Gifts, Prizes, and Awards - Funding Source Allowability

The University at Buffalo supports the recognition of its community members, employees, and students through the use of gifts, prizes and awards. These items may not be lavish or extravagant, and must comply with funding source restrictions outlined in the Gifts, Prizes and Awards Funding Chart.

Refer to the Chart to determine allowability based on funding source.

Employee As Recipient of a Gift, Prize or Award

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Employee As Recipient of a Gift, Prize, or Award
Gift, Prize or Award Details Taxable Taxable Income Reporting Form Required State Funds UBF Funds RF Non-Sponsored RF Sponsored (1)
Employee Recognition Award Must be a tangible  (preferably UB- branded) item presented to an employee in recognition of his or her noteworthy work-related accomplishment. The award must be: occasional (not more than annual); must be presented on a basis that does not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees and must be of a reasonable amount.   No (6) No No Yes (7) No No
Gift in recognition of university faculty or staff at retirement or upon leaving a unit Must be a tangible (preferably UB- branded) item. A suggested guideline is $10 for every year of service or a reasonable amount based on the employee's position at the university. Must not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. The maximum value allowable is $400.  No No No Yes No No
Flowers or equivalent in conditional circumstances and for a reasonable amount and purpose Must support our commitment to providing a great place to work and creating a culture of fairness and respect to all employees No (6) No No Yes No No
Employee incentives Tangible property gifted to encourage employee participation in an event. Participation of the specific employee is based on that individual's subject matter expertise or experience. The use of UB-branded items is encouraged. Value must be de minimis.  No (6) No No Yes No No

(1) All expenses funded via an RF Sponsored account must be approved according to project sponsorship parameters

(2) Documentation to support the reasonableness of cost must be provided with the reimbursement request

(3) Varies, based on the terms of the award; contact Sponsored Projects Services

(4) Gifts and awards (cash and non-cash) must be totaled annually and reported to the IRS is the total exceeds $600 for a US citizen or any amount for a non-resident alien

(5) State funds must be supported by corresponding fee income where the gift, prize, or award is a component of the budget and is provided to the student

(6) Gifts, prizes, and awards to employees must be of a de minimus value and are not taxable

(7) Cash awards may be provided to comply with donor intent of endowment or gift funds; these awards are taxable income and will be reported on a W-2 (for employees) or 1099 (for students) issued by the UBF

Employee or Non-Employee as Recipient of a Gift, Prize or Award

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Employee or Non-Employee as Recipient of a Gift, Prize, or Award
Gift, Prize or Award
Details Taxable Taxable Income Reporting Form Required State Funds UBF Funds RF Non
Sponsored
RF Sponsored
(1)
Promotional item Tangible promotional items must include the UB logo and be distributed in a manner that supports the recipient's relationship with the university
No No Yes
Yes Yes
(3)

(1) All expenses funded via an RF Sponsored account must be approved according to project sponsorship parameters

(2) Documentation to support the reasonableness of cost must be provided with the reimbursement request

(3) Varies, based on the terms of the award; contact Sponsored Projects Services

(4) Gifts and awards (cash and non-cash) must be totaled annually and reported to the IRS is the total exceeds $600 for a US citizen or any amount for a non-resident alien

(5) State funds must be supported by corresponding fee income where the gift, prize, or award is a component of the budget and is provided to the student

(6) Gifts, prizes, and awards to employees must be of a de minimus value and are not taxable

(7) Cash awards may be provided to comply with donor intent of endowment or gift funds; these awards are taxable income and will be reported on a W-2 (for employees) or 1099 (for students) issued by the UBF

Non-Employee as Recipient - Including But Not Limited To Students, Donors, Alumni, and Volunteers (4)

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Non-Employee (e.g., student, donor, alumni, volunteer) as Recipient of a Gift, Prize, or Award
Gift, Prize, or Award Details Taxable Taxable Income Reporting Form Required State Funds UBF Funds RF Non-
Sponsored
RF Sponsored (1)

Appreciation or recognition of a student's noteworthy achievement or contribution to the university

Tangible items (e.g., UB logo items, plaques, books, portfolios, or other items of similar value) Yes, if value is $100 or more
W-9 or W-8 for non-resident alien and Taxable Income Reporting Form
Yes Yes (7) Yes
(3)
Cash equivalent or noncash prize for participation in games of chance. Games of chance include raffles and door prize events. Games of chance must be pre-approved by Financial Management and comply with all New York State gaming laws.   Prizes may be awarded only where benefits are expected to accrue to the university, such as a fund raising event. No prize may be awarded to an employee except where the individual's employment is incidental to the basis on which the prize is awarded.   Yes W-2G and Taxable Income Reporting Form No
Yes No

No

 

Expression of gratitude to a donor for their contribution to the university
Must be a tangible item with the value tied proportionately to donor generosity. The value of each gift is limited to $200 and the donor may not receive more than two gifts per year.
No No No Yes Yes (3)
Recognition to members of governing boards, volunteers, and speakers Must not exceed a reasonable hourly rate for services provided by volunteers or speakers based on the caliber of the individual and the content and complexity of the service
Yes, if value is $100 or more W-9 or W-8 for non-resident alien and Taxable Income Reporting Form No Yes (2) Yes (3)
Gifts as incentive to individuals (not human subjects) for their particpation in surveys, volunteering or other university programs
Participation must have a clear business purpose and support the mission of the university. Efforts should be made to provide UB-branded, tangible items. When such items are not sufficient incentive, cash equivalents are restricted to campus cash when using State funds. When approved, gift cards may be provided when using UBF or RF funds.
Yes, if value is $100 or more W-9 or W-8 for non-resident alien and Taxable Income Reporting Form Yes (5) Yes Yes (3)
Consideration to students for services provided to the university for volunteer work or requested university programming
The student's contribution must directly support the mission of the university and be tied to a university initiative. When possible, tangible items should be given; cash equivalents are restricted to campus cash.
Yes, if value is $100 or more W-9 or W-8 for non-resident alien and Taxable Income Reporting Form Yes (5) Yes Yes (3)

(1) All expenses funded via an RF Sponsored account must be approved according to project sponsorship parameters

(2) Documentation to support the reasonableness of cost must be provided with the reimbursement request

(3) Varies, based on the terms of the award; contact Sponsored Projects Services

(4) Gifts and awards (cash and non-cash) must be totaled annually and reported to the IRS is the total exceeds $600 for a US citizen or any amount for a non-resident alien

(5) State funds must be supported by corresponding fee income where the gift, prize, or award is a component of the budget and is provided to the student

(6) Gifts, prizes, and awards to employees must be of a de minimus value and are not taxable

(7) Cash awards may be provided to comply with donor intent of endowment or gift funds; these awards are taxable income and will be reported on a W-2 (for employees) or 1099 (for students) issued by the UBF