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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.


ISOs

Incentive stock options carry great potential tax benefits, but their taxation can be complex, especially when the alternative minimum tax comes into play. Browse an overview of this section below, or explore the subtopics to the left. See also the ISO sections of the Tax Center.

Test Your Knowledge Test and improve your knowledge with our NEW! ISOs quiz and its study guide in the answer key.

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

Listen to our podcast on the basics of stock options, or watch our videos on core concepts and ISO taxes.


  Articles   FAQs  

Incentive Stock Options: What You Must Know To Make The Most Of ISOs And Avoid Costly Mistakes This is premium content

The myStockOptions Editorial Team
NEW! Incentive stock options (ISOs) are potentially quite valuable. However, they are more rule-bound, complex, and risky than nonqualified stock options (NQSOs). In fact, mistakes with ISOs can be quite costly. This article explains the essential facts of ISOs that you must know at the time of grant, before you exercise the options, and when you sell the shares.

Stock Options 101: The Essentials

Matt Simon
Your company has granted you stock options. Now what? This article explains the essential facts that you must know to understand your stock options and make the most of them.

Stock Option Fundamentals (Part 5): Incentive Stock Option Taxation & Alternative Minimum Tax This is premium content

Marilyn Renninger
Learn how and when income from ISOs is subject to taxes, including the alternative minimum tax. You must consider taxes at both exercise and sale to put together an optimal strategy.

VIDEO! Employee Stock Options: Core Aspects To Know

Bruce Brumberg
With expert insights from the editor-in-chief of myStockOptions.com, this video covers the essential aspects of employee stock options that you must know to make the most of them, including the key concepts of vesting, exercise, and the option term. Running time: 4:12.

12 Tax-Return Mistakes To Avoid With Stock Options And ESPPs This is premium content

Bruce Brumberg and Lynnette Khalfani
UPDATES! The 2016 tax season has the potential to be confusing if you sold stock last year. 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 stock options and ESPPs.

VIDEO! Incentive Stock Options (ISOs): Taxes

Bruce Brumberg
To make the most of incentive stock options (ISOs), you must understand their tax fundamentals, explained by the editor-in-chief of myStockOptions.com in this engaging video.

Getting The Most From Your Stock Options This is premium content

William Baldwin
Podcast included! Stock options are a major element of your long-term incentive compensation, offering tremendous potential to accumulate personal wealth. Given your stock options' complexity, it’s essential to develop a strategy to realize their full potential.

ISOs: Tax-Return Tips And Traps This is premium content

myStockOptions Editorial Team & Contributors
Tax reporting with incentive stock options (ISOs) can be tricky. Learn what you need to report on your return at each stage of your ISO's life cycle.

The Alternative Minimum Tax Sweet Spot: Planning Opportunities This is premium content

Tom Davison and William Whitaker
"My income is around half a million dollars, and I'm paying the alternative minimum tax. It's annoying, and I feel trapped. Now what?" Surprisingly, the best move may be to increase income, and pay even more alternative minimum tax! Find out why by reading this intriguing article.

Stock Option Fundamentals (Part 3): Income Taxes And Withholding This is premium content

Marilyn Renninger
Here's some advice for financial fitness: take stock of taxes before you exercise! When and how you exercise your stock options can have a major impact on how much tax and which taxes you'll pay.

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What are the top 10 questions I should ask about my stock options?

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

How will my broker know which shares to sell? Should I identify them in some way? This is premium content

If you have more than one batch of company stock, you are responsible for providing your broker with enough information to identify which shares to sell. If you do not specify...

How do I use stock that I own to exercise an option in a stock swap? What is the tax treatment? This is premium content

A "stock swap" or "stock for stock" exercise is a stock option exercise in which the exercise price is paid with shares of company stock you own...

I have moved from one state to another. What happens with the taxes on my stock options if I live in different states during the period between grant and exercise? This is premium content

Generally, each state you live in determines what income is taxable and when. For administrative ease, many companies...

What are the biggest mistakes related to stock options 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...

UPDATES! What are some major issues to be aware of when reporting stock sales on my tax return? Why have these issues arisen?

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...

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

Form 1099-B or the equivalent substitute statement is necessary for the accurate completion of your tax return....

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...

In the cost basis I use to report sales of company stock on my tax return, what part comprises the W-2 income from stock compensation or an ESPP? This is premium content

When your W-2 income is added to the price you paid for the stock, this is your cost basis on your tax return. The table below presents the compensation portion of your tax basis for all types of stock grants and ESPPs...

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...

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