Yes. Meal delivery services and restaurant gift cards are considered taxable income and must be reported on IRS form W-2 for employees. Students need to meet the $600 threshold for reporting on a 1099.
This includes virtual events where the meal is not “furnished on the premises of the employer and for the convenience of the employer.” This would include when a department allows the faculty/staff to order from a menu, has the meal delivered to the staff’s home, and the meal is then paid by the department. It also includes when meals are picked up by the event participant to be eaten at home.
All gift cards are considered cash or cash equivalents and are taxable (unless certain exemptions apply) under the following conditions:
- Employees: Amount is included in W-2;
- Non-employees/Students: Amount must reach $600 threshold and then it would be reported on 1099.