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Tax Season Content At Offers Clear Tax Return Help For People With Stock-Based Compensation

Updated for the latest changes in tax law, the tax-return content on can help people with stock compensation make sense of their tax returns and maximize their gains. Clear explanations and helpful diagrams show taxpayers how to avoid costly mistakes they cannot afford in an uncertain economy.

Brookline, MA, February 17, 2010 - For people with stock compensation (and their financial advisors), every tax season raises worries about making errors on tax returns that can lead to paying too much tax, penalties from the IRS, or even the ordeal of an IRS audit. In the current uncertain economy, the need to avoid expensive mistakes with tax returns has never been stronger.

The clear, concise, and easy-to-read content at can help. The website has all the answers on the filing and reporting of tax returns that involve stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock purchase plans. Core articles and FAQs spell out the most common mistakes people make with stock grants on their tax returns. Taxpayers and their advisors can quickly run through these to be sure they submit error-free returns. Annotated examples of Schedule D show exactly how to report sales of company stock. A fun, engaging podcast conveys key tips for tax returns, including errors to avoid.

"The tax reporting for stock compensation is complex," states Bruce Brumberg, Editor-in-Chief of "Even accountants and tax advisors sometimes make mistakes. Our goal is to help employees and their financial or tax advisors realize the full potential of equity grants by educating them about tax rules and helping them prevent costly errors. The last thing taxpayers want, especially now, is to pay too much tax or incur IRS penalties that take yet more money out of their pockets."

More Than Just The Basics

The content on tax topics covers more than just the nuts and bolts of reporting and filing. The website's award-winning content covers the full range of tax topics that stock grant holders may need to be familiar with. These topics include:

  • stock compensation issues that draw IRS scrutiny
  • the effect of stock compensation on eligibility to receive the Making Work Pay Credit
  • key changes in the income exemption amounts for calculating the alternative minimum tax
  • revised rules for using old AMT credits to help taxpayers stuck with ISO stock whose value has dropped
  • the complexity of estimated taxes
  • netting capital gains and losses with company stock
  • the impact of the deferred compensation provisions in IRC Section 409A

Tax Center Makes Sense Of Reporting On Form W-2 And Schedule D

The hub of tax coverage on is the Tax Center. This part of the site includes FAQs that explain the reporting of stock compensation that employees receive on Form W-2. With clear annotations on the real IRS form, other FAQs show exactly how to report sales of company stock on Schedule D of Form 1040 (see the section Reporting Company Stock Sales).

"Employees understand concepts much better using the straightforward illustrations provided by," says one stock plan manager whose company has licensed the Tax Center to help its employees. "They find the tax information and annotated tax forms extremely helpful in simplifying the tax filing for stock trades. They are thrilled that this makes tax time easy." (For information on corporate services, see the relevant section below.)

Clear Answers For All Types Of Stock Grants

Using concise explanations and easy-to-follow annotated diagrams of the actual IRS form, detailed FAQs show employees, accountants, and tax advisors how to complete Schedule D ("Capital Gains and Losses") for a variety of situations involving sales of stock from:

  • nonqualified stock options (NQSOs)
  • incentive stock options (ISOs)
  • restricted stock
  • restricted stock units (RSUs)
  • performance shares
  • employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs)
  • stock appreciation rights (SARs)

These diagrams occur in the section Reporting Company Stock Sales, which answers a wide variety of questions, from basic to complex. Advanced reporting situations, all fully illustrated, include:

  • Can stock grant income affect my eligibility for the Making Work Pay Credit in 2009 and 2010?

  • I exercised NQSOs, held the stock, and now have long-term capital gains on the sale. Do I get any "credit" on my tax return for the income tax I paid for the spread at exercise?

  • How am I taxed if I have made a disqualifying disposition of incentive stock option (ISO) shares in a different year than the year I exercised the option?

  • When I hold restricted stock and performance shares after vesting and later have capital gains on the sale, will I get any "credit" for the income tax I paid at vesting?

  • When my restricted stock units vested, my company automatically withheld shares to cover the tax. Do I need to report these shares on my Schedule D?

  • My company's employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) is not tax-qualified under Section 423 of the Internal Revenue Code. How do I report any gain that results from the sale of my ESPP shares on my federal income-tax return?

  • How do I report any gain that results from the sale of my stock appreciation rights (SARs) shares on my federal income-tax return?

The answers to these questions are presented in plain English and clearly illustrated. In an additional benefit for subscribers, all Premium and Pro Members can contact the experts at if they have complex questions not answered on the site.

Pro Membership Gives Advisors A Crucial Edge During Tax Season Pro is a special membership for financial advisors, CPAs, and other professionals who have clients with stock compensation. MSO Pro gives advisors full access to the whole website and special features in the tools, where they can track and model stock grants for up to 25 separate clients. Access to the vast library of content at puts answers to tough client questions right at advisors' fingertips. For more information, visit, email, or call 617-734-1979.

Corporate Licensing Available

All the content on is ideally suited for licensing by companies and stock plan providers for their stock plan participants. A customized version of the website's award-winning content can be seamlessly woven into companies' HR, benefits, and/or compensation portals. Accessible through any internet browser, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, licensed content from lets stock plan participants answer their own questions about their stock grants whenever they need to learn more—saving time for the stock plan staff and costs for the company. For more information, visit, email, or call 617-734-1979.


With exclusive articles, 750+ FAQs, the Tax Center, Global Tax Guide, an extensive glossary, and interactive tools, is the premier online resource of educational content, tools, and self-study courses on stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock purchase plans. is written and managed by leading experts in equity compensation, and is produced by a company with a long history of successful publications explaining complex legal and financial subjects in plain English.

The influential consumer magazine PC World ranks among "the most useful sites ever" that "deliver top-notch information, support, and services." The accounting journal CPA Wealth Provider selected among companies "that have taken the lead through innovation, efficiency, initiative, or growth in the financial-planning area." The Specialized Information Publishers' Foundation honored MSO Pro with one of its Editorial Excellence Awards in the category of Best Interactive Content among niche publishers. The innovative Comparison Modeling Tool on is now patented. has also received extensive favorable coverage in major publications, including BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe, and on CNN, National Public Radio, PBS,, and

For more information, please contact Bruce Brumberg and Matt Simon at or 617-734-1979.

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