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Alert: Tax Law Changes, Market Volatility, & Underwater Options (October 17, 2008)

October 17, 2008 - The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, containing the famous $700 billion rescue package for troubled banks caught in the credit crisis, also included provisions on the alternative minimum tax (AMT) that apply to many people who have incentive stock options (ISOs), AMT credits, or unpaid ISO-related AMT bills. In the relevant content on, we explain:

  • the new AMT income exemption amounts for tax year 2008 ($46,200 for single filers and $69,950 for married joint filers)
  • their role in the AMT calculation for those who may have to face AMT on their 2008 tax returns
  • the new provisions for unused long-term AMT credits to get a bigger tax refund easier and quicker
  • the new tax abatement for unpaid past ISO-related AMT
The FAQs linked to here are all available free with registration. See also the entire sections ISOs: AMT and ISOs: AMT Advanced.

Keep Your Head Above Water, Even If Your Stock Options Aren't has engaging content on the issues surrounding underwater stock options, market turbulence, and falling stock prices, as well as fully updated content on year-end planning specific to 2008. In Basics: Underwater Options, the articles and FAQs

  • help you understand underwater stock options
  • explain needs for diversification
  • discuss moves companies sometimes make to help employees with underwater options
  • warn about tax mistakes with underwater options
  • explore financial planning for when stock prices rise again
In a vividly titled article (Stomach Volatility In Your Company's Stock Without Losing Your Mind), experts help you cope with market madness by offering lessons from past downturns and giving a few healthy hints for staying optimistic.