Effective February 2015, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version.
As with all purchases utilizing University funds, expenditures for awards, gifts, and celebrations must be in accordance with federal and state laws, bargaining agreements, grant restrictions, and University policies and procedures. Departments must be aware of tax implications and limitations before awarding employees.
38.2 CASH AWARDS AND GIFT CERTIFICATES.
Employees who handle cash and gift certificates must follow UI cash handling procedures. See www.uiowa.edu/~cashhand/index.html.
(2) Cash awards to student employees must be processed through MAUI Scholarship Workflow.
Gift certificates may not be given to employees to reward performance unless they are given under a University-wide sanctioned award program. See procedures for rewarding performance under III-38.2a (cash awards).
Gift certificates given as research subject compensation do not fall under this Policy on Taxation of Gifts, Prizes, and Awards to Employees. They are included in the Research Subject Compensation Policy and Procedures. See http://gao.fo.uiowa.edu/grant-and-contract-management/general-administration/research-subject-compensation-policy-procedures.
(b) The cumulative value of all gift certificates given to a single employee must not exceed $100 within a calendar year.
(c) University-affiliated and nonprofit organizations are preferred vendors for gift certificates.
(d) Gift certificates should not be used to recognize employees' personal events, such as births, weddings, birthdays, or holidays.
(b) To facilitate the reconciliation of the number and value of the gift cards on hand:
(ii) Departments must maintain a list of gift certificates given to employees, including gift date, purpose of gift, certificate amount, employee name, and University ID.
(iii) Departments must submit the list as an Excel file to University Payroll by November 15 for awards given from November 16 of the previous year to November 15 of the current year.
(iv) Gift certificates to employees who are leaving the University must be reported to University Payroll as soon as the gift certificate is awarded so appropriate payroll tax withholding can occur.
(2) If the annual cumulative value of non-cash awards for an employee exceeds $100, departments must submit the entire list of all non-cash awards (not just the amount exceeding $100) as an Excel file to University Payroll by November 15 for awards given from November 16 of the previous year to November 15 of the current year. (Note: 100 percent of the value of the gift is taxable, not the amount in excess of $100.)
(3) If the annual cumulative value of non-cash awards to a terminating employee exceeds $100, departments must submit the information to University Payroll as soon as possible so appropriate payroll tax withholding can occur.
(4) Non-cash gifts to contract-covered employees to recognize performance are not allowed unless the gift is given to the entire department. For example, treats or a fruit basket may be presented to the contract-covered employee to recognize his or her performance if the treats or fruit basket is shared with the entire department. The employee may not take the non-cash gift home for his or her personal use or consumption.
(5) Contract-covered employees may receive prizes that are not directly related to the individual's performance as long as there is equal opportunity for everyone in the unit to receive the prize. For example, a contract-covered employee may be given a prize as an incentive to complete a wellness program, or their name may be entered into a prize drawing as an incentive to complete a survey.
(2) the employee has not received a length-of-service award within the last five years other than a de minimis non-cash award valued at less than $100, and
(3) the awards are presented as part of a meaningful ceremony and should not be determined based on an employee's classification.
b. Safety achievement award. Safety achievement awards that recognize an employee's accomplishments for maintaining or promoting defined safety standards may qualify for exclusion from taxation provided all of the following requirements are met:
(2) the award is not presented to managers, administrators, clerical, or professional employees, and
(3) the awards are presented as part of a meaningful ceremony.