Restricted Stock
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Restricted Stock - Restricted Stock Units

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

Restricted stock units (RSUs) are now the most commonly granted type of equity award. This article presents what you need to know about RSUs and includes a video on key aspects of both RSUs and their sibling restricted stock.

Sell Or Hold RSU Shares At Vesting? 3 Approaches To Consider This is premium content

When your restricted stock units (RSUs) vest, you have a lot of wealth tied up in one stock. How many of your RSU shares should you sell? How many should you hold? This article presents ways to approach your best answer to those key financial-planning questions.

Financial Planning With Restricted Stock Units: 3 Key Questions This is premium content

If you own restricted stock units (RSUs), you need to plan for what you will do when the shares vest. Whether you hold or sell, being prepared will help you be proactive instead of reactive and make the most of the opportunity RSU grants provide.
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VIDEO! Restricted Stock & RSUs (Part 1): Key Aspects To Know

Presented by the editor-in-chief of, 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

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

Video included! The taxation of RSUs generally resembles that of restricted stock but carries some important differences.

How Amazon, Apple, Google Adapted Their RSU Grants To Help Retain Top Talent This is premium content

Hiring competition, the Great Resignation, and market volatility are prompting changes in longstanding stock comp practices for key performers at big, established tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Google.

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

Podcast and video included! 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.

How To Defer Taxes On Restricted Stock Units This is premium content

Grants of restricted stock units (RSUs) can be structured to include a feature that lets you elect to defer the delivery of the shares at vesting and therefore also the taxes on the income recognized. This article explains how deferral features work in RSU plans and what you need to know before you elect to defer.

What To Do With Your Just-Vested Shares After Your Company's Stock Price Drops This is premium content

When markets are on a wild ride, stock volatility can rattle anyone's financial plan for equity comp and company shares. What should you do with shares acquired from equity awards now? Should you change your strategy or ride it out? This article provides a financial planner's insights.

VIDEO! Restricted Stock & RSUs (Part 2): Taxes & Key Decisions After Tax Reform

Presented by the editor-in-chief of, this engaging video covers the tax treatment of restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs), including the tax rates, the timing of taxation, withholding, and the key points you must know after tax reform. Running time: 3:37

Restricted Stock Units After An Acquisition: Know What Could Happen This is premium content

Podcast included! When a company is merging or being acquired, many employees are left wondering what will happen to their unvested RSUs. While the outcomes for holders of unvested RSUs and current equity holders will depend on the terms of the M&A deal, if your company is being acquired there are a few things you should know about your restricted stock units and what may happen.

Stockbrokers' Secrets: Restricted Stock And Performance Shares This is premium content

Many companies have turned away from stock options and begun to make outright stock grants that must vest before the shares can be issued. For employees, these grants have added a new layer of complexity to their equity compensation. This article presents six questions I get all the time from clients who have received restricted stock, restricted stock units, or performance shares.


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

You should know the answers to the questions in this FAQ's checklist and be familiar with the topics presented in the related video. Understanding these will help you make the most of your restricted stock/RSU grant and prevent costly mistakes...

What are restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs), and how do they differ?

While restricted stock and RSUs are siblings, they have important differences, as explained by this FAQ, which includes a quick-reference table clearly presenting the comparison...

Does this website's content on restricted stock also apply to restricted stock units (RSUs)?

Generally, yes, with two exceptions. First, with RSUs you cannot...
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Video included! When and how is a grant of restricted stock or RSUs taxed?

The timing of taxation is different than that of stock options. You pay tax at the time the restrictions on the stock lapse. This occurs when...

Do I get dividends with restricted stock units? How are they taxed? This is premium content

When a company pays dividends on outstanding shares of stock, it can choose...

Why do many companies grant restricted stock and RSUs instead of stock options? This is premium content

The compensation philosophies of companies are continually changing under the influence of many factors, from accounting rules to...

Which do companies grant more often: restricted stock or restricted stock units (RSUs)? This is premium content

Starting with broad grants of RSUs at Microsoft and Amazon, recent corporate practices and survey data suggest it is more likely that your company will grant you...

How do companies decide whether to grant restricted stock or RSUs? What are the features that matter to them? This is premium content

The differences between restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs) are significant enough to usually make one type of grant preferable to the other in a company's equity compensation strategy. The table below summarizes the reasons why. A more detailed discussion follows...

Why do companies shift from granting stock options to granting restricted stock units, and then sometimes back again to granting at least some stock options? This is premium content

Surveys indicate that many companies use a variety of grants, including both stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs) in tandem. There are many possible reasons why a company might switch from options to RSUs...

With restricted stock units and performance shares, can I defer the delivery of the shares at vesting? How is this taxed? This is premium content

The ability to delay the delivery of RSU shares (and thus ordinary income taxes) at vesting depends on whether your company has a provision for this in its stock plan. The deferral needs to be structured correctly, as otherwise it can lead to tax penalties. Deferral is not...

My stock will be "released" or "delivered" at vesting. What does that mean? This is premium content

"Releasing" restricted stock is the process by which your company transfers or "frees" shares to you when...

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...

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

You need to complete Form 8949 and Schedule D for the year of your stock sale and file them with your IRS Form 1040 tax return. You must...

Video included! How does the taxation of restricted stock and restricted stock units differ? This is premium content

Technically, different tax code sections apply, though under most grants the tax results are similar. With restricted stock you are taxed at vesting or earlier at grant if you make a timely Section 83(b) election. Most experts believe that with RSUs you cannot make...

What is a lapse election, and why do I need to make it before the restricted stock or restricted stock units vest? This is premium content

The "lapse" is the end of the restriction that prevented the shares from vesting and being transferred to you. The lapse election is the method by which you choose withholding methods and what will be done with the...

I am eligible for vesting acceleration at retirement but have not actually retired, so why has my restricted stock been taxed? Is the treatment different for RSUs? This is premium content

These retirement-eligibility provisions raise tax complications for both restricted stock and RSU grants, though the issues vary. For tax purposes it does not matter that you must actually retire to vest the shares. With restricted stock, taxation is triggered when the grant is...

Is the payout of restricted stock units ever delayed when vesting is accelerated? This is premium content

A delay in RSU payout can occur. This depends on the reason for the acceleration, whether you are ending your employment with the company, and your position in the company...

If my company declares bankruptcy, do I have any special rights in my restricted stock or RSUs?

While restricted stock or RSUs still have value even when a company's stock price is lower than the grant price (stock options would be underwater), any type of equity grant can be worthless if a company goes bankrupt. That is one of the many lessons of...

With restricted stock units (RSUs), can I make a Section 83(b) election to be taxed at grant instead of share delivery? This is premium content

Restricted stock follows the tax rules under Section 83 of the Internal Revenue Code, while RSUs are taxed under Section 451 upon the actual or constructive receipt of the shares...

Can my company convert restricted stock into restricted stock units? This is premium content

Section 409A on nonqualified deferred compensation has created uncertainty...

As a director, can I elect to take part of my retainer as deferred stock units? This is premium content

Receiving deferred stock units, or RSUs that let you delay the delivery of shares (and thus taxes) at vesting, depends on...

When and how do senior executives file Form 4 for restricted stock, restricted stock units, and performance shares? This is premium content

Within two business days of any grant, you file Form 4 electronically under the SEC's Section 16 rules. However, while the filing rules for these grants are similar, there are some important differences...

Is my company's tax deduction limited for the value of my restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, or stock options if my compensation exceeds $1 million? This is premium content

Section 162(m) of the tax code limits a public company's deduction for each "covered employee" in the year of income recognition to $1 million. In 2018, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminated...
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