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  • holiday gifts for staff

    I'd like to give key team members giftcards as their holiday gift.  Ranging between $25-300.  Any financial advantages to doing it one way over the other or is it just a matter of personal generosity?

     

    I'd like to not have it be a check or just added onto their check because it feels so impersonal (although I will endorse that giftcards aren't that personal either!) and then they get taxed on it as well.

     

    I planned to use my chase rewards $ to buy giftcards.

     

    Thanks!

  • #2
    We give a card, a $10 candy box from Costco and a $100 gift card. Initially we used to give Macy's card but found that staff did not shop much at Macy. After trial and error we found Target gift cards were more useful and appreciated.

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    • #3
      It speaks very well of you that that you want to do something personal for your staff. The IRS has a remarkably outdated limit on business gifts of $25/person/year. Anything over that to your employees must be included in income. For that reason, and because team members really appreciate it, we typically give time off. We'll make up a "gift certificate" for it and add a personal note of appreciation.
      Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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      • #4




        It speaks very well of you that that you want to do something personal for your staff. The IRS has a remarkably outdated limit on business gifts of $25/person/year. Anything over that to your employees must be included in income. For that reason, and because team members really appreciate it, we typically give time off. We’ll make up a “gift certificate” for it and add a personal note of appreciation.
        Click to expand...


        Interesting.  My mega-employer gave us a $25 gift card to the movie theater after the new EMR rolled out.  It later showed up on my payroll as "Miscellaneous taxable benefits" for $21.25.  Still scratching my head on that one.  Regardless, I sold it online for $20 so still came out ahead.

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        • #5
          Probably old news to the churning crowd, but I got this piece of advice from a SleepNumber salesperson and it's been useful:

          Buy the cards from your local grocery stores that have a reward plan for cheap gas.  When buying gift cards for holidays, I can often get a massive savings on the next few fill-ups thanks to this, plus the credit card points.

          I've also started doing this for other items, like target shopping trips and large electronic purchases from Best Buy.  I'll go buy the gift cards that match the vendor and get some free gas out of it in addition to the credit card points.  You can do it with favorite restaurants as well, but I get 3 points per $1 on food and travel; so I usually just purchase those outright.

          Another one, that I've never done but I find it hard to fault the logic:

          Find a new credit card with a massive point sign-on bonus along with a minimum spend requirement.  Go buy the gift cards at the local grocery store to get the free gas and hit the sign-up limit.  Obviously only works if you're buying a lot of gift cards, but holiday gifts/bonuses for office workers seems a nice time to do so.

           
          I should have been a pair of ragged claws. Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

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          • #6




            It speaks very well of you that that you want to do something personal for your staff. The IRS has a remarkably outdated limit on business gifts of $25/person/year. Anything over that to your employees must be included in income. For that reason, and because team members really appreciate it, we typically give time off. We’ll make up a “gift certificate” for it and add a personal note of appreciation.
            Click to expand...


            Could this not be treated as a personal gift and allow for the exclusion up to $14k?

            Comment


            • #7
              I’m employed, so these aren’t “my”employees, but as department head I do try to take care of them. As a group the docs and therapists buy gift cards in the $100 range for our front office staff. Individually I buy a combination of gifts and gift cards worth $30-$75 for about fifteen nurses and other staff. I also buy a catered meal for each of three shifts on the psych unit for both Christmas and New Year, which runs a couple hundred dollars (nothing fancy, usually Chinese food because that’s what’s open). All in is typically $700-$900. cards are signed by not just me but my spouse. Throughout the year I do buy lunch for the staff every couple of months.

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              • #8
                "Could this not be treated as a personal gift and allow for the exclusion up to $14k?"

                 

                Can you expand upon that exclusion and what applies

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                • #9







                  It speaks very well of you that that you want to do something personal for your staff. The IRS has a remarkably outdated limit on business gifts of $25/person/year. Anything over that to your employees must be included in income. For that reason, and because team members really appreciate it, we typically give time off. We’ll make up a “gift certificate” for it and add a personal note of appreciation.
                  Click to expand…


                  Could this not be treated as a personal gift and allow for the exclusion up to $14k?
                  Click to expand...


