Can I avoid reporting income by not exercising my stock options?

January 22, 2003

Date:   Sun, 01 Dec 2002
From:   Pinkesh

Hello Michael,

I have quite a few ISO options which had a vesting schedule, but in the event of a merger, all of them have 100% vested by the end of December 3rd.

For options valued more than 100,000 (not the difference in the fair market value and today’s price, just the face value of the stocks), they have converted the remainder of the stocks into Non Qualified Options.

I don’t want to have a taxable event in 2002 as its a high income year for me already. Can I just do nothing and roll over the ISO and NSO to next year without taking a taxable event this year?



Date:   Fri, 03 Jan 2003

Hello Pinkesh,

Unless there is some requirement by your company relating to the merger that the options must be exercised, it should be OK to exercise them after 2002 and delay reporting the related income for regular tax and alternative minimum tax.

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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