The taxation of stock options

In the year you exercise your options you will have an income inclusion which will be the difference between the exercise price less the FMV of shares when the options were exercised. The amount of the expense is the fair value of the options, but that value is not apparent from the exercise price and the market price alone. The answer is that we use an options-pricing model to estimate a cost to create a non-cash expense that reduces reported net income. In the example discussed above, the exercise alone would add 10, common shares to the base. Trading options is not easy and should only be done under the guidance of a professional. Conversely, if the stock did better than expected, our EPS numbers would've been overstated because our expense would've turned out to be understated.

By David Harper Relevance above ReliabilityWe will not revisit the heated debate over whether companies should "expense" employee stock options. However, we should establish two things. First, the experts at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have wanted to require options expensing since around the early s.

Alok Patnia

If it is, there is no immediate taxable gain. The gain is taxed when shares are sold, not exercised. This significantly reduces the up-front difficulty of purchasing stock options. Also, if shares are held for at least two years after the exercise, half of the initial gains are tax-free.

If it is not a CCPC, the taxable gain may be due in the year of exercise. Many companies in this situation offer near-immediate partial buyback to help offset these costs. My advice is to exercise and sell if the stock price is higher, and take your cash profit. Then, use that profit to buy shares and collect dividends.

You will get taxed on the profit from selling your options, and later on the dividends. I work in Canada for a company that trades in the US. These are connected to an ETrade account that the company arranged for me.

I have filled out the W-8BEN tax form. I believe this is the correct form. Does this amount satisfy Revenue Canada when it comes to tax time? Or do I need to put some of the remainder aside as well? Also, the stock vested at Does that have any bearing on my situation? The fair market value of the RSU at vest time is treated as regular income paid to you by your employer and will be taxed at your marginal rate.

I work for a start-up company, and part of my compensation is stock options. Assuming that we get a chance to exit big assumption, of course , I stand to make a large sum of money when I exercise them.

What happens at this point with regards to tax? As I understand it, all growth from the exercise price will be taxed as capital gains. If so, I would end up losing a large percentage in taxes. Your options are taxed at capital gains rates i.

However, you may not be able to get them into a TFSA without paying some tax on them. This is the point of a TFSA; the contributions are after-tax. You could possibly exercise the option, pay the income tax, then transfer the shares to a TFSA. However, this is assuming the stock price goes up after you exercise. How should we handle this situation? This represents the profit earned on the shares up to the date of exercise. If you want, you can contact your local CRA Tax Services office, explain the situation, and they will determine whether special payment arrangements can be made.

Hi, My wife will need to exercise some options from her former employer this week. I understand she will have pay taxes on the difference of price between the exercise price and the current value. My question is who is required to send the tax amount to the CRA: The employer or her.

Generally, the difference between the fair market value of the shares at the time the option is exercised and the option price will give rise to a taxable benefit. This taxable benefit is included in the employment income when the stock option is exercised i.

Since this amount is like a salary, the employer has to make payroll remittances on it CPP, EI and income tax. Hi, I was just wondering if there are any benefits of transferring the stocks from my employee stock savings account to a TFSA. Hi Carla, if you have room to contribute to your TFSA and you decide to transfer your stock over to the TFSA, it will be deemed that the stocks have sold for a capital gain or capital loss.

This means there may be taxes you will need to pay on the transfer in the tax year. If you are able to pay a small amount of capital gain now, your future returns ex. Capital gain, dividends will be tax free. Contact me or your bank directly before deciding to make the transfer. In your public company example the Coca cola shares are on a US exchange, so presumably the transactions will occur in the USA through some sort of US trustee or brokerage.

You will simply report the capital gain on your Canadian tax return and pay tax to Canada. Hi, Could you please tell me what are the cost implications to both an employer and employee in a stock options plan. If the employee exercises the option below the fair market value of the stock, the employee will receive a taxable benefit.

