Purchase and Distribution of Prepaid Cards

What University policies govern the purchase and distribution of Prepaid cards?

Can prepaid cards be purchased using a ProCard?

No, prepaid cards should be purchased through the Controller’s Office Swift Prepaid Card process. Prepaid card purchases are a restricted purchase of the ProCard.

How do I handle prepaid cards distributed to employees?

    • Employees as Research Study Participants:
      Employees who participate in research studies are treated the same as non-employees and are subject to all of the reporting requirements to which non-employees are subject. (i.e. these amounts could be reported on a 1099-misc form). For additional information on research study incentives, please consult Procedure Incentives for Research Study Participants.

Do I need to collect W-9s for all recipients of prepaid cards?
No.  All payee personal information is entered directly into the Swift Prepaid Solutions system.

When will a recipient receive a form 1099?
Non-employee prepaid card recipients receive a form 1099-misc. from the University when all non-employee payments from the University are equal to or greater than $600 for the calendar year. This includes employees who receive non-employee compensation for their participation in research studies that is equal to greater than $600 in a calendar year.

Why do I need to collect tax information from non-employee recipients that are receiving less than $600 in prepaid cards?

    • Obtaining a payee name and tax ID number (i.e. social security number) provides a measure of assurance that an individual is authorized to receive compensation.
    • Complete payee data provides a record of account to assist in the internal auditing of prepaid card distributions.
    • Complete payee information provides data that may be relied upon by the IRS during an examination to confirm that the University appropriately prepared forms 1099 when applicable.
    • Complete payee information provides an official name of record (SSN) for the recipient in order for the Controller’s Office to determine if multiple departments are distributing prepaid cards to the same individual, and if, in total, this individual received compensation that exceeds the $600 threshold causing the distributions to be reportable to the IRS.

How do I order and load cards?
Training is required to gain access to the Swift system. In order to be set up with access to the Swift Prepaid Solutions system, please send an e-mail to the Controller’s Office requesting access to the on-line training module via Blackboard. Please provide your name, employee ID and username for setup. Training is required before access to the system will be granted. Once you have completed the on-line training session and successfully passed the exam with a score of at least 80% you will be granted access to the Swift system and you can order cards.

If I have issues with the Swift system, what should I do?
If you are unable to reset your access from the Swift system please send an e-mail for assistance. we have access to all active users and can make updates as needed.

Can a prepaid card be given to a foreign individual?
No, social security number is required for all prepaid card recipients. Please see Payments to Individuals.

What Internal Revenue Code and Regulations govern the distribution of gift cards?
Only specifically excluded items can be excluded from gross income. Internal Revenue Code Section 132 (a) lists the fringe benefits that can be excluded.

The IRS has given additional guidance with Treasury Regulation,§1.132-6 (c), specifically addressing gift cards as a form of compensation not excludable under section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code.

The IRS has further reinforced this position with Technical Advice Memorandum 200437030.

Budget & Financial Planning

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