A previous post I wrote where I bitched, moaned, sniveled, whined, griped and complained about receiving a Walmart gift card instead of a Christmas bonus raised a question:
Did my boss select a gift card instead of cash or a real bonus to gain some sort of advantage on his taxes?
I did a bit of quick checking and, as far as I can tell, the answer is a resounding “no.”
Don’t worry, he’s still evil. But apparently that evil didn’t come into play … this time!
What I learned is that the IRS treats cash and gift cards exactly the same. The gross amount for both types of gifts must be reported by your employer to the IRS as “compensation.”
A gift certificate to a local restaurant would be taxable. Taking employees out to dinner at that same restaurant, on the other hand, would still be considered “non-taxable.”
Small gifts, like a Christmas turkey or a fruit basket, may be considered de minimis by the IRS and not subject to reporting as compensation.
For me the issue isn’t one of taxation. It’s that I’ve taken on a ton of additional responsibilities in the last 12 months and I’ve come through time and time again for the team. As such a $50 gift card to a store I don’t like feels more like an insult rather than a reward.
This post is based on information I found on this page on Law.com.
Edit: I just realized this post doesn’t address the main point that was intended. D’oh! Sometimes I’m freakin’ dumb. I guess I still don’t know what approach offers the best tax deductions for the company. So maybe that did still play some sort of role. Who knows? At this point I am so beyond caring.