New Accounting Regulations for Not-for-Profit Gift Certificates

The holiday season has just passed, which means your arts organization may have seen a spike in gift certificate sales as communities focused on supporting local businesses and not-for-profits in the challenging climate of COVID-19.

Yet as easy as it is for the consumer to buy the gift certificate, the seller should be aware of the related tax, legal, and accounting considerations in order to prevent unintended exposure.

New Washington Law Regarding Gift Certificates

Effective July 1, 2020, the Washington State Legislature, under RCW 19.240, removed its existing exemptions for not-for-profit arts organizations, thereby disallowing expiration dates for gift certificates to conform with other industries in Washington State.

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‘Tis the season for gift cards

The holiday season is here, which means spending time with good friends, eating good food, and of course… presents! Although shopping for friends and family can be challenging at times, giving a gift card to a favorite restaurant, museum or theater can be sure to please the pickiest of people.

As easy as it is for the consumer to buy the gift card, the seller should be aware of the related tax and legal considerations so as not to create any unintended exposure.

In 2004, the Washington Legislature substantially overhauled the state’s general rules related to gift cards and gift certificates.

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