Sometimes, when the right opportunity presents itself, you may be able to pay for goods and services that you need or want by trading goods that you own, or providing a service that you can perform in return. An example of this is if you own a lawn maintenance company and receive legal services from an attorney and pay for those services by providing an agreed upon amount of mowing and maintenance services at the attorney's home or place of business.

In this scenario, the fair market value of the legal services provided is taxable to you as the lawn maintenance company owner. At the same time, the fair market value of the lawn and maintenance services you provide is taxable to the attorney or his firm.

This type of transaction — bartering or trading — can prove to be useful when cash-flow problems would otherwise prevent you from securing needed goods or services. And, while there is no exchange of cash or credit, the fair market value of the goods or services that were exchanged is taxable to both parties and must be claimed as other income on an individual or business income tax return.

Remember, just like payments made with money, if a business makes payments of bartered services to another business (except a corporation) of $600 or more in the course of the year, these payments are to be reported on Form 1099-MISC.

When considering record-keeping requirements, barter and trade transactions should be treated just like any other financial transaction or exchange. Original cost of goods being bartered or traded, transaction dates, fair market value at the time of the transaction, and other pertinent details should be recorded to assist in the preparation of your income tax return and, in general, held for a period of 3 years in accordance with other documents and receipts used to substantiate income and expenses.

Tax Tips Small Business

  • Thinking of Selling Your Corporation?

    Carefully review your options before making a decision

    When it come time to sell your corporation, you have two options. You can either sell the corporation stock or have the corporation sell the assets and distribute the proceeds. The tax implications of the two sales are very different. If you choose to sell the stock, you are the seller. The corporation is not affected by the transaction. The new owner steps into your shoes as the shareholder and takes over the existing corporation. If your share of the proceeds exceeds your basis in the stock, you'll have a capital gain to report on Schedule D.

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Small Business Quick Tip

  • Employer Provided Education

    Employer-provided education assistance benefits of $5,250 provided under a written plan are excludable from wages. The education doesn't need to be job-related to qualify.
Thursday, 18th January 2018
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Do You Have Debt Forgiveness?

    You may not have to include it in income

    When you are liable for a loan but can't repay it, some lenders will forgive the debt. What many borrowers don't realize is that this cancellation of debt results in taxable income in the year of forgiveness. The lender usually will issue a 1099-C to report the cancelled debt. If you receive one, don't ignore it. Be sure to give it to your tax preparer and discuss the circumstances surrounding the loan.

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Personal Quick Tip

  • Tuition Deduction

    If you paid qualifying tuition and related expenses in 2016, you may be able to deduct up to $4,000 of the costs or qualify for a tax credit.