All purchase of gift cards/gift certificates (of non-negotiable amounts) must have a valid, documented business purpose as outlined in the policies referenced below, and must comply with all University purchasing and expense procedures. The preferred method for purchasing these items is to use a University-issued Purchasing Card (P-Card). The purchase must be within the P-Card limits and not conflict with any contractual agreement.
Other allowable methods include:
- Submit a Direct Pay Request (DPR) Form
Note: Refer to University Policy 601.8, "Appropriate Use of University Funds" to confirm if this is a permissible use of funds for your area.
Rationale and other considerations:
Departments are responsible for tracking all gift cards purchased and distributed in the event of an audit or review. UP 101.18 Appendix C - Gifts, Awards & Prizes Log Sheet is recommended for department use to satisfy this documentation need. Refer to UP 101.18 Appendix A to determine if a gift (cumulative per person) exceeds limits defined as non-reportable. If reportable, submit UP 101.18 Appendix B - Reportable Gifts, Awards, & Prizes Form to the Tax Office within 2 weeks after disbursement, unless the payment was intended to be a cash gift paid directly to an individual on a DPR.
Note: When reimbursing individuals for gifts they purchased to distribute to others that meet the reportable limits (including gift cards), UP 101.18 Appendix B - Reportable Gifts, Awards, & Prizes Form must be submitted.
How to do it:
- Review Policy 101.18 to confirm reporting requirements based on recipient class and gift type (cash vs. non-cash)
- The gift cards should then be purchased using a P-Card and, if necessary, reported on Appendix B.
||Forms / Links
University Policy 601.8, Appropriate Use of University Funds
University Policy 101.18, Gifts, Awards, and Prizes
Direct Pay Request (DPR) Form
UP 101.18 Appendix A – Non-reportable Limits for Allowable Gifts, Awards, & Prizes Form
UP 101.18 Appendix B - Reportable Gifts, Awards, & Prizes Form
UP 101.18 Appendix C - Gifts, Awards, & Prizes Log Sheet
Contact for additional questions:
Please refer to the contacts listed on the Tax Office website.