It’s not often that the worlds of professional sports and equity compensation intersect. True, I have a Google alert set up for “stock options” that sometimes returns articles about how the stock of football players impacts their career options (as in “Joe Schmo played really well in the last game; his stock is really rising”), but that’s not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about domestic mobility. While we are struggling with how compensation is taxed when employees travel from one state to another, this is an issue that professional sports has been dealing with for a long time now.
When employees are transferred to a new location, they are probably thinking about packing, selling their house, and finding their way around a new city. Meanwhile, their stock plan administrators are thinking about the complicated world of stock plan taxation they have just entered. Different jurisdictions have different tax laws. As a stock plan administrator, you are responsible for tracking where participants live throughout the life cycle of their stock awards – from grant through exercise/release – and properly withholding taxes in each jurisdiction.