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.

Please contact the Human Resources Department for directions on issuing a monetary award to a UNLV employee. Monetary awards for a student, volunteer, or other person, requires the individual to register on SREG Lite (payment registration system) and the department should submit a Supplier Invoice Request through the UNLV financial system.

Please contact the Office of Research Integrity regarding the UNLV procedure for providing, monitoring and reporting research participant incentives reimbursements.  The following links will provide some basic information: 

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.
  • Supplier Invoice Requests 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 Accounts Payable at or 702-895-1157.

Authorization Required

No signatures required.

Account Restrictions

Cannot pay for gift certificates from any account.


No forms required.


No referenced information.