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Gift Cards/Small Cash Payments

Accounts Payable has been receiving requests for the reimbursement of purchased gift cards and small cash payments for various events including surveys, incentives, prizes, etc.

Gift cards are considered the same as cash.  Cash payments are a reportable item to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  A gift card or small cash payment is only allowed in certain circumstances using specific types of funding and is not to be given away as a gift or award.  GPR (General Purpose Revenue) funds from 102, 104 or 402 cannot be used under any circumstances.

The IRS requires that we collect the name, permanent home address, and social security number of the individual receiving the gift card/cash.  In addition, we highly recommend that the individual sign a form indicating the dollar amount received.

NOTE:  Any gift card/cash in any denomination is reportable to the IRS.  It does not matter if participant fees were paid or not.  (E.g., if you give survey participants $5 each for filling out a survey, it is reportable and all of the individual information listed above is required to document the payments and meet IRS reporting requirements.) 

Review the information at the website under Prizes in Section A under IV Policy for more detailed information:

In addition to information on prizes, there is information regarding the policy for awards and gifts.  We recommend that you read the entire policy for Prizes, Awards, and Gifts if you are considering any of these options.

We highly advise that you contact the Accounts Payable office prior to authorizing these types of gift cards or small cash payments for procedural guidance.

This policy does not replace the Payment for Personal Services Policy that pertains to individual payments for personal services.

Share this policy with other employees who are or may be considering these types of purchases in the future.  If you have any questions, contact Vickie Gardner, Accounts Payable Mgr., 836-4528.