This would be an employment benefit equal to the amount by which the value of the shares at the exercise date exceeds the total amount paid. Hello Allan, I own a start-up company and will be hiring employees soon. What options should I have for employee stock? Hi Veronica, there are three main plans that you can deploy for your employee stock options. They are as follows:.

This plan will allow your employees buy shares at a discounted price. Many ESPPs provide a buffer in the purchase of the shares: The benefit is equal to the value of the shares, minus the amount paid. In turn, you agree to sell or issue shares to the employee for no cost. Hi, I am moving to the States soon, but I still have stock through my current employer. Do I need to sell my stocks now? Or can I keep the stocks and deal with them when I get to the States?

Hello Craig, if you hold stock options at the time you become a non-resident, there should be no tax consequences at the time you move, but you will be liable for an employment benefit on exercise of the option.

On the other hand, if you have previously applied to acquire CCPC shares to defer employment income again before you become a non-resident, you will face departure tax on the shares that you hold. The gain or loss on disposition of the shares will be reduced by the inherent adjustment for employment income. Hello Jaimer, yes, in some cases there would be a big tax advantage for selling the shares of your corporation.

If you have a qualified small Canadian-owned business or qualified farm property, you will be able to claim the capital gains exemption that will come from the sale of your shares. You should note that selling shares is a lot harder than selling assets for your company. You may have to lower the price of your shares, and in turn, depending on your personal tax situation, you may not be able to make use of the capital gains exemption.

The government restricts the use of the exemption in some cases where the taxpayer have claimed investment losses. Hi Kasey, if you work for a Canadian-controlled private corporation, you will be able to defer the tax on the employment benefit until the shares are sold. However, if you do not work for a Canadian-controlled private corporation or a publicly traded company, no deferral will be available. Hello Allan, I made the election to defer income taxes on my shares in a public company.

Is there any way to postpone the payments until I get enough money to pay them off? Hi Sarah, yes there is temporary relief that the CRA provides for employees who have made an election to defer income tax on declining stock options. The relief is intended to ensure the income taxes payable on the benefit arising on the exercise of the stock option does not exceed the proceeds of disposition received when the optioned securities are sold while taking account of the tax benefit resulting from the deductible capital loss on those securities.

To take advantage of this relief, the election must be filed no later than your filing deadline for the taxation year during which the shares are sold, which is almost always April 30th. Hello Allan, I was thinking of giving shares to my employees instead of stock options. I know some of the advantages to this method, but not a lot about the disadvantages. Can you tell me a few disadvantages of giving shares to employees?

You may also need an independent valuation, although that is very rare. I work for a public company and received shares of stock options.

I paid necessary tax at the time of exercise, but I did not immediately sell my shares. I paid the necessary taxes at the time of exercise and the employment benefit was included in my income on my T4 slip. Hello I find your blog informative and valuable. I have a question regarding TFSA and employee stock option. The contribution I make towards the stock option is on a monthly basis for 3 years and of course the contributions are after tax.

Would there be any tax implications? Also, after I exercise can I keep these shares in TFSA and later on sell the shares if the price go up without any tax implications?

You can transfer stock options given to you to your corporation. However, there will be a capital gain realized upon the transfer. The amount of the gain will be equal to the market value of the options less the amount you paid for them. Dear Allan, Quick question about employee stock options.

I was wondering what the requirements are to deduct the stock option employment benefit? Dear Sumeer, As an employee who exercises options and acquires shares, you are entitled to an offsetting deduction that equates to one half of the employment benefit amount. This is given to you as long as these conditions are met:. Hello Allan, I am ready to declare my security option benefit and I work for a private Canadian corporation — how do I go about this?

Hello Ranjeet, Declaring your security options benefits depends on the type of company issuing the benefits. If the company is a Canadian controlled private corporation, you have to report the benefits the year you plan on selling your securities. I exercised options using a net exercise they used part of my available options to purchase shares and provided me with a certificate for those shares last year but on review the company did not report the taxable benefit on my T4.

