Employee gifts, taxes and holidays

Now that we are into the holiday season – with Christmas eighteen days away, Hanukkah ending in three days and Kwanzaa beginning in nineteen days – there are certain things that simply are inescapable. Things like holiday music being played twenty-four hours a day, bright lights everywhere, movies like Elf and A Christmas Story on an endless loop. And cookies . . . lots of them.

Things can become overwhelming during this busy season. Regardless of how you feel about the holiday season, everyone likes being recognized for doing something well. This time of year, we sometimes get questions about possible compliance issues if a credit union wants to provide cash, gift cards or other small items to employees. What are the federal tax consequences that arise from such gifts? In particular, are those gifts considered income to the employee?


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