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the much different – and more financially beneficial – tax rules that apply when issuing “at the money” or "out of the money" stock options.Additionally, companies can use backdating to produce greater executive incomes without having to report higher expenses to their shareholders, which can lower company earnings and/or cause the company to fall short of earnings predictions and public expectations.The thing I liked about the Journal's treatment of the Alexander case was how the reporter managed to be respectful toward the Namibian legal system while at the same time hinting to readers that not every society has the same attitude toward Option backdating scandals: how management accountants can help: backdating of employee stock options can have a significant negative effect on a public company.In the context of mutual funds, a feature allowing fundholders to use an earlier date on a letter of intent to invest in a mutual fund in exchange for a reduced sales charge, e.g.
The first step in untangling the causes of backdating is to acknowledge that the backdating phenomenon must be driven by both supply and demand factors. Lipman, Incentive Stock Options and the Alternative Minimum Tax: The Worst of Time, 39 Harv. Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Pub.
Giving retroactive value to purchases from the earlier date.
In the context of corporate governance, the illegal practice of setting the date of options awarded as part of executive compensation to a period when the stock price was very low (rather than setting the date of the options on the date the award was made).
The practice of backdating executive stock options has received significant attention in the U. financial and legal literature, and has recently begun to be discussed in the Canadian legal literature. Backdating, in its most basic form, is the use of hindsight to selectively pick a local low point in a stock’s trading price and issue executive stock options stipulating the selected date as the grant date when, in fact, the options are granted at a later date. In 2003, the rate was reduced to 5% for individuals in the lowest two income brackets and 15% for all others.
Because the backdated options’ strike price is lower than the market price on the actual grant date, the recipient has received something of greater monetary value (even if the options have not yet vested) than a correctly dated at-the-money option. Companies could reward executives with cash compensation or additional properly dated and priced incentive awards, including options, rather than engage in dubious backdating practices. It is clear that there must be reasons other than greed that have led so many to backdate executive options. Academics, regulators, and practitioners alike have tried to gain a better understanding of these incentives and the roles they have played in the backdating scandal; however, there is as of yet no consensus regarding the causes of backdating. This is problematic because policy, legislative, or regulatory changes are unlikely to be effective if the root causes are unknown. In 2008, the long-term capital gain rate for individuals in the lowest two tax brackets (currently 5% and 15%) was further reduced to zero.
My views are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission or any other member of the staff. In addition to our investigations, there is substantial criminal interest in options matters from United States Attorneys' Offices nationwide.