When companies want to compensate employees beyond salaries and bonuses, they often grant incentives like stock options and restricted shares. Stock options give employees the right to buy the company's stock at a preset strike price. The value of a stock option is the current price of the stock less the incentive strike price.
Restricted shares are shares of the company stock that vest to an employee over time. They are restricted in the sense that an employee cannot sell them until the shares vest. Stock options provide the possibility of a big payoff if the stock price soars.
This means employees only owe taxes when they stock the stock received after the options are exercised. Receiving or exercising statutory rsu does not create a taxable event, only the subsequent stock sale triggers a liability.
If an employee owned the options for at least two years or held the shares for at least 12 months following option exercise, the profit is subject to favorable long-term capital gains treatment. Shorter holding periods will result in ordinary income, taxed at the normal marginal rate. Options options are risky -- incentive the underlying stock never pierces the strike price, the options remain worthless. Restricted shares have, when stock, the same value as normal shares trading on the stock market.
Restricted shares cost employees nothing, and receiving them is not a taxable event. Employees are taxed as the shares vest. When a share is vested, the employee must note the share value on the vesting date and pay taxes on that amount as ordinary income. Any dividends received on restricted shares are taxable at ordinary rates, whether vested or not. Within 30 days of receiving restricted shares, an employee can elect Section 83b tax treatment. Under this scenario, employees pay ordinary taxes on the shares when they are granted, calculated using the share price on the grant date.
There are two benefits: The downsides are that if the stock never appreciates, the employee paid earlier taxes without benefit, and if, for some reason, the shares incentive to be forfeited after 83b election, the tax paid stock be recovered. Based in Chicago, Eric Bank has been writing business-related articles sinceand science articles since His articles have appeared in "PC Magazine" and on numerous websites. He holds a B.
He also holds an M. Each week, Zack's e-newsletter will address topics such as rsu, savings, loans, mortgages, tax and investment strategies, and more. At the center of everything we do is a strong commitment to independent research and sharing its profitable discoveries with investors.
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More Articles Stock Grants Vs. Stock Options What Happens When I Don't Tender My Shares? RSUs The Impact of Transfer Restrictions on Stock Prices How Do I Give Up Convertible Stock Options? What Happens to Stock Option Prices When the Rsu Price Increase? Stock Options Stock options provide the possibility of a big payoff if the stock price soars. Restricted Shares Restricted shares have, when vested, the same value as incentive shares trading on the stock market.
Section 83b Election Within 30 days of receiving restricted shares, an employee can elect Section 83b tax treatment. References 3 USA Today: Rsu Case of Options Vs.
Reward IRS Publication Fairmark. Options 3 Getting Started In Employee Stock Options; John Olagues, John F. Summa Consider Your Options: Get the Most from Your Equity Compensation; Kaye A. Thomas he Compensation Handbook; Lance Berger, Dorothy Berger. About the Author Based in Chicago, Eric Bank has been writing business-related articles sinceand science articles since What Is a Typical Stop Loss Percentage options Options?
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Money Sense E-newsletter Each week, Zack's e-newsletter will address topics such as retirement, savings, loans, mortgages, tax and investment strategies, and more. Editor's Picks Effects of Stock Pinning on Option Prices Is the Call Option Price Affected by a Rise in Strike Price?
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