What happens to my options if the company goes bankrupt?

June 4, 2003

Subject: Question
Date: Thu, 8 May 2003
From: Anonymous

Say that your total compensation from a privately-held company is $125,000, of which $100,000 is paid in cash and $25,000 is paid in non-qualified stock options.

The options are granted at 50% of the established FMV of the common stock. The FMV at exercise is $8 and the option price is $4. An option is granted for 6,250 shares to arrive at $25,000.

If the company goes bankrupt and ceases to exist, can the individual claim a $25,000 loss? Can it be a long-term capital loss if the options have been held more than one year?


Date: 30 May 2003


I don’t have a “magic formula” for you.

Since you (presumably) didn’t report any taxable income for the grant of the options, you have no tax basis in them. No loss is allowed.

Good luck!

Mike Gray

For more information about non-qualified stock options, request our free report “Executive Tax and Financial Planning For Non-Qualified Stock Options”.

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