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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Gifts to Employees, Students and Friends of the University

Policy Number: 119


Gifts to acknowledge special occasions or circumstances



Date Reviewed:
September 2023
Responsible Office:
Expense Reimbursement; Supply Chain – Payment Services
Responsible Executive:
Senior Vice President, Finance and Business Services and Chief Financial Officer


Gifts to employees, students and individuals who have a relationship with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are permitted to acknowledge special occasions or circumstances. For example, a gift may be given to acknowledge the completion of a major project or to recognize contributions of an individual relating to their tenure as an employee or as a long-standing member of a committee or board. The gift must have a defined institutional purpose and may only be reimbursed from discretionary funds or unrestricted gift funds.

The purchase of athletic/special events tickets, alcohol and tobacco products are expressly prohibited regardless of fund source. Gifts of cash or cash equivalents (gift cards and gift certificates) are taxable to employees and must be reported on the employee’s W-2. Due to the administrative cost associated with the processing of cash or cash equivalents, individual gifts of less than $25 of this sort are prohibited. Taxability guidelines are found on the Procurement website.


To receive reimbursement for, and to ensure appropriate processing for tax purposes, the department or individual giving the gift must submit a request to the Accounts Payable Team or the Expense Reimbursement Team. If the gift is to be distributed to an employee, the department or individual giving the gift must also complete and submit the Support for Reimbursement of Gift Cards Presented to Employees in accordance with the Reimbursement Guide. This form must be completed and submitted even if the gift is charged through a direct payment.

No more than $125 shall be spent on gifts given to such individuals in any case, and the amount to be spent is subject to the availability of departmental discretionary funds.


    • Expense Reimbursement
    • 713-500-4958