How do I account for Gift Card breakage?

Well, I know how to account for breaking them. I guess the question is really when to break them.

I’m ordering new gift cards and I got to thinking about this problem. Our gift cards are issued without expiration dates, as were our gift certificates before using gift cards.

I have open gift certificates going almost six years back. From what I’ve read in accounting journals there are no set regulations regarding how and when to break unredeemed gift cards on the books, and even major retailers seem to have differences in how they handle it.

Has anybody out there tackled this accounting problem yet?

It is funny how some topics/questions seem to surface with the group about the same time. I was just studying this exact question. I found some good insights here.

Be sure to review the new federal gift card rules in effect as of Aug 22 as well: