The CRA on December 20, 2019, put out a press release on their incentives relating to journalism.   As well CRA has released the T625 Application for Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization Designation form both as a regular PDF and a fillable PDF.  As the form explains “Federal Budget 2019 introduced three income tax measures intended to provide support to Canadian journalism organizations producing original news content.  The gateway for each of the measures is for an organization to first be designated as a “qualified Canadian journalism organization” (QCJO). While designation as a QCJO does not automatically entitle organizations to claim specific tax measures, it is the necessary first step in accessing the support. An organization wishing to apply for designation as a QCJO is required to complete and submit Form T625.”

 

Below is the text of the release:

 

Government kicks off support of Canadian journalism organizations

News release

December 20, 2019                   Ottawa              Canada Revenue Agency

A strong and independent media is essential to a well-functioning democracy. In today’s changing media landscape, Canadian news outlets need support as they evolve to meet the demands of a globalized, digital marketplace.

In Budget 2019, the Government introduced three tax measures to support Canadian journalism organizations that produce original news content. To take advantage of these measures, journalism organizations must be designated as a qualified Canadian journalism organization (QCJO). The Guidance on the income tax measures to support journalism is now available on Canada.ca. To facilitate the designation process, the Government will establish an Independent Advisory Board that will make recommendations on whether an organization meets certain QCJO designation criteria.

Media organizations must first apply to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to obtain the QCJO designation by completing the application form and returning it to the CRA. The application form will be available on December 23rd. Organizations can submit their applications in advance of the establishment of the Independent Advisory Board. The Independent Advisory Board members will be selected with consideration given to the linguistic, cultural, and ethnic diversity of the country.

An opportunity for stakeholder engagement with the CRA will be scheduled in the coming weeks so that journalism organizations and the tax community may ask questions or comment on the subject matter set out in the Guidance. To sign up, please email CONSULTG@cra-arc.gc.ca.

Quotes

“A strong and independent media is essential to the vitality of our democracy. I am pleased to deliver on our Government’s unprecedented steps to support Canadian journalism organizations while respecting the core principle of journalistic independence. I look forward to the impartial recommendations of the Independent Advisory Board as they will be factored into the CRA’s decisions.”

-The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue

“Today, we have reached another milestone in support of Canadian journalism and the vitality of our democracy. A wide variety of independent advice will allow us to have efficient, transparent and fair measures. Our Government will strive to ensure that all Canadians, especially those living in underserved communities, continue to have access to media coverage on topics of public interest that affect them.”

-The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick facts

  • The Government proposed tax measures to support journalism in Budget 2019 and the legislation received Royal Assent on June 21st, 2019.
  • The three separate tax measures to support Canadian journalism are:
    • The Canadian journalism labour tax credit, a 25% refundable tax credit on salaries or wages payable in respect of an eligible newsroom employee for periods beginning on or after January 1, 2019;
    • The digital news subscription tax credit, a 15% non-refundable personal income tax credit for digital news subscription costs paid by an individual to a qualified Canadian journalism organization, which applies to qualifying amounts paid after 2019 and before 2025; and
    • A new type of qualified donee called a registered journalism organization for not-for-profit journalism organizations, which is in effect as of January 1, 2020.
  • On July 16, 2019, the Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts presented the Government with its recommendations on eligibility criteria for these measures.
  • An Independent Advisory Board will be established in order to make recommendations on whether organizations meet the journalistic criteria necessary for QCJO designation.