Seeking Tax Preparer with stock option expertise

I'm looking for tax preparer who is knowledgeable about company stock plans, including stock options and restricted stock. We got hit with taxes and penalties because our tax preparer didn't advise us properly regarding the options and restricted stock that we had. This stuff is a real mystery, no matter how often I grapple with understanding all of the ins and outs of managing it. I need someone who is patient and responsive and can tell me what to do during before tax time. Thanks for any suggestions.

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My CPA, Deborah Fisher, knows all about that stuff. She's no-nonsense, smart as can be, and totally dedicated. Her office is in Albany near the new senior housing on San Pablo. I've used her services and have referred several of my bookkeeping clients.

Hey, came across your post for tax accountant. We’d highly recommend ours. He’s prepared our taxes for 3 years now, and as our taxes get more complicated, his fees remain very reasonable. To give you some context, our taxes is over 130 pages long, we filed in 3 states because of real estate investments, stock options, etc. he charged us $1500. 

Here’s Howard’s contact, if you want to reach out:

Howard J. Segal CPA, P.C.

Certified Public Accountant

2065 Holland Way

Merrick, N.Y. 11566

(516) 378-0495

(516) 378-0496 - fax

Tech companies have long issued additional compensation to employees through a series, and variety of stock compensation. Starting in the 1980's were more traditional plans such as ISOs, ESPPs, etc. Some of these more traditional options plans rather backfired when the employees were left with high taxes on stock that had depreciated in value. As I recall, Leon Panetta, as a congressman from the peninsula, brought some sort of relief bill. In any event, more recently tech companies issue grants rather than options: these may be called Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) or other names. As a tax preparer at a national outfit, I have seen them all; not all preparers are knowledgeable about the tax treatment. I have to study each one, and go over it with a "fine tooth comb", and so far my clients have not gotten any IRS letters.  The best place to learn about them is a, to which I subscribe every tax season to get and stay up to speed. Frequently the tax payer, rather than not paying tax, is taxed double, because the basis of the grants is not accounted for when the tax payer sells the stock.  In any event, most tax preparers know the traditional options, and many are clueless about the grants of units. Good luck.

Hi there,

Our CPA, Malcolm Roberts, has experience with stock options (vested & sold stock as well as RSUs). We've used him for years and it is certainly complicated! My husband's company went through an IPO; he was granted fully vested stock as well as restricted stock. The RSUs, when exercised, automatically had the taxes taken out, but the fully vested stock didn't, and there was a lot of paperwork due to exercise price and granted price differences. We have used Malcolm for years and it was a learning experience for everyone. We kept records of everything (the brokerage, Charles Schwab, helped out), but during tax season it still was a process. We often have to request an extension to make sure everything is correct. Hope this helps! 

Malcolm Roberts, CPA
Roberts and Co
2000 Powell St Suite 1290, Emeryville, CA 94608
Phone: (510) 652-4900