I’m Daniel Zajac, CFP®

I write about employee stock options and equity compensation in a way that is easy to understand.

What You Should Know About the Alternative Minimum Tax and Incentive Stock Options

Most people understand that taxes can be a little more complicated when you have incentives stock options and other equity compensation. What they may not know is that income tax isn’t just about tax brackets to calculate your regular taxable income. The federal income tax system has a sister system that figures how much tax you may owe due to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). AMT may kick in when your income goes over a certain threshold or when you engage in certain activities, namely exercising and holding incentive stock options.

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6 Tips to Manage and Mitigate the Alternative Minimum Tax on Incentive Stock Options

Incentive stock options are a type of equity compensation you may receive as part of your overall compensation package. Incentive stock options, or ISOs, allow you to buy company stock at a fixed price for a set period of time, regardless of the current fair market value of the stock. In the best circumstances, incentive stock options can be a tool to generate significant wealth if…

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What to Expect When Your Company IPOs and How to Prepare for a Liquidity Event

Being part of an initial public offering, or IPO, is an exciting time. This is when a private company goes through the process of getting listed on a publicly-traded exchange. Where shareholders may have previously only been able to buy or sell the company’s equity in private deals (if allowed by the company), an IPO allows for company stock to be bought, sold, or traded…

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What Are the Key Differences Between Restricted Stock Units and Employee Stock Options?

Restricted stock units and employee stock options are commonly-awarded types of equity compensation that you may receive as part of your overall pay from your employer. While both restricted stock units and stock options are forms of equity, they each have particular features and are treated very differently from a tax perspective. Restricted stock units or awards (RSUs) typically…

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6 Advanced Planning Ideas to Use When Your Restricted Stock Units Vest

Restricted stock is often considered the simplest type of equity compensation to understand. And relative to other types of equity you could receive, this might be true. But that doesn’t mean managing restricted stock is easy. Restricted stock gets complicated thanks to factors such as double triggers, tax withholding (or lack thereof), and sell-to-cover or…

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How to Prepare for the Impact of Restricted Stock Units on Your Cash Flow, Tax Bill, and Investment Portfolio

Restricted stock units are often considered the most straightforward type of equity compensation. Unlike other ways that employees can receive shares of company stock, restricted stock units (or RSUs) often have a largely automated process for granting, vesting, and taxation. Once vested and settled, the fair market value of the RSUs is taxed and the…

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What You Need to Know about Double-Trigger Restricted Stock Units

If you work for a private company and receive restricted stock units as part of your compensation package, that equity compensation may have a double-trigger provision. While not all restricted stock units, or RSUs, come with this feature, it’s an important element to understand. What Are Double-Trigger RSUs? Double-trigger restricted stock units are those that…

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Dive Deeper

Whether you’re trying to figure out how to exercise your stock options or how those stock options may impact you at tax time, here are some resources to help.

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