President’s Message — 2014 and Beyond

Annette RiggsIRTA News

annette-riggs-102014 was a great year for IRTA and UC, as both organizations surpassed their goals for the year. While we have enjoyed a number of achievements and successes, 2014 presented a few challenges as well.

We have seen exceptional growth, continually improved financials and reached important milestones as an advocate for the barter industry.

Resolving an increasingly problematic issue for UC and the industry in the U.S., IRTA obtained a favorable IRS Private Letter Ruling, which stated that as a pass-through entity UC does not have to provide 1099B’s to UC member exchanges, based on the fact that to do so would represent duplicate 1099ing of the same barter transaction. The guidance IRTA has derived from UC’s PLR confirms IRTA’s long held position that barter exchanges do not have to submit 1099B’s in direct reciprocal situations since both barter exchange participants in a direct reciprocal arrangement are in fact acting “as the clearinghouse between two barter exchanges to effect sales on behalf of their respective clients.”

IRTA responded to concerns regarding new state financial regulations concerning Money Transmitters as a result of the rise of cryptocurrencies and the potential impact on other complementary currencies including barter/trade currencies. We have hired a D.C. based law firm to help us stay apprised of new legislation so that IRTA can respond as it has already in California and New York. We have several IRTA members watching similar activity in other international jurisdictions so that we are ready to take action when necessary.

IRTA wrote an opinion for the State of California to exclude “barter exchanges” as money transmitters and after educating the state regarding the history of our industry, we received a favorable opinion back confirming the same. We issued another opinion to the State of New York’s Financial Services Division on October 16th, 2014 requesting that NY State exclude barter exchanges from any definition of virtual currencies.

UC trading set an all-time annual record of 11,346,750 million for 2014, (a 32% increase over 2013). UC’s 2014 cash revenue was up 21% over 2013’s revenue, and IRTA’s cash revenue in 2014 was 6% greater than 2013’s revenue.

On behalf of the IRTA Board of Directors, I want to give special thanks to Ron Whitney for his accomplishments and unwavering dedication in 2014 despite a prolonged and unprecedented campaign to undermine his hard work and the stability of the association as a whole. Since 2007 when Ron accepted the position as Executive Director of IRTA, he has more than tripled the membership in both IRTA and UC and more than doubled the trade volume in UC. His results speak for themselves, but as most of you know, he is most importantly a trusted advisor, colleague and friend. From dispute resolutions to very large tax abatements that he secured in 2014 on behalf of IRTA members, he continually demonstrates that IRTA is not a cost, but an investment for every trade exchange that pays dividends financially and professionally.

Our goals in 2015 are to continue to grow the memberships of IRTA and UC and roll out more initiatives to better serve the Trade, Barter and Alternative Capital Systems Industry. BPS Technologies will provide a state-of-the-art barter software technology to UC in March of 2015 with a live roll out expected in April of 2015. IRTA has been working closely with the IT team to contribute to the development of the software and BPS is making a significant investment in the technology to provide a state of the art system.

The Board of Directors will meet in late February for its annual two day planning meeting to evaluate and set the next steps and goals for IRTA and UC, so stay tuned!

Our industry faces many challenges on an ongoing basis so it is by your participation and working together in constructive ways that we will all improve and thrive.

Best wishes for success in the New Year!


Annette Riggs
President, IRTA & UC