Consultations: Amending the Definition of Newspaper for Retail Sales Tax Purposes

A consultation draft of amendments to Regulation 1013

The Ministry of Finance seeks comment on a Consultation Draft of proposed amendments to Regulation 1013 made under the Retail Sales Tax Act concerning the definition of newspaper.

The Ministry has been working with stakeholders on a proposed expansion to the definition of newspaper for the purposes of the retail sales tax exemption. The draft regulation proposes a revised definition based on a listing of physical characteristics of newspapers, with points allotted for each characteristic.

The Ministry is interested in receiving input from individual publications, as well as their representatives and others. Your views will assist the Ministry in finalizing a proposal to recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

                                    C O N S U L T A T I O N    D R A F T

    1.  (1)  The definition of “newspaper” in section 1 of Regulation 1013 of the Revised Regulations
 of Ontario, 1990 is revoked and the following substituted:

“newspaper” means a printed publication containing news, advertising and literary matter to which a total of at least five points is assigned under subsection (2) and,

         (a)    includes a magazine as defined in subsection 1 (1) of Regulation 1012 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 (Definitions, Exemptions and Rebates) made under the Act, but only if the magazine is distributed with the printed publication, and

         (b)    does not include,

                        (i)    an advertising insert or supplement, or

                       (ii)    an envelope wrapper, folder or other covering for the distribution of promotional materials;

      (2)  Section 1 of the Regulation is amended by adding the following subsection:

      (2)  For the purposes of the definition of “newspaper” in subsection (1), the total number of points assigned to a printed publication is the sum of the number of points set out in column 3 of the following Table opposite each characteristic of newspapers set out in Column 2 of the Table that apply to the printed publication.


Column 1

Column 2 — Characteristics of newspapers

Column 3 — Number of points


Printed in broadsheet or tabloid format and larger than 8.5 inches by 11 inches






Published at least once a week



Published at least once a month



Printed on newsprint of any quality



Identified as a newspaper in the publication



Front page is divided into columns or boxes and may contain narrative text, photographs and advertisements


2.  This regulation is deemed to have come into force on January 1, 2000.

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