Bartering In Today’s Economy

Feb. 04, 2004

Econ 2105

Most people think that in current times in the United States bartering is not a common act. When the idea of bartering comes to mind most people think of chickens being traded for pigs or goats for a bundle of rice. Well, the fact is that bartering is still very prevalent among small businesses and self employed persons in the construction and repair fields. Also, the internet has played a major role and provided new growth in the barter exchange industry. We will look at what a barter transaction is, when it is taxable, exemptions from having to file barters and fines incurred if bartering is not reported, and lastly how it relates to Macroeconomics.

Bartering occurs when you exchange goods or services without exchanging money. An example of this would be a carpenter doing repair work for a doctor in exchange for medical services or a dentist doing dental work on a pool boy in exchange for free pool cleanings. A barter exchange is any person or organization with members or clients that contract with each other to jointly trade or barter property or services. This does not include informal change on a non commercial basis.

Income from a bartering is taxable in the year in which you receive the goods or services. The exemptions are the following:

1) Exchanges through a barter exchange having fewer than one hundred transactions during the year.

2) Exempt foreign persons.

3) Exchanges involving property or services with a fair market value of less than one dollar.

The penalties for not filing barter transactions can be steep if not taken care of properly. If you file correctly within thirty days of the due date of March 1st, the fine is fifteen dollars per return with a maximum fine of 75,000 dollars. If the returns are filed within thirty days after the due date the fine is increased to thirty dollars per return with a maximum fine of 150,000 dollars. And if your returns are filed after August 1st or you do not file the returns then the fine is fifty dollars per information return and the maximum fine can be as high as 250,000 dollars.

The proper form to file with is form 1099b. This form comes with three copies, one for the IRS, one for the recipient and one for the payer. These forms must be filled out for each individual transaction but can be consolidated as long as the parties stay the same. Since most transactions will not have an exact value estimation of the fair market value is required in most cases.

This relates to Macroeconomics in the public or government sector. Bartering is mainly in small businesses and self employed contractors. The taxes are filed through the IRS. Helps with our national deficit, national defense, and other government provided services.

Multiple Choice Questions

1) List one reason why a barter would not have to be reported?

A. The chickens used were sick and old.

B. It was between two contractors who were brothers.

C. The transaction was high in value but only done on a daily basis.

D. There were less than one hundred transactions done throughout the year.

2) What is the form used to file proceeds from barter transactions?

A. 1099b.

B. x-300 barter form.

C. 650ez

D. tax requisition statement.

3) What industry has provided new growth for bartering?

A. Media industry.

B. Internet industry.

C. Small business.

D. Unemployed single soccer moms that collect welfare.