This page provides an overview only of typical guidelines. Content on this page is provided as a courtesy; full and final information should be sought from the college or university.
Based on IRS rules:
Gifts and awards are considered taxable compensation for employees and are always reportable, regardless of the dollar amount and beginning with the first dollar.
- Cash prizes including gift cards
- Performance awards
- Apparel of any kind (i.e., team jackets, t-shirts, etc.)
Applicable taxes will be added to an employee's W-2 form.
Non-cash items are considered taxable compensation and are taxed at the fair market value unless they qualify as an exemption: such as length-of-service awards, safety achievement awards, nominal holiday/special occasion awards. Also excludes occasional group meals; flowers/fruits for special occasions; refreshments; retirements; flowers for sympathy, get well, birth, etc.
If you are purchasing with department-associated funds items that qualify as Taxable Income and that are to be given out to others as awards, recognition, gifts, etc., then in the Workday requisition or Pcard Purchasing Form you must list the names of all recipients under Business Purpose (unless the above exemption applies). See People below for questions.
Note that these lists may change. Check with unit approver before purchase.
Added to Taxable Income
- Gift cards
- Bags, hats, other gift items
Not Added to Taxable Income
(To not be added to Taxable Income, items should not be purchased as prizes or awards for specific individuals [except as excluded above] but be purchased for business purposes only, i.e., de minimis and untrackable promotional items.)
- Sympathy gifts (Up to $100)
- Retirement gifts of low value (Up to $100)
- Length of service awards (Up to $100)
- Safety achievement awards
- Occasional tickets to sporting events or like items
- Trinkets/Giveaways - such as pens, pencils, mugs
- Safety equipment (gloves, goggles, and other items that cannot be worn off job site)
- Occasional meals
A Note on Awards
- $0-$100: unit approver approval needed
- $101-$1000: dean or VP approval needed
- >$1000: dean or VP and OHR
Individuals should not purchase gifts without unit approver approval.
See Taxable Benefit Process (pdf) document for more information about taxable benefits for employees.
See Non-employee Gift Purchases (pdf) document for more information about taxable items for non-employees.
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