It's that time of year- the time of year when you probably think about buying gifts for your family and friends.  Also, many people will tend to tip or give a gift for their mail carriers.  But can you legally do this?  In other words, is it legal for the USPS worker to accept the gift?

That answer is yes, but there are rules and some restrictions.

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The best thing to do is to give your mail carrier a gift card to a store or a restaurant.  Not a Visa type gift card that you can use anywhere or exchange for cash.  That is prohibited.  The amount of the card also comes into play.  The gift card has to be $20 or less no matter where the gift card is to be used.  There also cannot be any cash or check exchanged.

It falls under the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Exec­utive Branch.

“Under these federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas,” it states on the USPS website. “However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount

And, if you want to do this a couple of times a year, you can, but the total amount throughout the whole year has to remain at $50 or less.  So, each individual gift has to be $20 or less, and cannot exceed $50 throughout the calendar year.

Is someone checking this on a daily basis?  Probably not, but in case someone is checking, you should probably stay within the guidelines.  Your mail carrier will just be happy you remembered them at the holidays.

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