Very often I am asked if the Skills Exchange friends need to pay tax? I could not answer this question as we do not earn any money, then a friend found the following on the Time Bank website which I found very helpful. Time bank was set up many years after us, has a different name and has rolled out all over the country, but other than that our principle is the same. To help you get through a time bank is often the kind of support money can’t buy – someone to talk to, a prescription collected, a letter read or written, a homemade cake for a children’s party. These are the things that a neighbour or a family member might do for us – but not everyone knows their neighbours or has friends and family close by. The time bank links people up to share their skills and help so that it is mutually beneficial. But its main emphasis is in the social spherelinking people together and building community – not in the economic sphere. Time banking & tax exemption: Community Time Bank currencies are not a taxable income. Time Banks only record the time ‘exchanged’ between participants of the scheme. Time credits cannot ‘buy’ goods or retail services. Time credits have no market or cash/equivalent value. The Department of Works and Pensions ‘Time Exchange’ guidance bulletin states: “It must be emphasized that for the purposes of existing legislation and this guidance, in a ‘Time Exchange’ scheme, Time Credits cannot be exchanged for goods or services or converted into alternative currency.” (DWP) On June 15th 2000, whilst answering a question on ‘Time Exchange Schemes’ (Time Banks), Angela Eagle – the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security – stated: “Time credits derived from participation in a Time Exchange Scheme, such as Fair Shares, do not constitute earnings.” (Hansard) Many thanks to Jon Cousins of Avalon time bank for use of his handbook materials to inform the decisions of Time Banks UK.

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