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For sake of simplicity let's say I vested 100 shares from RSUs, that triggered a stock sale of 40 shares at $10/share to cover tax withholding of $400.

Is it possible to offset the $1,000 gain realized from vesting with a carried over short term capital loss from past years (has nothing to do with the RSUs or the company) and somehow get the $400 taxes withheld back from Uncle Sam?

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No.

The gain on RSU is not a capital gain, it is considered wages and treated as part of your salary, for tax purposes. You cannot offset it with capital losses in excess of $3000 a year.

If you have RSUs left after they vest, and you then sell them at gain, the gain (between the vesting price and the sale price) is capital gain and can be offset by your prior years' capital losses.

  • That's kind of what I thought, but wanted to flush out any doubts in my mind. Interstingly enough I was not able to find a similar question asked anywhere else; or maybe I didn't do a good job searching. Oh well, thanks for clarifying this for me. – Jason May 13 '15 at 4:50

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