How do I report gains on my non-qualified stock option sale?

October 10, 2011

Subject:   nqso question
Date:   7 Apr 2008
From:   Gini

Hi Mike,

I exercised NQSOs for 1,000 shares of company stock for $5.00 per share when the fair market value was $12.00 per share. Taxes were paid for $7,000 of income. After a few months, the shares were sold for $16.00 per share.

Do we pay taxes on $11,000 (($16 – 5) X 1,000) or $4,000 (($16 – 12) X 1,000)?
What forms should be used to report the sale?



Date:   6 May 2008

Hello Gini,

There is a lot of information about this at our site and in the article on Executive Tax and Financial Planning For Non-Qualified Stock Options.

The $7,000 of ordinary income for the exercise of the NQOs should have already been included on your Form W-2.

That $7,000 is added to the $5,000 paid for the stock to compute a tax basis (cost for gain and loss reporting) of $12,000. The sale of the stock should be reported on Schedule D for a $4,000 short-term capital gain.

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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