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Annotated diagram of Schedule DTax errors can be costly! Don't draw unwanted attention from the IRS. Our Tax Center explains and illustrates the tax rules for sales of company stock, W-2s, withholding, estimated taxes, AMT, and more.


Life Events

Life Events explores the role stock grants play in the financial planning for a variety of major personal occurrences.

Browse an overview of this section below, or explore the subsections to the left.

Major topics covered include retirement and retirement plans; paying higher-education costs with stock grants; divorce and its impact; death and the death taxes on your estate; and disability.

Test Your KnowledgeTest and improve your knowledge with our Life Events quiz and its study guide in the answer key.

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Strategic Planning With Roth IRAs And Stock Compensation (Part 1) This is premium content

Sue Stevens
Could the Roth IRA be your greatest opportunity for accumulating tax-free growth? Well, as with most strategic-planning issues, it all depends. Part 1 of this two-part article series looks at the rules and factors to consider in a Roth IRA conversion.

Retirement Planning With Stock Options, Restricted Stock, And Other Stock Compensation (Part 1: Pre-Retirement Planning)

Carol Cantrell
Stock compensation is important for retirement planning. Understand the issues and explore strategies, whether you are planning for retirement, are nearing retirement, or have retired already.

Funding Your Child's College Education With Stock Options And Other Stock Grants (Part 1)

Troy Onink
Podcast included! Your ability to pay for college, and ultimately have more money for retirement, may rest on your company's stock plan and related financial planning. Part 1 helps you understand the impact that equity grants have on financial aid eligibility.

Stockbrokers' Secrets: Retirement Planning With Stock Compensation (Part 1) This is premium content

W.E.B. Bantling
Many of my clients do not see stock compensation in the bigger picture of retirement savings and withdrawal plans. Considering net worth, age, and company stock plan, I present the client with these core points about stock grants, 401(k) plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, and IRAs.

Retirement Planning With Your Stock Options And Other Stock Compensation (Part 2: Retirement Year) This is premium content

Carol Cantrell
Once you reach your retirement year, the decision landscape and timeframe change. To avoid unpleasant surprises, understand what will happen to your stock grants and other company benefits so that you can develop appropriate strategies.

Retirement Planning With Your Stock Options And Other Stock Compensation (Part 3: Post-Retirement Planning) This is premium content

Carol Cantrell
Tax planning for retirees can be more challenging that it was during their working years. You need to constantly monitor any options and company stock holdings as part of your overall portfolio. Part 3 looks at special issues that can arise after you retire, including Social Security; coordinating with required minimum distributions for IRAs and your 401(k); moving to another state; and the gifting of stock.

A Holistic Approach To Managing Equity Compensation This is premium content

Geoffrey M. Zimmerman
Podcast included! Planning for equity compensation begins with identifying the role stock grants will play in your life, whether for retirement, college funding, or other goals. This article offers points to consider for three different types of investors.

Strategic Planning With Roth IRAs And Stock Compensation (Part 2): A Case Study This is premium content

Sue Stevens
Weighing a Roth IRA conversion is complicated enough, but the complexity can explode when you add in stock option exercises or the vesting of restricted stock. Let's take a look at how this can work in real life through a case study.

Funding Your Child's College Education With Stock Options And Other Stock Grants (Part 2) This is premium content

Troy Onink
Podcast included! Part 2 reviews the basics of gift tax and the tax treatment of stock compensation in your financial planning for higher education.

Funding Your Child's College Education With Stock Options And Other Stock Grants (Part 3) This is premium content

Troy Onink
Podcast included! As college tuition and expenses rise, funding and tax strategies for middle-class families have become more important than ever. Part 3 focuses on methods to minimize capital gains at sale, planning for the kiddie tax and education credits, and strategies your children can use.

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After my death, at what times might my stock options be taxed?

Stock options that you hold when you die can be taxed twice...

How do stock grants affect Roth IRA contributions and conversions? This is premium content

The grant itself has no impact. The compensation income generated from exercise or vesting can affect...

After I retire, will my company let my stock options or restricted stock continue to vest, or will it accelerate the vesting? This is premium content

Most likely, retirement will cause your company to do neither. Retirement is a type of termination of employment under your stock plan. Only a small minority of companies either let the stock options continue to...

To seek financial aid for my children's college tuition, I need to report my income and assets to the US Department of Education on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Should I list my stock grants? At what value? This is premium content

As long as the student is considered a dependent of the parent for financial-aid purposes, the parent does have to report stock options on line...

What happens to my stock options if I die before I exercise them?

You need to review the terms of your company's plan and your grant agreement. In most cases, the options do...

Is my spouse entitled to part of my stock options and other stock grants upon our divorce?

While there are some general trends, the treatment of stock options, restricted stock, and other equity awards in divorce is far from similar in all states. In general, the outcome depends on four factors...

What happens to my stock grants if I become temporarily disabled?

Under some stock plans, if you are temporarily disabled and your employment is not terminated, you...

Are stock options, restricted stock, and ESPPs subject to ERISA requirements and regulations? This is premium content

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), whose regulations on tax-qualified retirement plans include rules for employee benefit plans such as 401(k) plans...

How do stock options, ESPPs, and restricted stock differ from the company stock fund or contribution offered under my 401(k) plan? This is premium content

401(k) plans are a type of broad-based, tax-qualified retirement plan funded by pre-tax contributions, unlike...

Can stock compensation affect my other employee benefits, such as 401(k) contributions? This is premium content

With a few exceptions, the grant, vesting, or exercise of stock options, or the vesting of restricted stock, should not affect your other retirement-plan benefits. One notable exception...

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