The stock is for a publicly listed company on the TSX. How should this be cleared up with CRA? You should speak with your employer and ask them if they will be issuing amended T4 slips to their employees.

Hi Allan, I was just wondering what kind of stock options can people generally choose from? Hi Laurentine, Employees are generally issued a variety of different options under one of three types of plan.

For further details about each of these options, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website. Dear Allan, I have read a lot about stock options for workers in Canada. I am just wondering why Canadian employers initially grant these options to their employees. Hi Pierre, By granting stock options it ensures keeping good workers.

Employers typically want their employees to feel like owners in the business. They also want skilled individuals, thus offering compensation beyond a salary is an incentive to stay loyal. The three conditions are as follows: The shares must be common shares, not preferred shares.

The stock options cannot be in the money on the the money on the day the option is granted. Got together with my network from a former employer last week and we got around to the subject of taxes paid on our stock options. It was clear we have been given clearly different tax advice by our accountants. One of the benefits was granted stock options common share annually.

We submitted the W-8BEN tax form annually at the request of our parent company. Question- how should we have handled this? It appears most of us have paid taxes to both countries on the benefits. I work for an NYSE listed company and received stock options as part of my compensation plan. I went on maternity leave last year and they had extended my vesting for the same amount of time i.

Is this the same treatement in Canada or is this a US common occurance, perhaps company specific? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have unexercised employee options granted to me before the company I work for went public IPO. I have read articles that make it sound like it may not be worthwhile to go ahead as companies would logically have to be given the ability to deduct options as an expense, which is now not the case.

These are excellent questions. Therefore, most Canadians will not be affected. The finance minister announced that options granted prior to the date on which the new stock option rules come into effect will be grandfathered. He did not specify whether the rules will be different for pre-IPO companies or public companies. I have Employee stock options that my employer gave me a big Canadian public company that have vested and they are underwater for now.

I would like, if the stock price increase enough, to do a cashless exercice into my TFSA. Am I missing something? I suggest that you first calculate the total taxable benefit from cashing our your stock options before you decide whether or not it makes sense to cash out.

Hello Allan, can either stock option proceeds or the options themselves or ESPP stocks or proceeds be transferred or gifted to as spouse for taxation purposes? The stock are in an American company which has been purchased and these stocks will be paid out all at the same time.

Hi Jane, They can be gifted to a spouse at cost, so that a capital gain will not arise on the transfer. So what if you have a taxable benefit on your t4 in and then in the company goes bankrupt. Can I claim a loss for those shares on my personal tax in ? The taxable portion of stock-based compensation included in your T4 becomes your cost basis for the shares you received, assuming you have not cashed out and are still holding these shares.

I realized a gain of the sale of a non-qualified stock option from a US public company. I am a Canadian citizen working for a subsidiary of the US public company, in Canada.

How do I report these taxes paid on my canadian return? Hi Paul, you can automatically rollover your shares to your wife at cost. However, any gains realized upon their sale will be taxable to you. I have just Feb executed an exercise and sell of my option grant from my employer, a publicly traded U.

These options were granted in when I worked for their Canadian subsidiary. I moved to the U. S in still employed with this company and pay taxes as a U. ON the transaction above, they have withheld Canadian federal and provincial taxes as well as U.

Why do they deduct CAN taxes? Do I have to file a Canadian tax return for to get a refund of this amount? Does the location where I received this grant have importance? I thought that the exercise and sell transaction and timing was the most important consideration for any taxes.

I am a Canadian citizen who works for a private US based company in Toronto and was given stock options as part of my compensation. The company recently became acquired and I was paid out my options. Hi Gus, the pay-out should be added to your income — box 14 of your T4 slip.

I sold shares in a company that I bought on payroll deduction. I sold them for about one tenth of what I paid. I held them for around twenty years. Would my company be able to find out what I initially paid for them this late in time.

