Tax Center

Tax Center

As featured in PLANSPONSOR, Accounting Today, and CPA Practice Advisor, the myStockOptions Tax Center explains the tax withholding, reporting, and filing for stock options, restricted stock/RSUs, performance shares, ESPPs, and SARs.

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

Selected Articles

NQSO Tax Returns

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

Tax returns involving income from stock options or employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) can be confusing. Recent changes in IRS reporting rules haven't helped. This article explains errors and nasty surprises to avoid.
Restricted Stock Tax Returns

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

Restricted stock, restricted stock units (RSUs), and performance shares bring their own very special issues to tax returns. The potential for mistakes has been increased by recent IRS changes in reporting rules. This article presents tips for sidestepping tricky common pitfalls that can even fool professional tax-return preparers.
ESPP Basics

VIDEO! Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPPs): Taxes

To maximize the benefits of your employee stock purchase plan (ESPP), you must understand the five key tax rules explained in this video. Illustrated by animated examples, the covered concepts include the special rules that depend on how long you hold the shares. Running time: 4:24
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ESPP Basics

ESPPs 101: Taxation Made Simple (Part 1)

Your employee stock purchase plan may be one of the best benefits offered by your company. However, to appreciate the advantages of enrolling in the ESPP you must understand the tax consequences of participation. This article series explains the tax basics.
NQSO Basics

VIDEO! Employee Stock Options: NQSO Taxation

To make the most of nonqualified stock options (NQSOs), you must understand their taxation. Learn the tax basics of NQSOs in this video, which features clear and concise explanations by the editor-in-chief of myStockOptions.com. Running time: 2:58.
Tax Changes

4 Ways Biden's Tax Proposals Could Affect Stock Comp Financial Planning

Could President Biden's proposed tax changes impact the piggy banks of employees with stock comp and company shares? Yes, depending on income. Some of the proposed tax hikes, such as an increase in the top capital gains rate, may require you to adjust your financial and tax planning ahead of time.
This is simply a selection of the many articles in this section.
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Selected FAQs

NQSO Basics

Do you have a brief overview of the tax treatment for stock options, restricted stock, RSUs, and ESPPs? This is premium content

The table in this FAQ shows 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...
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...
NQSO Basics

When are nonqualified stock options taxed?

You are taxed when you exercise nonqualified stock options and thus acquire the underlying shares of your company's stock. The difference between the market price of the stock at exercise and your exercise price is...
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ESPP Basics

How am I taxed if I participate in a tax-qualified (Section 423) employee stock purchase plan?

You are taxed only at sale, not when the shares are purchased. However, the rules for ESPP taxation are more confusing...
NQSO Basics

What happens with taxes on stock options if I live or work 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 is capital gain and capital loss? What are the tax rates on capital gains?

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 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...
ESPP Basics

How am I taxed if I participate in a nonqualified employee stock purchase plan?

"Not qualified" means that your company's employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) does not meet the requirements under Section 423 of the Internal Revenue Code. Its mechanics and procedures may be the same as a tax-qualified ESPP, but the favorable tax treatment does not...
Restricted Stock Basics

Can I control when I will be taxed on restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs)? This is premium content

Not as you can with stock option exercises. With restricted stock, you are taxed either...
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.
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