                  Yea shouldn't it?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My firm buys restaurant gift cards/certificates for everybody, same amount.  Usually the restaurant is a client of ours.  Pretty nice.

                    I personally buy candy or something similar for the secretaries.

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                    • #11




                      “Could this not be treated as a personal gift and allow for the exclusion up to $14k?”

                       

                      Can you expand upon that exclusion and what applies
                      Click to expand...


                      You are allowed to gift up to $14k to any individual (unlimited to spouse I believe) in any given year (goes to $15k next year).  Not sure what it applies to, but the IRS form ?709 is what typically gets filled out (see the associated Publication).  This is why people typically keep the max contribution to a kid's 529 at $14k from one parent and $28k from 2 in any given year.  You can do more, but it lowers the exemption from your estate.  That is only a concern if your assets are near the estate limit, which is over $10m per couple at this point.

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                      • #12










                        It speaks very well of you that that you want to do something personal for your staff. The IRS has a remarkably outdated limit on business gifts of $25/person/year. Anything over that to your employees must be included in income. For that reason, and because team members really appreciate it, we typically give time off. We’ll make up a “gift certificate” for it and add a personal note of appreciation.
                        Click to expand…


                        Could this not be treated as a personal gift and allow for the exclusion up to $14k?
                        Click to expand…


                        Yea shouldn’t it?
                        Click to expand...


                        I'm not a tax expert but I think it would depend on if you are their employer or not. If the staff is employed by someone else then I think that gifts would be personal gifts. However, I think a personal gift from an employer to all the employees would not be kosher if it was reviewed. Even though you may be giving the gift just as a gift it would be viewed as compensation for work.

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                        • #13













                          It speaks very well of you that that you want to do something personal for your staff. The IRS has a remarkably outdated limit on business gifts of $25/person/year. Anything over that to your employees must be included in income. For that reason, and because team members really appreciate it, we typically give time off. We’ll make up a “gift certificate” for it and add a personal note of appreciation.
                          Click to expand…


                          Could this not be treated as a personal gift and allow for the exclusion up to $14k?
                          Click to expand…


                          Yea shouldn’t it?
                          Click to expand…


                          I’m not a tax expert but I think it would depend on if you are their employer or not. If the staff is employed by someone else then I think that gifts would be personal gifts. However, I think a personal gift from an employer to all the employees would not be kosher if it was reviewed. Even though you may be giving the gift just as a gift it would be viewed as compensation for work.
                          Click to expand...


                          Well, sheeeeeeeeeeeet.

                          https://www.irs.gov/government-entities/federal-state-local-governments/de-minimis-fringe-benefits

                           

                          Comment


                          • #14




                            I’m employed, so these aren’t “my”employees, but as department head I do try to take care of them. As a group the docs and therapists buy gift cards in the $100 range for our front office staff. Individually I buy a combination of gifts and gift cards worth $30-$75 for about fifteen nurses and other staff. I also buy a catered meal for each of three shifts on the psych unit for both Christmas and New Year, which runs a couple hundred dollars (nothing fancy, usually Chinese food because that’s what’s open). All in is typically $700-$900. cards are signed by not just me but my spouse. Throughout the year I do buy lunch for the staff every couple of months.
                            Click to expand...


                            I've done starbucks gift cards, target gift cards. I've paid for them, and the company reimburses me directly. Seems to work.

                            I had a boss send me a fuit basket once. I love fruit, but it was weird.

                            Comment


                            • #15







                              It speaks very well of you that that you want to do something personal for your staff. The IRS has a remarkably outdated limit on business gifts of $25/person/year. Anything over that to your employees must be included in income. For that reason, and because team members really appreciate it, we typically give time off. We’ll make up a “gift certificate” for it and add a personal note of appreciation.
                              Click to expand…


                              Could this not be treated as a personal gift and allow for the exclusion up to $14k?
                              Click to expand...


                              As Gamma Knives alluded, the gift has to be at arm's length. Unless you would give the staff money even if they weren't staff, it is not a true gift, as it has a business purpose. And I forgot to mention on the $25 limit that any direct "gift" to employees is taxable. Gifts to staff who aren't employees are subject to the $25 limit.

                              Business meals and parties including all employees/staff are 100% deductible.
                              Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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