Tax Season Content At myStockOptions.com Offers Crucial Tax Return Guidance For People With Stock-Based Compensation

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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. The clear, concise, and easy-to-read content at myStockOptions.com can help. The website has updated and expanded its guidance 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, including diagrams of IRS forms, spell out the most common mistakes people make with stock grants on their tax returns. Annotated illustrations 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.

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. With heightened IRS scrutiny of tax reporting, the need to avoid expensive mistakes with tax returns has never been stronger.

The clear, concise, and easy-to-read content at myStockOptions.com can help. The website has updated and expanded its guidance 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, including diagrams of IRS forms, spell out the most common mistakes people make with stock grants on their tax returns. Annotated illustrations 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 myStockOptions.com. "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
  • interpreting Form W-2 for accurate tax-return reporting
  • understanding the new IRS Form 3922 for ESPPs and Form 3921 for ISOs
  • 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 with stock compensation
  • netting capital gains and losses with company stock
  • the impact of the deferred compensation provisions in IRC Section 409A
  • tax law changes made by the Tax Relief Act of 2010

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

The hub of tax coverage on myStockOptions.com 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 on myStockOptions.com).

"Employees understand concepts much better using the straightforward illustrations provided by myStockOptions.com," 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.)

New Content Demystifies IRS Forms 3922 And 3921

A new set of content explains IRS Form 3922 for employee stock purchase plans and IRS Form 3921 for incentive stock options. With annotated examples of the forms that translate IRS jargon into understandable language, these articles and FAQs clarify what taxpayers need to understand about the information provided by the forms, which can help them better understand the complexities of ESPP or ISO taxation.

While the forms are not needed for tax-return reporting, they give the IRS new tools for catching expensive errors on the tax returns of people who sold ESPP or ISO stock. "Forms 3922 and 3921 ensure that the IRS will have more information about ESPP and ISO stock than it had before," warns Mr. Brumberg. "This means the IRS will be better equipped to catch reporting mistakes, making accurate and timely tax return reporting now even more important."

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:

  • 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 are clearly illustrated. In an additional benefit for subscribers, all Premium and Pro Members can contact the experts at myStockOptions.com if they have complex questions not answered by the website.

Pro Membership Gives Advisors A Crucial Edge During Tax Season

myStockOptions.com 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 myStockOptions.com puts answers to tough client questions right at advisors' fingertips. For more information, visit myStockOptions.com or call 617-734-1979.

Corporate Licensing Available

All the content on myStockOptions.com 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 myStockOptions.com 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 myStockOptions.com or call 617-734-1979.

About myStockOptions.com

With exclusive articles, 750+ FAQs, the Tax Center, Global Tax Guide, an extensive glossary, and interactive tools, myStockOptions.com 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. myStockOptions.com 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 myStockOptions.com among "the most useful sites ever" that "deliver top-notch information, support, and services." The accounting journal CPA Wealth Provider selected myStockOptions.com 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 myStockOptions.com is now patented.

myStockOptions.com 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, Money.com, and MarketWatch.com.

myStockPlan.com, the publisher of myStockOptions.com, has also launched a new website: myNQDC.com, the only online educational resource devoted exclusively to nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC). With clear writing and independent, unbiased expertise, myNQDC provides education about the financial planning, taxation, risk, and legal issues surrounding nonqualified deferred compensation and encourages participants to fully understand these topics and maximize the value of their plans. With tax rates likely to rise in the future, the tax-deferral advantages of NQDC will make these plans increasingly popular.

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

http://www.mystockoptions.com

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BRUCE BRUMBERG

MATT SIMON
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