How is an ISO loss treated on tax returns?

June 5, 2002

Subject:   ISO question
Date:   Mon, 10 Dec 2001
From:   Elizabeth

We have a client that is contemplating selling his stock options. They were granted, on 4/1/01, at a per share price of $6.3958 and exercised, on 4/16/01, at a per share price of $6.40. The stock price as of this morning was $0.54. How is this huge loss to be treated on his tax return? I have looked at Code Section 422 a dozen times and cannot figure out how to classify the loss. I understand that this is a disqualifying disposition but haven’t been able to find, in English, how this will effect my client. Thank you for any help that you may be able to provide.




Date:   26 Dec 2001

Hello Elizabeth,

Your client should sell his or her stock IMMEDIATELY (before December 31, 2001)

Under Section 422(c)(2) and Section 56(b)(3), the ordinary income can be limited to the excess of the selling price of the stock over the option price for regular and AMT reporting, provided the sale is made before the end of the year of exercise.

Good luck!

Mike Gray

For more information about incentive stock options, request our free report, Incentive Stock Options – Executive Tax and Financial Planning Strategies.

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