My employer, a private company, paid me with stock options. In 2021, the company bought back stock options from employees, so I sold some to them.

We signed the "Letter of transmittal" in December 2021, in which the company and I agreed on selling them the stock options.

In the history of my broker, I see two events that happened in January 2022: exercise and repurchase. I also got the money in my bank account in January 2022, and it was reported by my employer in the 2022 W-2.

So, do I have to report that income in 2022, or can I argue that it is a 2021 income for tax purposes?

  • 1
    why would you want to argue they took place in 2021? Did you know the exact price you would be getting for them in December 2021, or was that unknown until January 2022? Did you already report the income on your tax form for 2021? Jun 8 at 10:01
  • My tax situation was different in 2021 and 2022. The price was known in 2021, but the number of stock options exchanged was known in 2022. Jun 8 at 12:58
  • 1
    Was it within your power to receive the money in 2021 if you wanted to?
    – user102008
    Jun 8 at 17:05
  • No, it wasn't within my power to receive the money in 2021. Jun 8 at 22:04

1 Answer 1


The transaction took place in 2022, as per he broker statements. The fact that you authorized it in 2021 isn't relevant for tax purposes.

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