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Canadian News: Social Media and Tax Implications

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

A lot of online frustration and anger has arisen lately with the decision of Meta (the parent company that is Facebook and Instagram) to NOT allow the sharing of Canadian news on those platforms.

What is the issue here?

The Canadian Government passed Bill C-18, wordily entitled "An Act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada." The goal behind this is to negotiate compensation from "dominant news intermediaries" for the news providers in Canada.

Long story, short: Meta didn't want to pay.

Obviously, the story here is a great deal more complex than the one I am telling. As I write this, many Canadian users of Facebook are boycotting the platform to show their anger at the blocking of important local news around the raging wildfires. At a time when so many people are in the habit of getting their immediate news on social media, blocking this important news is shockingly short-sighted of the platform. The arrogance of profiting from Canadian users' private data but not being willing to negotiate fair compensation for Canadian news is also an egregious power trip.

"But you mentioned taxes?"

A lot of people are unaware that the digital news subscription tax credit exists. The CRA allows a non-refundable tax credit for fees paid by taxpayers to qualified Canadian journalism organizations. At the moment, this tax credit is available up until the 2024 tax year.

It is specifically for digital subscriptions (and the digital portion of your physical subscription, if you have one). Here is a list of qualifying news sources.

Talk to us about your taxes. We can help.

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