Also what department of the company would I phone to find out. Hi Walter, contact the HR department to verify the amount included in your T4 for company shares purchased by you. Add the amount included in your T4 for the shares to any amounts that you paid to purchase the shares, in order to arrive at the cost basis of the shares for tax purposes.

Hi Allan, Thanks for such a clear article. If one has reached the maximum income tax rate of Would appreciate hearing from you soon. Would also appreciate a quote for tax filing services for income from your company. Hi, the rate would be My email address is amadan madanca. Tax Implications for Canadians Travelling to the U. Tax Implications of Sending U. Citizens to Work in Canada. Certificate of Coverage for Americans Working in Canada.

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Enter the email address. Disclaimer The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. What are the Tax Deductions for in Canada? Leave Your Comment Here: Required fields are marked. Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Thank you for the very detailed explanation. Very insightful article, I was wondering if there is any capital gains tax on appreciated stocks when giving it to someone else as a gift?

Hi Michelle, Stocks when given as a gift are not subjected to any capital gains tax even if they have appreciated in value. Best Regards, Allan Madan and Team.

Hi Allan, Do I have to pay taxes on capital losses when I exercise my shares? Hi Huy, Yes the source of either the capital gain or loss is irrelevant, since you are expected to report your total capital gains and capital loss on your income tax return. Hi Charles, The CRA has there own calculation methods especially for stocks that individuals may have held for long periods of time.

The granting of the stock option does not create an immediate tax event for the employee. A taxable employment benefit is triggered when the employee exercises the options and acquires shares of the company. The benefit is equal to the amount, if any, by which the fair market value FMV of the shares at the time the employee acquires them exceeds the amount paid by the employee for the shares the exercise price.

The employee may also be entitled to an offsetting deduction equal to 50 per cent of the amount of the employment benefit if certain conditions are met. The deduction results in the employment benefit being effectively taxed as if it were a capital gain, notwithstanding that the benefit is income from employment. Where the stock option plan provides an employee the choice to receive cash in lieu of shares, and the employee opts to receive cash, the employer is permitted a deduction for the cash payment.

However, the employee may not claim the 50 per cent deduction on the employment benefit amount at the same time unless the employer files an election to forego the deduction on the cash payment.

The above rules are even more advantageous when the employer is a Canadian-controlled private corporation CCPC , a private company that is not controlled by any non-Canadian residents or public companies.

The timing of the taxation of the employment benefit is deferred to the taxation year in which the employee sells the shares, as opposed to the taxation year in which the employee acquired the shares. The employment benefit will be calculated as discussed above. Moreover, the employee may also claim the 50 per cent offsetting deduction as long as the individual holds the shares of the CCPC for at least two years before selling them.

There is no requirement that the exercise price be at least equal to the FMV at the date of grant, nor any requirement that the shares qualify as prescribed shares in order to be eligible for the deduction. If the issuing company is not a CCPC, Bob will pay tax on the employment benefit when he exercises his options and acquires the shares in If the issuing company is a CCPC, Bob will not have to pay tax on the employment benefit until he disposes of the shares in Because Bob held the shares for more than two years after the options were exercised, he will also be able to claim a deduction equal to 50 per cent of the benefit.

Basics of accounting for stock options

Friends Company, a fictitious entity, grants its CEO 5, stock options on January 1, 20X4. Each option allows the CEO to purchase 1 share of $1-par-value stock for $80 on December 31, 20X7. The current market value of the stock is $ Tax rules for stock options in Canada differ, depending on whether the company is a CCPC. If it is, there is no immediate taxable gain. The gain is taxed when shares are sold, not exercised. This significantly reduces the up-front difficulty of purchasing stock options. If the stock options are structured properly, the employee can enjoy the benefit on a tax-effective basis. Employees typically receive stock options, granting them the right to purchase shares of the employer corporation at a fixed price (the exercise price) on a future date.