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

  • Electing to Expense the Cost of Your Business Assets

    Section 179 deduction limits increase

    The IRS allows taxpayers the option of either depreciating some assets over a specified number of years or deducting all or a portion of the cost in one year. The expense election, commonly referred to as the Section 179 deduction, is made in the year the asset is placed in service. The benefit is a large deduction in the current year that is not reduced even if the asset is placed in service late in the tax year.

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Small Business Quick Tip

  • Personal Assets to a Business

    If you have contributed personal assets, such as a computer or vehicle to your business, the lower of the fair market value or your cost basis of these assets qualifies as a business deduction, subject to depreciation limitations, beginning with the date of conversion.
Saturday, 15th December 2018
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Is an Inheritance Taxable?

    In most cases, an inheritance is not taxable to you, but there are exceptions

    At some point, you may inherit money or property that, in most cases, is not taxable to you. Life insurance proceeds are included in the deceased person's estate, but are not taxable to the beneficiaries. Bank accounts and other income-producing assets such as stocks are not taxable to you when received, but the income these assets generate is taxable to you.

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Personal Quick Tip

  • Qualified Mortgage Insurance

    In 2016, premiums that are paid or accrued for "qualified mortgage insurance" in connection with home acquisition debt on your residence are deductible as home mortgage interest.