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

  • Turning Interest Payments Into Tax Deductions

    Make interest payments work for you, not against you

    You can deduct business-related interest on your business return if you used the borrowed funds to purchase business supplies, equipment, services, etc. Co-mingling business and personal expenses makes it difficult to determine what amount of the interest is business versus personal. If this happens, the IRS may consider the entire amount as nondeductible personal interest and disallow the deduction. Therefore, keep all business purchases made with loans and credit cards clearly separate from your personal expenses. Use a separate credit card for your business to make it easier.

    Read more ...

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.
Wednesday, 26th September 2018
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Take Advantage of Tax Savings in a Down Market

    Know when you have a deductible loss

    Just because the stock market lost money, doesn't mean you have a deductible loss. As long as you hold on to an investment, you only have a loss on paper. It's only when you actually sell the investment that you have a transaction to report on your tax return.

    Fortunately, the tax law allows you to offset your capital gains by your capital losses. You can avoid or minimize taxable gain by selling two investments, one at a gain and the other at a loss.

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Personal Quick Tip

  • Mileage Rates

     

    Beginning January 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups, or panel trucks) are:
    • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;
    • 17 cents per mile for all miles driven for medical or moving purposes; and
    • 14 cents per mile for all miles drive for charitable purposes.