Since it is a holiday week, my blog entry for today is on the lighter side. I recently acquired a new file cabinet, which gave me occasion to reorganize some of my files. While going through some of them, I came across some old documents which I found interesting. I thought some of my readers might find them interesting as well.
A page from a 1994 ShareData newsletter; the entire issue is focused on fighting FAS 123. It includes information on the Coalition for American Equity Expansion, formed to oppose the standard; discussion of the Equity Expansion Act, which would have required the SEC to maintain the then-current accounting treatment of options (including lists of companies and representatives supporting the Act); point-by-point rejection of the FASB’s proposal; and an FAQ on something called “performance stock options,” which were a type of qualified stock option included in Equity Expansion Act. Ah, those were the days.
For years, we worried that ISO and ESPP disqualifying dispositions were subject to withholding (and that purchases in these plans were subject to FICA). Here are two articles on this topic that appeared in the The Tax Journal, published in 1990 and 1995. The matter wasn’t resolved until passage of the American Jobs Creation Act in 2005 (in case you aren’t sure, withholding isn’t required).
I have been looking for this form for at least ten years. It is a form companies can ask employees to complete to attest that they included income on their tax return. It can be used to potentially mitigate the penalties the company would otherwise be subject to for failing to withhold taxes. I couldn’t remember the name or number of the form, so I couldn’t find it on the IRS website; I should have known to check my own files because I save everything. I had ten copies of it at the back of my “Taxation – General” file (as opposed to the 12 other tax-related files that I have).
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 was a big deal when it was enacted–who remembers what it did? While we’re at it, who remembers PaineWebber and whatever happened to it?
Answer: The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 reduced the long-term capital gains rate from 28% to 20%. PaineWebber was acquired by UBS in 2000. My files are filled with articles from companies that no longer exist.
Remember when all companies were going to adopt transferable stock option programs? I do. In fact, I have a whole, albeit relatively thin, file folder on it. So if it ever happens, I’m ready (did I mention that I save everything, forever).
Kaylee the Cat helped me sort through my to-be-filed pile. Here she reviews handouts from recent presentations to determine what category they should be filed under. I guess the thought of mobility compliance has made her a bit wistful.
I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season and that you have a fabulous new year! May all your files be well-organized and your file cabinet drawers open with ease.
Happy New Year! It’s that time of the (new) year again where I offer up congrats and celebration for a few exciting NASPP happenings.
Question of the Week Winner!
And the winner is of our 2015 Question of the Week contest is (drum roll!): mamaandmore (who, by the way, placed 2nd in our 2014 contest). For those of you who are asking “What’s the Question of the Week Contest?“, it’s a weekly quiz challenge designed for stock plan professionals to test their know-how in a variety of areas, while competing against their peers. Hone your equity compensation knowledge while having fun at the same time! There’s a new question each week, and a correct answer earns points.
And the Winners Are…
A big congrats to screen name alias mamaandmore for coming out on top of our 2015 contest. The screen names of the top 5 scorers (in order from 1st to 5th place) are:
- Doctor Jack and DMekwunye (tied)
What’s in a Name?
Your play is tracked by your screen name – so you can be as anonymous or transparent in your game playing as you like. It’s become an annual tradition for me to highlight some of the fun, intriguing and perplexing screen names each year. In 2015, once again it seems nothing was off limits, from the range of “equity” and “stock” possibilities (CEP 1001, Sleepless in Stock Plan Admin. Land, EquityExtraordinaire, Equity Gamer, StockyMcStockMiester) to the mythical (unicorn6872) to the humble (Imnoexpert, InCaseIFlunk, Guessing, Humble Pie) to those who tell it like it is (Don’tKnowNuthin, The expert, The_Wrong_Way, whateverdude). Of course our sports fans were abundant as well (Golf, Hockeyfan, ORLonghorns, NY_YANKEE), in addition to a few that would probably require a happy hour and some time to explain (Bad Mamajama, Juice Club, Bubba, Sparky, Sparty Po, adminwannabe, Peter Pan).
Work Hard, Play Hard
We’ve just reset scores and this week’s challenge starts a whole new contest, so this is the perfect time for NASPP members to sign up, create your screen alias and jump into the Question of the Week Contest. We leave all of January’s questions active for the entire month, so you have plenty of time to complete the first quizzes of the new game.
Equity Expert Podcast
One milestone we’re recognizing is the 2nd anniversary of our NASPP podcast series: Equity Expert. That’s right, you can download short episodes right to your computer, smartphone or other device and listen to them at your leisure. This series focuses on short interviews with some of the industry’s best and brightest on a variety of equity compensation topics. Shorter than webcasts, they are designed to give you the quick run down on details you need to know. Our most recent episodes include Hot Topic! EU Data Privacy in 2016 with Barbara Klementz, Global Hot Topics with Marlene Zobayan, and 5 Things I Learned About Global Compliance and Communication. Be sure to subscribe in order to get updates on new episodes.
Last year when I wrote this early January blog, we were celebrating our 900th LinkedIn follower. At the time of this blog, we’ve passed the 1,300 follower mark! We’ve got lots of great content posted to our social media pages, so be sure to like/follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter!
I wish all of you an incredible 2016!
Tags: Equity Expert, podcast, Question of the Week
The NASPP Blog is on vacation this week, but to tide you over while we are out, here are some stock plan haiku submitted by Andrew Schwartz of Computershare (in response to last week’s blog entry, “Stock Plan Haiku“):
Like flowing rivers
Cascade myriad tax forms
From stock purchase plans
Avalanche of white
Paper hills bury workers
Proceeds cost basis
Lot after lot
Search offering dates
Missing fair market values
Take a wild guess now
Go pick a number
Gain or loss it’s all the same
Just add it all up
Forget wash sale loss
Sure looks like a gain to me
File return get beer
The NASPP Blog will return next week. Happy New Year!
Tags: fun, haiku, humor, stock plan education
A while ago, I read an article about creating successful PowerPoint presentations that included the line “Think haiku, not epic poetry.” I’m not sure I agree entirely with the author’s points about PowerPoint (I’ve sat through a lot of PowerPoint presentations that adhered to the “six to eight words per slide” rule that, frankly, were all marketing fluff and no substance), but it did get me thinking. Could employees be educated about stock compensation in a haiku?
So, for something a little lighter this holiday season, I offer some examples of stock compensation education in the form of haiku:
Please don’t wait until
The very last minute to
No shares in account
You sold them; now they are gone.
Shhh—you can buy more.
Cost basis on your
1099-B is wrong.
Don’t overpay tax.
Please retain this form
You will need it at tax time.
Lose it–be sorry.
The best thing since sliced bread
Don’t miss enrollment.
Now it’s your turn–email your haiku on stock plan topics to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you all have a great holiday season!
Tags: fun, haiku, humor, stock plan education