Michael Gray, CPA’s Option Alert #111

An irregular alert for issues relating to employee stock options

April 26, 2013
© 2013 by Michael Gray, CPA
ISSN 1931-2768

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

Table of Contents

Tax season is done. Extension season is here.

Thank you to the clients we were able to serve during tax season 2013.

The extended due date for 2012 individual income tax returns is October 15, 2013.

The extended due date for calendar year 2012 corporate, partnership and fiduciary income tax returns is September 16, 2013.

If you would like us to prepare your extended income tax return, please call Dawn Siemer at 408-918-3162 for an appointment.

We can also prepare amended income tax returns to clean up tax returns that were previously filed.

Return to Table of Contents

Missed the tax filing deadline and didn’t apply for an extension?

File your tax return soon.

The late filing penalty is 5% of the unpaid tax per month, to a maximum of 25%. In some cases, California imposes a penalty based on the total tax without considering payments. To avoid these penalties, finish and file your income tax returns right away.

If your tax returns are more than two years late, you can also lose your tax refund. Another reason to keep current with filing your income tax returns.

Return to Table of Contents

Tax planning will be even more important for 2013

With the new, higher tax brackets effective in 2013 enacted in the “Fiscal Cliff” federal tax legislation last January, the 3.8% federal tax on investment income, and the higher tax rates for high income taxpayers enacted in California last November, tax planning will be even more important for 2013. You can’t expect your tax bill for 2013 for a certain income level will be about the same as for 2012. You will at least want to budget your tax bill for next April 15. Consulting a tax advisor will help you avoid an “April surprise” and can be well worth the investment.

Return to Table of Contents

Should you elect to participate in a nonqualified deferred compensation plan with your employer?

With much higher tax rates applying to high income taxpayers, especially in California, high income employees should consider participating in a nonqualified deferred compensation plan to postpone receiving income until a lower income year. I wrote an article on this subject. You can see it at www.taxtrimmers.com/nonqualified.shtml.

Return to Table of Contents

Accounting method change allowed for stock based compensation in cost-sharing arrangement

The IRS issued a private letter ruling permitting a publicly- traded corporation to elect to make its cost-sharing computations for stock based compensation based on its audited financial statement reporting figures instead of the deductions allowed for income tax reporting. In addition, the allocation of employee stock option compensation to intangible development will be allowed on a period-by-period identification instead of identification at the time the option was granted.

(Letter Ruling 201312024, December 18, 2012.)

Return to Table of Contents

Please share your good experiences with Michael Gray, CPA

As you know, more and more people are going to the internet to find information about service providers. We hope you will share some good words about experiences that you have had with our firm. Some of the sites where you can share your experiences include yelp.com, siliconvalley.citysearch.com, and Google+.

Return to Table of Contents

Community public access television needs our help

As you can see below, public access television is a vital part of our educational outreach to various communities. These are usually nonprofit, charitable organizations, like public television stations. Unlike those stations, most of the programming for the public access stations comes from local producers.

This programming includes the local arts, productions by students at local schools, community outreach by churches, independent local producers discussing current social issues, educational programming by local providers like ourselves and much more. In other words, public access television makes a unique, important contribution to the communities it serves.

With the difficult times we are experiencing, many public access stations are facing severe financial challenges, and might not survive without more community financial support. I urge you to consider making a donation to your local public access television station. Here is a link for a list of public access television stations in California: www.communitymedia.se/cat/linksca.htm.

Return to Table of Contents

Financial Insider Weekly broadcast schedule for April and May

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 April and May:

April 26, 2013, attorney Jeffrey Hare, APC, “Using a checkbook LLC to invest Roth & IRA funds”
May 10, 2013, attorney James V. Quillinan of Hopkins & Carley, “Estate planning with portability of a deceased spouse’s federal estate and gift tax exemption amount”
May 17, 2013, attorney James V. Quillinan of Hopkins & Carley, “Tax planning for real estate change of ownership in California”
May 24, 2013, Don Pollard, CLU, ChFC of Advanced Professionals, “Health insurance for individuals”
May 31, 2013, Don Pollard, CLU, ChFC of Advanced Professionals, “Group health insurance plans for small businesses”

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
  • Monday at 1:30 p.m. in San Mateo County on PenTV, Comcast Channel 26 and Astound Channel 27
  • 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 and broadcast on the internet at the same time as streaming video at www.mhat.tv
  • Monday at 6:30 p.m. on Midpeninsula Media Center, Comcast Channel 28 in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park & Atherton
  • 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 p.m. on Comcast channel 26 and AT&T U-verse channel 99 in Marin County.
  • Wednesday at 3 p.m.on Comcast channel 27 in Santa Cruz County and on Charter Communications Channel 73 in Watsonville and Capitola
  • Wednesday at 8 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
  • Thursday at 5:30 p.m. on Comcast channel 27 in Santa Cruz County and Charter Communications channel 73 in Capitola and Watsonville
  • Friday at 11:30 a.m. on Comcast channel 27 in Santa Cruz County and Charter Communications channel 73 in Watsonville and Capitola
  • Friday at 1:30 p.m. in San Mateo County on PenTV, Comcast Channel 26 and Astound Channel 27
  • Friday at 3:30 p.m. on KCAT, Comcast channel 15 in Los Gatos
  • Friday at 4 p.m. on cable channel 15 in Cupertino, Los Altos and Mountain View.
  • Friday at 6 p.m. on Comcast and Astound channel 29 in San Francisco, online streaming video at www.bavc.org, “public access TV”
  • Friday at 8 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
  • Saturday at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Midpeninsula Media Center, Comcast Channel 28 in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park & Atherton
  • Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast channel 26 and AT&T U-verse channel 99 in Marin County.

Past episodes of Financial Insider Weekly are posted on YouTube. One way to watch them is to go to our web site, 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!

Return to Table of Contents


Michael Gray regrets he can no longer personally answer email questions. He will answer selected questions in this newsletter.

For your questions about dependent exemptions, see IRS Publication 501 at www.irs.gov.

Return to Table of Contents


Follow me on social media!

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, www.linkedin.com/in/michaelgraycpa, and Google+.

Return to Table of Contents

Check out my blog.

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

Return to Table of Contents

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.

Return to Table of Contents

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.

Return to Table of Contents

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.

Return to Table of Contents

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

Comments are closed.