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For the millions of employees at US companies who have equity compensation and shares of company stock, every tax-return season raises worries about errors that can lead to overpaid tax, underreported... By PR Newswire

BROOKLINE, Mass., March 13, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Tax reform has brought the topic of taxes to the forefront of public attention in the United States and has added more confusion to the already complex arena of federal taxation. For the millions of employees at US companies who have equity compensation and shares of their companies' stock, every tax-return season raises worries about errors that can lead to overpaid tax, underreported income, IRS penalties, or even an IRS audit. The 2018 tax season presents more than the usual potential for confusion, uncertainty, and expensive mistakes in IRS filings for taxpayers who have income from equity compensation.

To help these employees and their tax advisors, the Tax Center at offers clear, reliable information, guidance, and illustrations explaining how to report 2017 stock sales on federal tax returns for 2017 filed in 2018. Additionally, while the tax-reform legislation that took effect in 2018 does not affect 2017 tax returns, a special FAQ at explains its future impact on tax planning.

"The tax reporting for stock compensation is complex," emphasizes Bruce Brumberg, Editor-in-Chief of "Even accountants and tax advisors sometimes make mistakes. Our goal is to help employees and their financial or tax advisors realize the full potential of equity compensation by educating them about tax rules and helping them prevent costly errors. The last thing taxpayers want is to pay too much tax or incur IRS penalties that take yet more money out of their pockets."

Tax Center At All The Tax-Return Answers

The myStockOptions Tax Center has all the answers on the filing and reporting of tax returns that involve stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock purchase plans.

  • Core articles and FAQs spell out the most common mistakes people make with stock grants on their tax returns. Taxpayers, their financial advisors, and their accountants can quickly run through these to be sure they submit error-free returns. A special FAQ sets forth the top 10 questions that taxpayers should ask about the reporting of stock sales on their tax returns.
  • The reporting of stock sales is made clear with annotated how-to diagrams of IRS tax-return forms.
  • Diagrams of Form W-2, Form 3922 (for employee stock purchase plans), and Form 3921 (for incentive stock options) show how companies report equity compensation income to employees.
  • Animated videos include a succinct tutorial on key IRS tax forms related to stock-sale reporting and a video guide to avoiding costly mistakes that can lead to the overpayment of taxes.
  • Engaging podcasts convey tips for tax returns.
  • A fun interactive quiz on tax-return topics lets users test their reporting knowledge in a painless way, before they file their returns, and links to related content from the answer key.

Taxpayers Must Understand The Confusing Rules For Reporting Stock Sales

In January or February, each brokerage firm sends IRS Form 1099-B, or the firm's equivalent substitute statement, to clients who sold shares during the tax year. The information on Form 1099-B is also reported to the IRS. The required stock-sale information on Form 1099-B was recently expanded and now includes not only the gross proceeds from stock sales but also their cost basis (sometimes called the tax basis), the date when the shares were acquired, and whether gains or losses were short-term or long-term.

In general, cost-basis reporting is now more complex and vulnerable to errors. A diverse set of content at relates the background issues, explains how to understand Form 1099-B after selling shares from stock compensation or an ESPP, and shows how to avoid mistakes with the cost basis that can lead to the overpayment of taxes:

  • Article: How To Avoid Paying Too Much Tax: Understanding Form 1099-B And Form 8949 For Reporting Stock Sales On Your Tax Return
  • FAQ: How have IRS Form 1099-B and cost-basis reporting changed for sales of stock acquired from my stock options, restricted stock, or ESPP? What do I need to do differently because of the changes?
  • FAQ: What if the wrong cost basis is reported on my 1099-B? How do I report the right cost basis on Form 8949 of my tax return?
  • Video: Tax-Return Reporting Of Company Stock Sales: How To Avoid Overpaying Taxes
  • Video: Tax Return Forms & Reporting Rules For Stock Sales

Expertise That Helps Prevent Costly Tax-Return Mistakes

Form 1099-B is essential for completing IRS Form 8949 and Schedule D, which taxpayers who sold shares during the tax year must submit with their IRS Form 1040 tax return. Form 8949 is where taxpayers list the details of each stock sale, using the information on Form 1099-B. Schedule D aggregates the column totals from Form 8949 to report total long-term and short-term capital gains and losses. "However," points out Mr. Brumberg, "the cost-basis information in Box 1e of Form 1099-B may be too low, or the box may be blank. This is because the rules for cost-basis reporting are somewhat counterintuitive. Also, no basis is reported for restricted stock or restricted stock units."

