Frequently Asked Questions

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Thank you for taking the time to visit our site. Here we have a list of the most common questions people have about our membership. If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 425-485-5058 or email support@seattlebarterexchange.com and one of our customer service agents will be happy to answer your questions.

How Does Seattle Barter Exchange Work?

When you join our network we bring you new customers from our member base and in return you agree to make purchases from within the group.

This is facilitated by us creating a unique currency that is used exclusively within the Seattle Barter Exchange membership. When you join you receive an online account that is set up just like a regular bank account. You can access this account 24/7 and it will keep you updated on you current balance along with a complete history of your SBE transactions.

When you do a job for, or sell a product to another SBE member they will pay you using their SBE account. The SBE dollars are then deposited into your account which you can now use to purchase from other members.

One SBE dollar is equal to one US dollar so there is never any confusion as to how much something costs. If the price of the product is $200 cash then you would pay $200 in SBE dollars. To uphold the integrity of our system we strictly enforce our policy of not allowing any members to increase the price for someone who is paying in SBE vs cash. Our members are good customers and provide quality products and services and this must be respected.

Is It Legal?

Yes! The US government acknowledges  and even encourages alternative currencies. As long as you follow the rules an alternative currency, (in our case classified by the IRS as a ‘barter exchange’) is great for business expansion and results in more sales, which in turn increases tax revenue to the IRS, so they are fully on board.

Please read the following from the IRS website for more information.

IRS Barter Exchange/Alternative Currency

What About Taxes?

SBE Dollar transactions can provide your company with important financial, sales and marketing benefits. Like other transactions, however, SBE Dollar sales are taxable, and your company must report them to the IRS. This is also true of credits you receive or spend through Seattle Barter Exchange, regardless of how you use SBE Dollars, they are taxable as though they were cash.

SEATTLE BARTER EXCHANGE AND SBE DOLLARS:

Seattle Barter Exchange acts as a third-party record keeper, having the same fiduciary obligations as a bank or stock (securities) broker.

For tax purposes, SBE Dollars are taxable in the year they are earned.

Taxation authorities consider SBE Dollar transactions to be identical to cash transactions and Seattle Barter Exchange is required by law to report all SBE transactions to the IRS and send it’s members 1099B forms at the end of the year.

IS THERE A TAX BENEFIT IN USING SBE DOLLARS?

The IRS sees alternative currency income the same as cash, so you won’t get any special tax benefits (or penalties, for that matter) from using SBE Dollars.

SBE Dollars used for business expenses are tax deductible.

SBE Dollars earned from other members buying your goods and/or services are treated as Income.

As always, check with your accountant or tax adviser for confirmation and specific details about this and all other tax related topics.

WHAT DOES THE IRS THINK ABOUT ATLERNATIVE CURRENCY AND BARTER?

Some business people believe that the Taxation authorities take a dim view of Alternative Currency or Barter Exchange transactions. As a result they may assume that using alternative currency subjects them to possible audits or to other legal scrutiny.

The truth is that a company using an alternative currency is no more likely to be audited than any other business. IRS rules concerning alternative currency are now well established and they consider the trade exchange industry to be a perfectly legitimate business.

TAX RESPONSIBILITIES OF ALTERNATIVE CURRENCY AND  BARTER PARTICIPANTS

DO YOU BARTER?  –  IRS VIDEO

RECORD KEEPING FOR  ALTERNATIVE CURRENCY AND BARTER TRANSACTIONS

SBE Dollar transactions can provide your company with important financial, sales and marketing benefits. Like other transactions, however, SBE Dollar sales are taxable, and your company must report them to the IRS. This is also true of credits you receive or spend through Seattle Barter Exchange, regardless of how you use SBE Dollars, they are taxable as though they were cash.

SEATTLE BARTER EXCHANGE AND SBE DOLLARS:

Seattle Barter Exchange acts as a third-party record keeper, having the same fiduciary obligations as a bank or stock (securities) broker.

For tax purposes, SBE Dollars are taxable in the year they are earned.

Taxation authorities consider SBE Dollar transactions to be identical to cash transactions and Seattle Barter Exchange is required by law to report all SBE transactions to the IRS and send it’s members 1099B forms at the end of the year.

IS THERE A TAX BENEFIT IN USING SBE DOLLARS?

The IRS sees alternative currency income the same as cash, so you won’t get any special tax benefits (or penalties, for that matter) from using SBE Dollars.

SBE Dollars used for business expenses are tax deductible.

SBE Dollars earned from other members buying your goods and/or services are treated as Income.

As always, check with your accountant or tax adviser for confirmation and specific details about this and all other tax related topics.

WHAT DOES THE IRS THINK ABOUT ATLERNATIVE CURRENCY AND BARTER?

Some business people believe that the Taxation authorities take a dim view of Alternative Currency or Barter Exchange transactions. As a result they may assume that using alternative currency subjects them to possible audits or to other legal scrutiny.

The truth is that a company using an alternative currency is no more likely to be audited than any other business. IRS rules concerning alternative currency are now well established and they consider the trade exchange industry to be a perfectly legitimate business.

TAX RESPONSIBILITIES OF ALTERNATIVE CURRENCY AND  BARTER PARTICIPANTS

DO YOU BARTER?  –  IRS VIDEO

RECORD KEEPING FOR  ALTERNATIVE CURRENCY AND BARTER TRANSACTIONS

Treat SBE Dollars just as you would any other cash business activity. Keep good records, contact Seattle Barter Exchange or your accountant if you have any questions or problems. If you handle SBE Dollar transactions properly, they can be a very useful – and profitable – part of your business.

What Are the Costs?

There is currently no charge to join Seattle Barter Exchange. But your business must be researched by one of our Membership Coordinators before you can be approved as a member.

Once you become a member there is a $15 per month administration fee and a 4% transaction fee on all sales and purchases within the network.

At 4% we are confident that we offer more value than a traditional sales team or any other buyers club out there, especially the ones that require you to offer a discount to the customer on top of the higher fees they charge you.

Can I Charge People Part SBE and Part Cash?

No. To keep the integrity of the system intact we insist on keeping all transactions 100% SBE or 100% cash with no mixing of the two.

The exceptions to this rule are…

  1. Taxes – All taxes are due in cash since the government only accepts cash and the merchant is simply collecting the tax for the government. This would include sales tax.
  2. Shipping – unless otherwise stated, expect to pay shipping costs in cash. Increasing the shipping cost for an SBE member is strictly prohibited.

Still Have Questions?