Giving gifts

Employee Gifts: Updated Policy

Administrative Guide Memo 2.2.10: Gifts and Awards for University Employees, which provides guidelines for non-taxable gifts or awards for eligible university employees, was updated on July 20, 2023. The update aligns with IRS guidelines and is in keeping with the current cost of goods. This change makes permanent the interim policy that was in place. 

Types of gifts and current policies:

  • Service milestone gifts may be made to university employees for non-performance related recognition, such as to acknowledge years of service or celebrate retirement. Per AGM 2.2.10, the current annual non taxable limit for these gifts is $400 a year, and the amount should be commensurate with years of service.
  • Other occasional gifts, as long as they are not related to performance recognition, such as for holidays or to commemorate a department event, now have a limit of $100 per individual per calendar year and are referred to as nominal gifts. Previously, the amount was $50. 

For all gifts, departments are encouraged to consider purchases of Stanford-branded merchandise or tangible personal property.

For assistance, submit a support request

Taxable amounts

Gift cards, gift certificates and cash gifts are always taxable to the recipient regardless of the amount.  

For gifts of tangible personal property, including Stanford-branded merchandise, any amount that does not exceed the aggregate value of the limit (either $400 or $100, depending on the gift type) over the course of the calendar per individual will be non-taxable. 

For assistance, submit a support request


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