Sound confusing? It is. Fortunately, is always here to help. In the Tax Center, the special section Reporting Company Stock Sales presents FAQs with clearly annotated diagrams of Form 8949 and Schedule D. Each FAQ explains and illustrates a different reporting situation involving stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, employee stock purchase plans, or stock appreciation rights. Clear instructions and diagrams show how to complete the forms, whether the cost-basis information in Box 1e of Form 1099-B is accurate, too low, or omitted.

In the Tax Center, articles on general tax-return topics include:

  • 12 Tax-Return Mistakes To Avoid With Stock Options And ESPPs
  • Restricted Stock & RSUs: 10 Tax-Return Mistakes To Avoid
  • NQSOs: Tax Return Tips And Traps
  • ISOs: Tax Return Tips And Traps

Demystifying IRS Forms 3922 And 3921

Elsewhere on, a pair of articles explains IRS Form 3922 for employee stock purchase plans and IRS Form 3921 for incentive stock options. With annotated examples of the forms that translate IRS jargon into understandable language, these articles, along with detailed FAQs (for both ESPPs and ISOs), clarify what taxpayers need to understand about the information provided by the forms, which can help them better understand the complexities of ESPP or ISO taxation. The forms can help with tax-return reporting. They also give the IRS tools for catching errors on the tax returns of people who sold ESPP or ISO stock.

Pro Membership Gives Advisors A Crucial Edge During Tax Season Pro is a special membership for financial advisors, CPAs, and other professionals who have clients with stock compensation. MSO Pro gives advisors full access to the whole website and special features in the tools, where they can track and model stock grants for multiple clients (5, 10, 25, or more). Access to the vast library of content at puts answers to tough client questions right at the fingertips of advisors, who can create PDFs of crucial content with their logo on it for distribution to clients. For more information, visit or call 617-734-1979.

Corporate Licensing Available

For companies, education is vital for ensuring that stock compensation motivates and retains highly valued employees and executives. The expert yet reader-friendly content at is ideally suited for licensing by companies and stock plan providers for their stock plan participants. A customized version of the website's award-winning content can be seamlessly woven into companies' HR, benefits, and/or compensation portals. Accessible through any internet browser, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, licensed content from lets stock plan participants answer their own questions about their stock grants whenever they need to learn more—saving time for the stock plan staff and costs for the company. For more information, visit or call 617-734-1979.


With exclusive articles, 800+ FAQs, podcasts, videos, the Tax Center, interactive quizzes, the Learning Center with courses for CE credit, the Global Tax Guide, an extensive glossary, a smartphone app for iOS and Android devices, and dynamic patented tools, is the premier online resource of educational content and tools on stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock purchase plans. is written and managed by leading experts in equity compensation, and is produced by a company with a long history of successful publications explaining complex legal and financial subjects in plain English.

The accounting journal CPA Wealth Provider selected among companies "that have taken the lead through innovation, efficiency, initiative, or growth in the financial-planning area." The Specialized Information Publishers' Foundation honored MSO Pro with one of its Editorial Excellence Awards in the category of Best Interactive Content among niche publishers. The influential consumer magazine PC World has ranked among "the most useful sites ever" that "deliver top-notch information, support, and services." has also received extensive favorable coverage in the media, including BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe, and on CNN, National Public Radio, PBS,, and has a related site on nonqualified deferred compensation at The staff also created the successful insider trading prevention video series Think Twice, available at



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