We recently had an employee that left her salaried position to have open heart surgery. We are looking for someone to take over the responsibilities of the job. However, after she recovers, we are giving her the opportunity to work hourly for the church again with different responsibilities requiring less time.

In the meantime, we would like to provide her with gifts of benevolence to help the loss of income. Is it best to have her submit an official resignation so we can provide her with benevolence-monetary gifts(which would be untaxed) during that time OR is it best that she remains an employee under a leave of absence? -- thereby the compensation is taxed. Any guidance is most appreciated.

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