Nearly eight out of 10 (79%) executives polled in a recent survey said some form of gift giving occurs in their offices during the holiday season. But it’s not all bottles of wine and Target gift cards out there.
When asked to name the most unusual or unique gifts exchanged in the office, responses ranged from a fully stocked 125-pound aquarium to personalized bobbleheads.
Execs were asked, “During the holiday season, which of the following types of gifts, if any, are typically given in your office?” Their responses:
- 51% Gifts from managers to staff members
- 51% Gifts from staff members to each other
- 43% Gifts from co-workers based on names dropped in a hat
- 39% Gifts from staff to their managers
- 19% None/no gifts given
Don’t let the IRS benefit from your employee awards program
Nothing takes the shine off an employee achievement award faster than having to pay taxes on its value. However, it’s entirely possible to design an employee recognition program that doesn’t cause tax liability for your employees—and is fully tax deductible for your organization.
Caution: You can’t use an awards program to disguise taxable compensation. For example, the IRS will probably look askance at employee awards that are handed out at the same time as annual salary reviews. Similarly, the program cannot be substituted for a cash bonus plan that previously existed.