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Reminder: Purchasing Gifts with University Funds

With the 2022 commencement and fiscal year end approaching, we want to provide you with an important reminder regarding the purchase of gifts, awards, and prizes using University funds and federal grant funds for employees and non-employees:

  • According to University Policy FN 28, gifts, awards, and prizes can include goods, services, cash or cash equivalents (certificates, gift cards, etc. that are redeemable for a broad variety of products or services). Gifts, awards, and prizes are not generally reimbursable unless they are approved as an exception as described in this policy. 

  • If approved as an exception to University Policy FN28, gifts, awards, and prizes (such as raffle baskets) must be paid for as follows: 1) Interdepartmental Charge (IDC), the University Travel Card, or paper purchase requisition must be used if purchased from an on-campus retailer (i.e. University bookstore); 2) University Travel Card must be used if purchased online or at an off-campus retailer.

  • Grant funds cannot be used to purchase gifts, awards, and prizes. According to Uniform Guidance 200.445, the cost of goods or services for personal use of employees are unallowable regardless of whether the cost is reported as taxable income to the employees.

  • The value of any gifts, awards, and prizes purchased using University funds is required to be reported as wages to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as outlined below.

Please follow these steps if you have already purchased gifts, awards, and prizes using University funds:

  • For non-employees: email Stephanie Ford-Jones, Payment Processing & Compliance Manager to provide the necessary information about the recipients to ensure compliance with the IRS.

  • For Employees: the Payroll Department needs additional information to process the required taxes. 1) Submit an inquiry to HR Shared Services by selecting the Payroll and Taxation option. Include the following: the employee name, employee number, and the value of the gift/award/prize. 2) If you have not already done so, please inform the employee(s) who received a gift, prize or award that they will see the required tax collected from a future payroll.

If you have questions related to purchasing and payment policies, please contact Purchase, Pay & Travel Customer Service.