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Alert (Jan. 21, 2015): Tax-Return Season 2015

This alert summarizes recent noteworthy additions and updates at myStockOptions.com, including crucial updates for the 2015 tax-return season. Along with the items below, you can also see a full list of the additions and updates that we made at myStockOptions.com during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Making Sense Of Form W-2, Form 3922 (ESPPs), And Form 3921 (ISOs)

January is the season of Form W-2. In our Tax Center, we have a section that conveniently gathers our popular annotated diagrams of Form W-2. These can help you make sense of your W-2 when it includes income you received from options, restricted stock/RSUs, SARs, or employee stock purchase plans. Additionally, if you purchased shares through an ESPP during the year, you will receive Form 3922, and if you exercised ISOs last year, you will be getting Form 3921. Employers also issue these forms in January. To help you understand these documents, we have an article and an FAQ with annotated diagrams of Form 3922, along with an article and FAQ giving similar attention to Form 3921.


Changes To IRS Form 1099-B Add To Cost-Basis Confusion On Tax Returns Involving Stock Compensation

After you sell company stock during a calendar year, your brokerage firm issues IRS Form 1099-B early in the following year. You need the information on the form to complete your tax return for the year of sale. Special issues with Form 1099-B arise in the way it reports the cost basis of sold shares acquired from stock compensation. For the 2014 tax year, the IRS recently changed Form 1099-B, adding to the potential confusion about cost-basis reporting during the upcoming tax-return season. To learn about the changes and how to avoid costly mistakes on your tax return, see our newly updated FAQ and article on this complex topic.


Fully Updated Tax Center Features Annotated Diagrams Of Form 8949 And Schedule D To Help With Stock-Sale Reporting

When you are ready to tackle your IRS tax return for 2015, our content will be ready to help. We have already fully updated our popular FAQs with annotated diagrams of Form 8949 and Schedule D, which you must file with your Form 1040 tax return if you sold stock last year. Our FAQs and their easy-to-read diagrams show you exactly how to report sales of shares acquired from NQSOs, ISOs, restricted stock/RSUs or performance share grants, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock purchase plans. Some important changes in IRS Form 1099-B (see prior section) as well as in Form 8949 will make this year's tax-return reporting crucially different than before.


The Biggest Equity Comp Mistakes To Avoid On Tax Returns

We have updated and expanded our popular series of "biggest mistakes" tax-return FAQs in the Tax Center at myStockOptions.com. These provide trenchant insights to help you avoid expensive errors and unwanted IRS attention when filing a tax return that involves equity compensation or an ESPP.

The Tax Center also includes articles about ways to avoid overpaying taxes on stock compensation, one for stock options and ESPPs and another for restricted stock and RSUs.


Engaging New Video On Employee Stock Purchase Plans

Several lively videos at myStockOptions.com serve as gateways into our educational resources. Our newest addition is on employee stock purchase plans:

  • Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPPs): Key Rules And Decisions (2:53) clearly explains the important requirements you must know and the key choices you will have to make when you participate in an employee stock purchase plan (ESPP). Topics include ESPP features and the related basic financial-planning concepts.

Another ESPP video at myStockOptions.com covers other basic topics: Employee Stock Purchase Plans: Core Concepts & Benefits (3:35). Meanwhile, we also have two videos on restricted stock and RSUs:

As with all of our educational content and tools, the videos can be licensed and customized by your company.


New Stock Compensation Glossary App For iPhone And iPad

Now you can take a piece of our expertise wherever you go with our new free iPhone and iPad app: Stock Compensation Glossary, available from The App Store and iTunes. Based on the popular glossary at myStockOptions.com, this handy, searchable reference guide defines almost 1,000 terms in the areas of equity compensation and executive compensation, along with the related taxation, corporate accounting, and securities law. It even features a fun interactive quiz game to test your knowledge of equity comp vocab.