Annual Notices for ISOs and ESPPs due January 31, 2012

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Each January, companies that grant incentive stock options (ISOs) are required to provide notices to current and former employees who exercised ISOs during the preceding calendar year. A similar notice must be given to current and former employees who transferred title to stock acquired under an employee stock purchase plan (ESPP) – for example, into a brokerage account or to a purchaser. The notice deadline for 2011 reportable events is January 31, 2012.

The same information must be reported to the IRS on Form 3921 (for ISOs) or Form 3922 (for ESPPs), or acceptable substitute forms. The IRS filing deadline is February 28, 2012 for paper filers and April 2, 2012 for electronic filers. Electronic filing is done through Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE), the same system used to file Forms 1099 electronically. The IRS forms or acceptable substitutes may also be used to provide the required notices to employees.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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