Gifts to Employees Policy

Gifts provided to an employee (including student employees) purchased with institutional funds may be subject to payroll withholding taxes.

All gifts provided in an effort to recognize a high level of performance or extraordinary service are considered taxable wages. The value of such gifts (if purchased with institutional funds) must be communicated to the appropriate payroll department. Please document this method of payment on an Employee Stipend Form documents/Human Resources/forms/stipendform.pdf indicating the value of the gift on the “Gift / Gift Certificate Awarded” line.  For main payroll employees, signatures of Department Head and Vice President are required. For student payroll employees, only the Department Head signature is required.  Once completed, these forms should be remitted to the following individuals for processing on the payroll immediately following the presentation of the gift:

  • SJU main payroll employees:

Sharon Hartmann, SJU Wimmer 220 (ext 3114)

  • CSB main payroll employees:

Katie Rock, CSB Main 235 (ext 5218)

  • CSB and SJU/SOT student payroll employees:

Angie Mareck, CSB Main 244 (ext 5049)

Barb Fahnhorst, SJU Quad 154 (ext 2186)

Gifts of de minimus value (less than $25.00) awarded for special occasions that are not a reward for merit or service can be excluded from withholding tax.  Please note, cash and gift certificates are never excludable regardless of the value. Follow institutional guidelines on allowable gift purchases:

Employee and Student Recognition/Celebration Guidelines


The Institutions recognize there are numerous reasons to celebrate throughout the year. These types of celebrations (if departmentally funded) should be modest in cost (no more than $25). Departmental funds should not be used to pay for dinners at restaurants or other catered gatherings, expensive gifts, etc.
In the event that an employee leaves the college, going-away celebrations (if college funded) should also be modest in cost. The colleges will only fund a casual cake and coffee/punch gathering unless attendees contribute toward the cost of other food such as hors d'oeuvres, meal, etc. The College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University will not pay for gifts to terminating employees unless the employee is retiring. Retirement gifts will be funded by the colleges based on years of service and should be coordinated through the Human Resources Offices.

Student Employees

Celebrations honoring student employees will follow the same guidelines as for employees except the colleges may fund modest gifts (maximum of $15) for graduating student employees.

Special tax rules apply to gifts presented for years of service and retirement. Please contact the SJU or CSB Business Offices for the necessary tax reporting or questions regarding the policy.