Local Guidelines for Non-Cash Incentive Awards

Non-Cash Incentive Awards
This is governed under University policy (BFB-G-41 “Employee Non-Cash Awards and Other Gifts”), but the short of it is non-cash awards and gifts are allowable under IRS regulations with the following restrictions and limitations:

Award or Gift Type Annual Per-Person Limit Tax Treatment if Limit is Exceeded
Employee Recognition (including Spot Awards) $75 Entire amount taxable if amount exceeds limit
Employee Recognition: One-month parking permit or transit pass $250 If cost exceeds limit, only the amount in excess of the limit is taxable
Length of Service $400 If cost exceeds limit, only the amount in excess of the limit is taxable
Retirement $400 If cost exceeds limit, only the amount in excess of the limit is taxable
Sympathy Gift – Tangible Personal Property $75 Entire amount taxable if amount exceeds limit
Sympathy Gift – Cash Contributions $200 Must be made in the name of the University: No tax liability
Prizes and other gifts $75 Entire amount taxable if amount exceeds limit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note that campuses may establish more restrictive gift procedures, policies and dollar limits.

Some other restrictions apply.  For instance, gift cards must be in the name of the individual and cannot be transferable.  Recreation membership, season tickets or personal gifts (for birthdays or holidays) are not allowable.

Cash Incentive Awards
This is governed under University policy (PPSM-34: “Incentive and Recognition Award Plans”).  Local guidelines (attached) for the Staff Appreciation and Recognition Plan (the “STAR Plan”) were adopted by the Vice Chancellors.  Note that these awards are fully taxable. 

 

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University of California Merced Staff Appreciation and Recognition Plan
For Plan Year July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017