Please, taxman – give us back gift cards

Time to change the tax rules to make employee recognition more flexible
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/15/2017

It was the night before the tax deadline, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring — not even a T4. As I write this, I’m fresh off filing my 2016 taxes — as sure things go, it’s still a touch better than death.

But tax season also brings up my biggest pet peeve when it comes to employee recognition: Why can’t I hand out a gift card for a job well done?

Truthfully, nothing is stopping employers from sending staff on shopping sprees at the Bay, Best Buy, Coach, Lowes — pick your retail poison. But many don’t bother because buying a gift card comes fraught with tax obligations for the employee.