CBC source - last section - Digital tax credit

February 28, 2021
6:34 pm
bpwest
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pwm said
I just received an email message from the Winnipeg Free Press with my Digital News Subscription tax credit number. Getting delivery of the daily newspaper included the online component in the price so apparently I qualified for this tax credit. I did not expect this because I didn't think newspaper delivery counted for the credit, and what's more I canceled my subscription in July but they still have my email address on file. If this is any indication of what newspapers are doing you may receive your tax credit number automatically without having to ask for it.  

I am a home subscriber of the Edm. Journal, and inside the paper Friday and Saturday (& perhaps earlier?), they have brought the Digital News Subscription Tax Credit to our attention. In order to receive the 'tax credit receipt', they need our email address, and as such, are requesting email addresses from those who had not previously given it to them. Otherwise, I think the receipt would have been sent to subscribers automatically, be they online subscribers only or print/online subscribers. I do not consume the online version, but am going to get a tax credit nontheless, yippee! sf-wink

The following link explains things quite well. (Hope I am not duplicating info; I did not carefully read this whole thread)

https://pages.postmedia.com/edmonton-journal/tax-credit/

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