Gift Certificates


What are gift cards or certificates?

A gift card or certificate is a prepayment for goods or services that can be transferred to one individual or another. These may or may not be for specific items.

Some examples include:

  • Gift cards at a local electronics store
  • Craft store certificates
  • Car wash coupons
  • Food service tickets
  • Movie passes


May we purchase gift cards or certificates?

No. Internal Revenue Service regulations place strict reporting requirements on the University when persons, be they faculty, staff, students, independent service providers or volunteers, receive gifts of miscellaneous income.

A recent internal review reported a significant increase in the use of gift certificates, purchased from university resources, as awards or incentives to employees and others. Because the tax relevant information on the recipient of such gifts is not recorded in either the university’s financial or payroll systems, we are unable to accurately report these payments for tax purposes.

However, the IRS directives apply regardless of the form of the payment.

In order to comply with IRS directives, the purchase of gift certificates will no longer be permitted from any university operating account.

If a monetary award is to be presented to a UNLV employee the Human Resources department should be contacted. Monetary awards for a student, volunteer, or other person, should be submitted on a Payment Voucher to Accounts Payable. In addition to the reason for the award, the following information must be provided with the PV: Form W-9 completed by recipient including Social Security Number, full name, complete home address and telephone number.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

  • Gift certificates, cards, coupons, prepayments, (and any item similar in nature) are not permitted.
  • If these items are purchased by an individual, they will not be reimbursed.
  • Invoices for these items will be returned to the vendor or department, noting that they can't be paid.
  • Questions concerning this policy may be directed to Accounts Payable at 702-895-1143.

Authorization Required

No signatures required.

Account Restrictions

Cannot pay for gift certificates from any account.


No forms required.


No referenced information.