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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.


Restricted Stock

Restricted stock, RSUs, and performance shares have become prominent forms of stock grant. Browse an overview of this section below, or explore the subtopics to the left.

In addition to the main areas about basic and advanced topics in all these types of grants, see the special subsections that are exclusively about restricted stock units and performance shares.

Test Your Knowledge Test and improve your knowledge with our Restricted Stock & RSUs quiz and its study guide in the answer key.


Listen to our podcast on restricted stock/RSUs, or watch our new videos on key concepts and taxes.

  Articles   FAQs  

Restricted Stock & RSUs: What You Must Know To Avoid Tax-Return Mistakes This is premium content

The myStockOptions.com Tax Team
The 2015 tax season has the potential to be more confusing than most if you sold stock in 2014. This article explains common errors to avoid when reporting stock sales on your tax return and provides helpful guidance on various other tax topics involving restricted stock and restricted stock units.

How To Report Sales Of Company Stock On Your Tax Return

The myStockOptions.com Tax Team
If you sold in 2014 any shares that you acquired from equity compensation or an ESPP, you will need to report the sale on your federal tax return. Learn here what you must know to avoid expensive mistakes and unwanted IRS attention. Our annotated diagrams of Form 8949 and Schedule D can help you make sense of the reporting rules.

VIDEO! Restricted Stock & RSUs (Part 1): Key Aspects To Know

Bruce Brumberg
Presented by the editor-in-chief of myStockOptions.com, this engaging video covers the fundamentals of restricted stock, restricted stock units (RSUs), and performance shares to help you make the most of these grants. This video covers key concepts, such as vesting schedules and understanding your grant's value. Running time: 4:37

How To Avoid Paying Too Much Tax: Understanding The Revised Form 1099-B And Form 8949 For Reporting Stock Sales On Your Tax Return This is premium content

Bruce Brumberg
The stock-sale information provided by brokers on IRS Form 1099-B has changed. Cost-basis reporting, both for your broker on Form 1099-B and for you on your tax return, is now more complex, confusing, and vulnerable to errors. This article explains the crucial facts you must know to avoid overpaying tax or attracting unwanted IRS attention.

VIDEO! Restricted Stock & RSUs (Part 2): Taxes And Related Key Decisions

Bruce Brumberg
Presented by the editor-in-chief of myStockOptions.com, this engaging video covers the basic tax treatment of restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs), including the tax rates, the timing of taxation, and withholding. Running time: 3:57

Restricted Stock 101: Five Essentials Of Restricted Stock & RSUs This is premium content

Matt Simon
While restricted stock and RSUs are relatively straightforward, they have technical aspects you must understand to make the most of them. Learn the essential facts of restricted stock and RSUs, including basic concepts, vesting schedules, and tax treatment.

Restricted Stock Units Made Simple (Part 1): Understanding The Core Concepts

Matt Simon
Restricted stock units (RSUs) have become the most popular alternative to stock options. While RSUs share many of the same issues as restricted stock, there are differences, and it is important to understand the basics of RSUs in their own right.

VIDEO! Tax-Return Forms & Reporting Rules For Stock Sales

Bruce Brumberg
Learn how to prevent costly tax return mistakes with this animated presentation on IRS Form 1099-B, IRS Form 8949, and Schedule D.

Restricted Stock Units Made Simple (Part 2): Taxation This is premium content

Matt Simon
The taxation of RSUs generally resembles that of restricted stock but carries some important differences.

Tax Planning For Options, Restricted Stock, And ESPPs After Recent Tax Law Changes: High-Income Taxpayers Impacted Most (Part 1)

Tom Davison and William Whitaker
Notable shifts in tax rates have occurred for people with high incomes. Part 1 surveys these important tax changes and considers their impact on planning.

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What are the top 10 questions I should ask about my grant of restricted stock or RSUs?

You should know the answers to the following questions. Understanding the topics involved will help you make the most of your restricted stock/RSU grant and prevent costly mistakes...

What are the biggest mistakes with restricted stock or RSUs that I can make on my tax return, and how can I avoid them? This is premium content

It is all too easy to make costly tax-return errors that attract unwanted IRS attention. Learn how to prevent mistakes...

W-2 diagram! What will my W-2 show after the vesting of restricted stock units? This is premium content

Restricted stock units result in ordinary income to you. This occurs when...

What are the big changes in 2015 with reporting stock sales on my tax return? Why have these changes occurred?

Major changes have occurred in the tax reporting for stock sales during the past few years, making accurate tax-return reporting more complex and difficult...

W-2 diagram! What will my W-2 show after the vesting of restricted stock? This is premium content

Restricted stock results in ordinary income to you. This occurs either at the time...

UPDATES! What tax statement will I receive from my broker after a sale of company stock I acquired by stock option exercise, restricted stock vesting, or ESPP purchase? This is premium content

You will need to gather certain information to complete your tax return. The broker will send you IRS Form 1099-B for the proceeds...

What is the difference between restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs)? This is premium content

While they are siblings, they have important differences, as explained below and as shown by the chart. The traits of restricted stock units include the following...

UPDATES! How have IRS Form 1099-B and cost-basis reporting changed for sales of stock acquired from my stock options, restricted stock, or ESPP? What do I need to do differently because of the changes?

If you sold shares during the calendar year, your brokerage firm will issue IRS Form 1099-B by mid-February of the following year. This is an important document that you must have to complete your tax return for the year of sale...

UPDATES! What if the wrong cost basis is reported on my 1099-B? How do I report the right cost basis on Form 8949 of my tax return? This is premium content

From our interpretation of the forms and their instructions, myStockOptions.com recommends the following reporting steps to avoid overpaying taxes...

Form 8949 and Sch. D diagrams! How do I report a sale of restricted stock on my federal income-tax return? This is premium content

You need to complete Form 8949 and Schedule D for the year when you sold your stock and file them with your Form 1040 federal income-tax return. You do this even if...

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