are gift cards taxable income to employees

Knowing the limits helps you determine the amount of the gift.
This is because cash values are easy to ascertain, so accounting for cash is not unreasonable or administratively impracticable.
These include such items as: Controlled, occasional employee use of photocopier.
Many employees like to change their bonus check withholding, so they receive more of the bonus.Cash equivalentssuch as gift cards and gift certificatesare generally not fringe benefits.Must these gift cards be reported as taxable income?In determining whether a benefit is de minimis, you should always consider its frequency and its value.The benefit must be provided so that employee can work an unusual, extended schedule.
Whether an item or service is de minimis depends on all the facts and circumstances.
Awards in excess of the limits are taxable.

Personal use of a cell phone provided by an employer primarily for business purposes.If the employees are covered for social security and Medicare, the value of the benefits are also subject to withholding for these taxes.It includes service awards and safety awards.This may be true even when the gift for which the gift certificate was provided would itself be considered a de minimis fringe benefit.It also must not be a form of disguised compensation.Interesting, there is an exception to this general rule that draws a distinction between general gift cards/certificates and property-specific gift cards/certificates: gift certificates that allow an employee to receive a specific item of personal property that is minimal in value, depending on facts and circumstances.First, look at bonuses for owners/shareholders: S Corporations can deduct bonuses for shareholders and owners, as long as they own their shares at the time the bonus is paid.In general, a de minimis benefit is one for which, considering its value and the frequency with which it is provided, is so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable or impractical.Some employees will want to change their withholding so as to receive more of the bonus.Supplemental Wages and Withholding, the IRS considers large lighted gift boxes bonuses, gifts, and rewards in the category of supplemental wages.You must also pay other employment taxes ( unemployment tax, for example) on these amounts.
This is an oversimplification and there are many exceptions.

Are These Gifts/Awards/Bonuses Deductible to You as a Business Expense?