By Amy Feldman

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Barter, one of the oldest forms of commerce in the human race, has come full circle and is now in the province of startup tech companies: You paint pictures on my cave dwelling, I will give you the meat I hunted while you were painting. And then we can post them on our website.

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The Platformcollective.com is a Singapore website that matches the needs of its startup clients with each other. A tailor, for example, has agreed through the platform, to pay a fashion photographer in custom suits. And it makes total sense for new companies with inventory they want to bring to market but no cash to pay the goods or services they need to get it there.

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But, beyond the obvious logic, the question remains: is it legal? The answer is yes.

You can agree to take payment in kind, and it’s a thriving part of the economy. The value of products and services bartered is estimated to be more than $8 billion. But just because cash doesn’t change hands doesn’t mean Uncle Sam doesn’t get a cut.

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Under the law, you must report as income the fair market value of the property or services you receive. If you don’t know for sure, talk to your accountant, who might just take a new suit in exchange for some good advice.