My boss gave me a $800 gift voucher to be spent at a department store as a gift for my new baby. I was pleasantly surprised because he is not normally a generous person. I was happily thinking for a few days about the things I could get on the voucher when he suddenly texted me asking if I could give him the receipts for the items I will be getting on the voucher so that he can use them as tax deductible expenses.
He owns his own small business and I have always been aware that he has to keep all receipts for his business accounts. While being my boss, he is also a friend of mine.
I texted back agreeing to give him the receipts, but later on I started feeling uncomfortable about the whole situation, and concluded that I felt weird about it because it feels cheap to give me a gift and then ask to use it for tax deductible expenses.
Can’t he just let the $800 go without having to gain something from it? I’m sure he got a receipt for getting the voucher in the first place, surely he can use that as a ‘gift for client’ cost or something?
It also feels like an invasion of privacy because he will be privy to what I’m buying on the voucher. What if I wanted a flat-screen TV instead of a bunch of baby stuff? It’s not a big deal that he knows what I buy, but it’s the principle of having no privacy to get what I want.
It makes me feel like I’d rather not have been given the voucher, I’m really not that fussed about it because I have everything that I need anyway. It was a nice gesture that was spoiled when I was asked to hand in the receipts.
A bit of background on him – when he gave me a pay rise once, he also asked if I could work extra hours from then on, so in my mind it was less of a pay rise and more of a change to my working hours. He also wouldn’t give me days off that I was due once because he ‘couldn’t afford it’. I guess in this context, it makes sense that he would do something like this, but I always wanted to give him benefit of the doubt and I thought this time really proved it. I guess I was wrong.
Is it tacky or am I just being nitpicky due to his history of being tight-fisted? 0317-17
I think your uncomfortable feelings are your intuitive guts telling you there is something hinky with this situation your boss has placed you in. It appears he’s using you to possibly commit tax fraud. Basically his business gave you an $800 gift voucher as an employee benefit and I can’t think of a reason why he needs your receipts other than to be a busy body. His purchase of the voucher IS his receipt and that’s all he needs for his taxes. I’ve been giving employee bonuses for decades and I have never once asked anyone what they did with the money nor needed receipts of any kind because my purchase of a money order, voucher or check is my receipt. Where it gets hinky is if he was given the voucher by another person or company and he’s now using it to claim a tax deductible expense.
Why do you continue to work for a dishonest employer who manipulates you? He is not a friend and he’s using you. Does he deny himself his accumulated vacation days, too?