Michael Gray, CPA’s Option Alert #95

An irregular alert for issues relating to employee stock options

November 2, 2011
© 2011 by Michael Gray, CPA
ISSN 1931-2768

(If you find this information valuable, please pass it on to a colleague!)

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Happy Thanksgiving!

That’s right! It’s here already! Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 24 this year.

We hope you will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and/or friends. Thanksgiving was once the favorite holiday of my grandson, Panch Baker, because he got to celebrate it with both sets of grandparents. (I think Halloween might be his favorite right now.)

Thanksgiving seems to be an appropriate time for us to say, “Thank you!”, especially to our clients, but also to you who read this newsletter and our many friends who refer clients to us and make our business possible.

Have a happy and safe holiday!

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It’s time for year-end tax planning.

With the coming holidays, continuing education days, and a planned vacation for the third week of December, Michael Gray will have very limited availability for year-end tax planning meetings. Reserve your appointment now by calling Dawn Siemer on Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 408-918-3162.

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Should you sell stock by year end for 2011 ISO exercises?

With the stock market being so volatile, it’s hard to judge whether and when to sell stock acquired by exercising an incentive stock option during 2011. A reason to sell the stock before the year-end is the stock has fallen dramatically in value after the option was exercised. Under the “escape hatch” provision, ordinary income for a disqualified disposition of ISO shares during the year of exercise is limited to the excess of the selling price of the stock over the option price. Remember there is a “wash sale” rule that the escape hatch isn’t available if you purchase the same stock or receive or purchase an option to buy the same stock during the period from 30 days before the sale to 30 days after the sale/disqualified disposition.

If you think you might benefit from the escape hatch, see your tax advisor, or schedule an appointment with Michael Gray by calling Dawn Siemer on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays at 408-918-3162.

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Last chance for favored long-term capital gains?

The 15% maximum federal tax rate for long-term capital gains is scheduled to expire after 2012. Many tax reform proposals are being discussed relating to the Presidential election. 2011 may be your last opportunity to position yourself for a long-term capital gain eligible for the 15% federal rate. Here is a link for an article I wrote about this last July: www.taxtrimmers.com/capital-gains15.shtml

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Live stock options seminar by Michael Gray, CPA scheduled for December 2.

On December 2, Michael Gray, CPA will give a live lunchtime seminar about “Year End Tax Planning For Employee Stock Options”. The seminar will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Hobee’s Restaurant in the Pruneyard, in Campbell. Lunch is included. The fee for participants is $97.

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Stock Options telephone seminar by Michael Gray, CPA on November 25.

Michael Gray will be giving a telephone seminar, “Year-End Tax Planning For Employee Stock Options”, Friday, November 25 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The fee for participants is $97.

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Michael Gray honored as Producer of the Year.

CreaTV, San Jose honored Michael Gray as Producer of the Year at its Annual Meeting on October 26, 2011. Luis Costa of CreaTV noted that Michael is the only producer with shows broadcast over 100 consecutive weeks without a repeat, and as a model of preparation for his recording sessions.

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Financial Insider Weekly broadcast schedule for November and December.

Financial Insider Weekly is broadcast in San Jose and Campbell on Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Pacific Time. You can watch it on Comcast channel 15 for San Jose and Campbell. The show is broadcast as streaming video at the same time at www.creatvsj.org.

Here are the scheduled interviews for November and December:

November 4, 2011, Mark Erickson, attorney, “Divorce – California Style: Child Custody”
November 11, 2011, Naomi Comfort, attorney, The Silicon Valley Elder Law Group, P.C., “Durable Financial Powers of Attorney”
November 18, 2011, John Hopkins, attorney, Hopkins & Carley, “How to promote community giving as a family value”
November 25, 2011, Jeffrey Hare, attorney at law, APC, “Solving legal disputes out of court (alternative dispute resolution)”
December 2, 2011, Naomi Comfort, attorney, The Silicon Valley Elder Law Group, P.C., “Special Needs Trusts”
December 9, 2011, Craig Martin, CFP®, The Family Wealth Consulting Group, “Investing In Turbulent Times”
December 16, 2011, Craig Martin, CFP®, The Family Wealth Consulting Group,” The Role of the Fee-Only Financial Planner”
December 23, 2011, William Mitchell, CPA, “I’m Being Audited By The IRS! Now What Should I Do?”
December 30, 2011, William Mitchell, CPA, “I Owe Back Taxes To The IRS! Now What Should I Do?”

