Policy for 2010 and later

Policy for non-cash gifts and awards

As of January 1, 2010, we have changed the policy for gifts and awards as taxable benefits. For gifts or awards given to an employee before that date, see Policy for 2009 and earlier.

You may give an employee an unlimited number of non-cash gifts and awards with a combined total value of $500 or less annually. If the fair market value (FMV) of the gifts and awards you give your employee is greater than $500, the amount over $500 must be included in the employee's income. For example, if you give gifts and awards with a total value of $650, there is a taxable benefit of $150 ($650-$500).

There are special rules for Long service awards.

Items of small or trivial value will not be considered a taxable benefit. These items are not included when calculating the total value of gifts and awards given in the year for the purpose of the exemption. Examples of items for small or trivial value include:

  • coffee or tea;
  • T-shirts with employer's logos;
  • mugs;
  • plaques or trophies.

For more information, see Gifts and awards outside our policy.


Use the fair market value of each gift to calculate the total value of gifts and awards given in the year, not its cost to you. You have to include the value of the GST/HST.

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