What does tax season have to do with employee awards?

Royal Recognition knows a thing or two about tax deductible employee awards.

In the United States, the IRS allows businesses to deduct up to $1,600 for qualified employee achievement awards in any given calendar year. But what makes an award qualified?

In sum, qualified award means an item that is given to an employee by an employer to honor an achievement.

To help you draw the line between deductible and non-deductible, we’ve created a little quiz. We hope you enjoy it!

Is it deductible?

Question #1: Money or Cash

Money is treated as an exchange of currency, and therefore is taxable.

Question #2: Vera Bradley Bag

A Vera Bradley bag, or any other high-end brand bag, if part of a qualified Length of Service award program is tax deductible.

Question #3: Travel Vouchers

Travel vouchers will be taxed.

Question #4: Achievement Plaque

An achievement plaque is absolutely tax deductible.

Question #5: Gift Cards

Gift cards, while more presentable than cash, are still considered money. Gift cards are not tax deductible.

Question #6: Weber Genesis Grill

If the gift is part of a qualified Length of service award program and given as part of a meaningful presentation, the item is tax deductible.

Question #7: Safety Award

Safety Awards do qualify for tax deductions with caveats. According to the IRS:
An award for safety achievement will qualify as an achievement award unless one of the following applies.It is given to a manager, administrator, clerical employee, or other professional employee. During the tax year, more than 10% of your employees, excluding those listed in (1), have already received a safety achievement award (other than one of very small value).
Please visit the IRS' website for more information on Safety Awards.


The above quiz was created by Royal Recognition for advertising purposes and is not meant to be used as legal advice. For actual IRS guidelines, please visit irs.gov.

Health Care HR Week, March 13th-19th

What Is Health Care HR Week?

Health Care HR Week is a period of time designated by the American Society for Healthcare Human Resource Administration (ASHHRA) that focuses on HR professionals working in hospitals & health care organizations.

Health Care HR Week


How Do I Celebrate?

This passionate group of individuals touch the lives of all health care employees. Encourage your organization to participate by:

  • Setting up a luncheon to honor HR staff
  • Scheduling a meet and greet with the CEO or members of the board
  • Utilize Peerceive©, Royal Recognition’s peer2peer recognition program to send badges and thank you gifts
  • Create learning opportunities for HR staff by bringing in an outside HR expert to discuss best practices, recruitment strategies and more

For more ideas and to learn about ASHHRA & Health Care HR Week, visit their website here.


Employee Appreciation Day, 2016

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” — James Allen


Celebrate those around you who work hard to keep your business running strong. Happy Employee Appreciation Day!