Financial Insider Weekly is also broadcast as follows:

  • Sunday at 5:30 a.m. on Comcast Channel 27 in Santa Cruz County and on Charter Communications Channel 73 in Watsonville and Capitola.
  • Sunday at 5 p.m. on Comcast channel 28 in Hayward, Alameda and Fremont and on AT&T U-Verse Channel 99, Hayward public access TV 28 in California.
  • Monday at 3:30 p.m.on Comcast Channel 27 in Santa Cruz County and on Charter Communications Channel 73 in Watsonville and Capitola.
  • Monday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Pacific Time on cable channel 19 in Morgan Hill. Broadcast on the internet at the same time as streaming video at www.mhat.tv.
  • Monday at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast channel 15 in Saratoga.
  • Tuesday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Pacific Time on cable channel 19 in Morgan Hill. Broadcast on the internet at the same time as streaming video at www.mhat.tv.
  • Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. on Comcast channel 26 and AT&T U-verse channel 99 in Marin County.
  • Thursday at 5:30 p.m. on Comcast channel 27 in Santa Cruz County and Charter Communications channel 73 in Capitola and Watsonville.
  • Thursday at 10 p.m. on Comcast channel 28 in Hayward, Alameda and Fremont and on AT&T U-Verse Channel 99, Hayward public access TV 28 in California.
  • Friday at 4 p.m. on cable channel 15 in Cupertino, Los Altos and Mountain View.
  • Friday at 4:30 p.m. on Comcast channel 15 in Los Gatos.
  • Friday at 6:00 p.m. on Comcast and Astound channel 29 in San Francisco. Online streaming video at www.bavc.org, “public access TV”.
  • Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. on Comcast channel 27 in Santa Cruz County and on Charter Communications Channel 73 in Watsonville and Capitola.

Past episodes of Financial Insider Weekly are posted on YouTube. One way to watch them is to go to our web site, http://www.financialinsiderweekly.com, and click on “Past Episodes.”

Let me know any ideas that you have for topics or guests. Guests will usually have to be located in or near the Silicon Valley in California.

Hope you can watch or record the show. Please tell your friends about it!

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Michael Gray regrets he can no longer answer emails personally. He will answer selected questions in this newsletter. Email your questions to mgray@stockoptionadvisors.com.

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!

If you enjoy Twitter, please follow me at twitter.com/michaelgraycpa. I would especially appreciate retweets of our messages announcing episodes of Financial Insider Weekly.

I’m also on Facebook and Linked In. You can also follow me on other social media sites, www.facebook.com and www.linkedin.com/in/michaelgraycpa.

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Check out my blog.

I have also started a blog at michaelgraycpa.com. Check it out!

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Do you know about our other newsletters?

For general tax developments, tax planning ideas, business development ideas and book reviews, subscribe to Michael Gray, CPA’s Tax & Business Insight.

We are now offering our real estate tax newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA’s Real Estate Tax Letter, free of charge. Like this newsletter, we will talk about new developments, have reports on special tax concerns, and answer questions and answers. To subscribe and read a sample issue, visit realestatetaxletter.com.

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IRS Circular 230 Disclosure:

As required by U.S. Treasury Regulations, you are hereby advised that any written tax advice contained in this communication was not written or intended to be used (and cannot be used) by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

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Consult with a tax advisor

For our readers who aren’t tax advisors, this newsletter is intended to alert you about tax issues that could affect you. It is not a substitute for advice from a professional tax advisor. You will find that getting advice from a qualified advisor is a worthwhile investment.

Tax advisors should view the newsletter as an alert to become aware of issues relating to employee stock options for further research and study.

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Subscribe to Michael Gray, CPA’s Option Alert!

To receive the next issue of Michael Gray, CPA’s Option Alert with more employee stock option tax developments and answers to questions from our readers automatically via email, subscribe by filling out the form below.

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(Michael Gray is the author of Secrets of Tax Planning For Employee Stock Options, Stock Grants and ESOPs.)

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