Q: A week after my one-year anniversary with the firm, my boss handed me an envelope containing $100 in cash. Is it appropriate for a manager to give an employee a cash gift?
A: Cash? Out of the blue? Probably a little dicey. More commonly, a manager or a boss gives a cash gift to an employee at special times, such as holidays and birthdays. Regardless of when it is given, be aware of the tax consequences. If it is a cash gift and is from the employer itself, rather than an individual, it will be deemed income to the recipient. However, if an individual boss or manager on his or her own wants to make a cash gift to an employee, that will be considered a gift and is not subject to income tax (providing it is less than taxable gift amount; around $12,000).