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As featured in WebCPA and Plansponsor, our Tax Center teaches the withholding, reporting, and filing rules for stock options, restricted stock/RSUs, ESPPs, and SARs. Browse a section overview below, or explore the subtopics to the left.

Want to know more? Listen to our podcast on tax return tips and how to avoid reporting mistakes!

Check out our podcast and video on the tax forms and reporting rules for stock sales.

Selected Articles

Restricted Stock: W-2s & Tax Returns

Restricted Stock & RSUs: 10 Tax-Return Mistakes To Avoid This is premium content

UPDATES! The 2017 tax season has the potential to be confusing if you sold stock in 2016. This article explains common errors to avoid when reporting stock sales on your tax return and provides helpful guidance on other tax topics involving restricted stock and RSUs.
NQSOs: W-2s & Tax Returns

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

UPDATES! The 2017 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.
Restricted Stock: W-2s & Tax Returns

VIDEO! Tax-Return Reporting Of Company Stock Sales: How To Avoid Overpaying Taxes

Learn the rules for reporting stock sales on your tax return, along with costly errors to avoid if the shares you sold came from stock options, restricted stock/RSUs, stock appreciation rights, or an employee stock purchase plan. Among other issues, you must understand your "cost basis" to avoid overpaying your taxes. Running time: 8:05.
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Tax Changes 2003–2017

NEW! How The Trump Presidency And Tax Reform May Affect Stock Compensation

Potential tax changes under the Republican president and the Republican-controlled Congress in 2017 or 2018 may have a meaningful impact on stock compensation and employee ownership.
Restricted Stock Basics

VIDEO! Restricted Stock & RSUs (Part 2): Taxes And Related Key Decisions

Presented by the editor-in-chief of myStockOptions.com, this engaging video covers the basic tax treatment of restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs), including the tax rates, the timing of taxation, and withholding. Running time: 3:57
Restricted Stock Basics

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

The taxation of RSUs generally resembles that of restricted stock but carries some important differences.
This is simply a selection of the many articles in this section.
Use the navigation to the left to explore all of the categories in this section.

Selected FAQs

Restricted Stock Basics

Do you have a chart that compares the tax treatment of stock options, restricted stock, RSUs, and ESPPs? This is premium content

gives the types of taxes, when they are triggered, and the tax withholding (if any) for various forms of equity compensation granted in the United States. For details, examples, and illustrations...
Tax Changes 2003–2017

What's new for tax-return season?

Here's a quick take on issues to be aware of when preparing your federal tax return...
NQSOs: W-2s & Tax Returns

What are the top 10 questions I should ask about the reporting of stock sales on my tax return?

This FAQ presents 10 questions you should ask to be sure that you report your stock sales accurately and avoid costly mistakes that attract the attention of the IRS...
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Restricted Stock Basics

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...
Restricted Stock Basics

UPDATES! I have moved from one state to another. What happens with the taxes on restricted stock or RSUs if I live in different states during the period between grant and vesting? This is premium content

There is no simple answer to questions involving the taxation of mobile employees. Generally, each state you live in determines what income is taxable and when. For administrative ease, many companies...
NQSO Basics

UPDATES! 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...
NQSO Basics

What are capital gains and capital losses? What are the capital gains tax rates?

Capital gain is income that arises from the sale of a capital asset. Gain from the sale of securities held for investment, such as shares acquired from stock compensation...
NQSO Basics

How is capital gain calculated?

The amount of your capital gain is the difference between your sales price and your tax basis in the stock. However, with stock from equity compensation, your tax basis can be harder to determine. It is...
ESPP Basics

What are the eventual tax consequences of participating in a tax-qualified Section 423 employee stock purchase plan (ESPP)?

The rules of ESPP taxation are more confusing than those of stock options and restricted stock. You are not taxed when the shares are purchased: only at...
ESPP Basics

What is an ESPP disqualifying disposition, what can cause it, and why does my company care? This is premium content

A disqualifying disposition occurs when you sell or otherwise...
This is simply a selection of the many FAQs in this section.
Use the navigation to the left to explore all of the categories in this section.