Are my options still ISOs if I no longer work for the company?

January 16, 2004

Subject:   ISO question
Date:   Sat, 13 Dec 2003
From:   Dave


Very informative site.

I was granted ISO’s in a publicly traded company, and I was allowed to keep my options upon leaving the company two years ago. I recently exercised the options and sold them in a “cashless” same day sale. My question is, are those options still considered ISO’s (for tax purposes) since I am no longer an employee? Can I offset the profit from this sale against capital losses?


Date:   Wed, 07 Jan 2004

Hello Dave,

The options were no longer ISOs. In order to qualify as an ISO, the option holder must have been an employee of either the corporation granting the option, a parent or subsidiary corporation of the granting corporation, or a qualifying predecessor corporation during the period beginning on the grant date and ending the day 3 months before the date of exercise. (IRC § 422()(2).)

The income from the exercise of the option is ordinary income, not eligible for offset by more than $3,000 of other capital losses.

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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