Are NQSO exercises currently taxable?

September 26, 2011

Date:   Sun, 22 Mar 2009
From:   Padmanabhan

I exercised an NQO with a stock swap and found your information to be useful. Please confirm that the exercise is currently taxable. I didn’t receive a 1099 form, but the income is reported at Form W-2, line 12(c). I need to know the process of dealing with the tax treatment for the current year and in the later year when I sell the swapped option shares.


Date:   6 Apr 2009

Hello Padmanabhan,

I assume the options were fully vested when they were exercised. The exercise of the NQO is currently taxable, and has evidently already been included in your wages on Form W-2. There is nothing more to do for the year of exercise.

The shares that were “swapped” retain their tax basis and holding period. The additional shares received have a tax basis equal to their fair market value on the date of the exchange and the acquisition date is the date the option was exercised. There are examples in our FAQs and in my book, Secrets of Tax Planning For Employee Stock Options.

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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