Is time exchanging the same as bartering?

No. Bartering is based on the cash economy in a one-to-one relationship.  For example, a plumber and carpenter agree to each provide $1000 worth of work on each other’s homes — that’s the cash world. In the exchange economy, the services are based on time, not cash. Each service hour is valued the same, and they are exchanged within a network, not one-to-one.

Why did the IRS rule time banking tax-exempt?

The IRS views exchanging as “friendly favors” based on the currency of time and the IRS cannot tax time.  This is another reason why time banking is different than bartering — it is not taxable.  In normal bartering, you have to declare the value of the good and services you receive to the IRS.

Is it possible to bank parts of hours?

YES.  You may bank whole hours or partial hours.  If you work a partial hour, please round up or down to the nearest quarter hour.

What does it cost to join?

We ask for the donation amounts below to help maintain a part-time facilitator to keep our time bank running smoothly. We do not want to prohibit anyone from joining our time bank due to financial hardship. Therefore, if you cannot make a monetary donation, we ask that you donate four time-bank hours in lieu of a monetary donation.

Individuals and households
$30 for individuals
$25 for seniors 60 and over
$35 for senior household (all members 60 and over)
$50 for household
$15 for students

Businesses and organizations
$1000+ Platinum Membership
$500 Gold Membership
$250 Silver Membership
$100 Bronze Membership

What if I don’t have computer access, or don’t want to use a computer?

You can use one at the public library, borrow one from a neighbor, or use a Time Bank computer buddy (who earns time credits for recording and finding your services), because all transactions must be tracked via the online hOurworld software. If none of these options appeal to you, please contact the Time Bank to discuss your particular needs.

How can I trust the other members?

How can you trust anyone?  Get to know them, just as you would with any other relationship. People are people whether they are members of the Time Bank or not.

Do your run background checks on members?

Yes, as part of the application process, Time Bank of the Rockies screens all applicants using the Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Registry database.

What if the service I want isn’t listed?

The best way to handle this is to find someone who provides the service and recruit them to join the Time Bank of the Rockies.  The more skill providers who join our community, the more it will enrich our service menu for everyone.

What if I’m not satisfied with the service offered?

For example, what if a time bank member gives you a haircut and you’re not happy with it?  Well, what would you do if you had paid cash for that haircut?  Talk to the provider, express your opinion, and work out a solution.  You should treat the situation the same way as you would in the cash economy.

Do “Professionals” use the Time Bank?

Of course. There is room for everyone to feel equal… give equally … and receive equality.  Exchanging is wonderful because it lets fall away the hierarchy of classist thinking. The beautiful garden I planted for the doctor is equal to the doctor’s examination of my skin disorder.  We are each offering something of value to the other person; thus, we are valued equally.

Does the time economy hurt the cash economy?

Time banking works as a complementary currency. Many businesses see the value in becoming Time Bank members because they get unique marketing benefits, loyal customers and can save cash dollars in starting or supporting their operation.

We’re not competing, we’re cooperating!

Can businesses and non-profit organizations join, too?

Absolutely!  All businesses and non-profit organizations have services to offer, and can benefit from using their banked time for other services, so it’s basically the same rule as for every other member.  Everyone fits this model… everyone.

Can time bank accounts go into debt?

Yes. We recommend capping member debt and credit at 25 hours.  If one is only earning time and not spending time (or vice versa), then there is no flow… no current… no exchange.  That is why it is so important to earn and spend the time that you bank.

What protections are in place to help cover the time bank from liability claims?

All members are required to attend an orientation at which time they sign a Release of Liability and Membership Agreements form, which includes a waiver stating that you agreeing to hold the Time Bank of the Rockies harmless of any and all injury to property or person, as well as dissatisfaction with work performed. The only way that everyone can participate as equals in our community is by signing and agreeing to the same rules and waivers.

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