Awards and Gifts Presented to Employees

When presenting an employee with a non-cash award and other gift, the UCSF department presenting the gift must follow the policies and procedures outlined in UC Policy G-41, Employee Non-Cash Awards and Other Gifts. The information below summarizes key highlights of the policy.

Allowable Awards and Gifts

The following table includes the per-person limits for allowable awards and gifts. Gifts and awards in excess of the limits should be avoided and are discouraged. However, the table below provides guidance on the resulting tax treatment in situations where the limits are exceeded due to unavoidable circumstances. If the award or gift (or portion of the award or gift) is taxable, the gift must be reported to the Controller's Office and applicable income tax withholding and FICA taxes will be deducted from the employee's paycheck.

Examples of Unallowable Gifts and Awards
  • Cash gifts, except donations to charity as an expression of sympathy
  • Gift certificates and gift cards for services
  • Recreation membership
  • Season tickets to sporting or cultural events
  • Gifts provided to employees in connection with birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays, farewells, graduations and other occasions of a personal nature
Reporting Taxable Awards and Gifts

The Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L.115-97) signed into law on December 22, 2017, changed the taxability of some non-cash and other gifts and awards provided to employees. Beginning on April 1, 2018, UCSF departments are responsible for reporting taxable awards and gifts by submitting the Taxable Employee Non-Cash Award or Gift Reporting Form within 30 days of the employee’s receipt of the taxable award or gift. The form is required for all taxable employee awards or gifts regardless of whether the award or gift was purchased through BearBuy, a UCSF Procurement Card (P-card), reimbursed using MyExpense, or obtained using any other method. Although the form is the preferred reporting method, you may report taxable employee non-cash awards or gifts by sending an email with the information required on the form to the Controller's Office at [email protected]. For questions about the tax impact for an individual employee, please contact the Controller's Office Payroll Office.

Purchasing and Payment Methods

For campus departments, awards and gifts should be purchased through BearBuy (Gift Cards purchasing guide) or using a UCSF Procurement Card (P-card).

Reimbursement Procedures
  • Purchases may be reimbursed through MyExpense, if they cannot be purchased through BearBuy or a P-Card (campus departments).
  • The expense report should be submitted within 45 calendar days after the last purchase date. Payments of reimbursement requests submitted after 60 calendar days will be reported as taxable income, read more about late expense reports.
  • Include applicable receipts.
  • The gift recipient’s name(s) should be included in the expense report.
Related Policy

Refer to UC Policy G-41, Employee Non-Cash Awards and Other Gifts for definitions and more details regarding specific types of gifts and unallowable gifts.

Last Updated: September 2022