Do I owe tax if I use my ESPP to buy a house?

September 26, 2011

Date:   Wed, 24 Mar 2010
From:   Mick

I’m buying my first house.

I have $20,000 in an employee stock purchase plan. I bought the shares on 12/15/2008, 6/15/2009 and 12/15/2009.

I want to sell the stock and use it as a down payment on the house.

Do I still have to pay capital gains tax for the sale of the stock?

Regards, Mick


Date:   7 Apr 2010

Hello Mick,

Yes. There is no exclusion from income for the sale of ESPP shares when the proceeds are used to buy a residence.

Also, you will have disqualifying dispositions for the sales of your ESPP shares before meeting the holding period requirements.

You might want to consult with a tax advisor about what the tax results will be from the disposition, or get a copy of my book, Secrets of Tax Planning For Employee Stock Options, 2009 Edition at Check out this FAQ

Good luck!

Mike Gray

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