This excerpt taken from the AAPL DEF 14A filed Jan 12, 2010.
Federal Income Tax Consequences
The following is a brief summary of the U.S. federal income tax consequences applicable to awards granted under the 2003 Plan based on the federal income tax laws in effect on the date of this Proxy Statement. This summary is not intended to be exhaustive and does not address all matters relevant to a particular participant based on his or her specific circumstances. The summary expressly does not discuss the income tax laws of any state, municipality, or non-U.S. taxing jurisdiction, or the gift, estate, excise (including the rules applicable to deferred compensation under Code Section 409A), or other tax laws other than federal income tax law. The following is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purposes of avoiding taxpayer penalties. Because individual circumstances may vary, the Company advises all participants to consult their own tax advisor concerning the tax implications of awards granted under the 2003 Plan.
A recipient of a stock option or stock appreciation right will not have taxable income upon the grant of the stock option or stock appreciation right. For nonstatutory stock options and stock appreciation rights, the participant will recognize ordinary income upon exercise in an amount equal to the difference between the fair market value of the shares and the exercise price on the date of exercise. Any gain or loss recognized upon any later disposition of the shares generally will be a capital gain or loss.
The acquisition of shares upon exercise of an incentive stock option will not result in any taxable income to the participant, except, possibly, for purposes of the alternative minimum tax. The gain or loss recognized by the participant on a later sale or other disposition of such shares will either be long-term capital gain or loss or
ordinary income, depending upon whether the participant holds the shares for the legally-required period (two years from the date of grant and one year from the date of exercise). If the shares are not held for the legally-required period, the participant will recognize ordinary income equal to the lesser of (i) the difference between the fair market value of the shares on the date of exercise and the exercise price, or (ii) the difference between the sales price and the exercise price.
For awards of stock grants, the participant will not have taxable income upon the receipt of the award (unless the participant elects to be taxed at the time the stock is granted rather than when it becomes vested). The stock grants will generally be subject to tax upon vesting as ordinary income equal to the fair market value of the shares at the time of vesting less the amount paid for such shares (if any).
A participant is not deemed to receive any taxable income at the time an award of restricted stock units is granted. When vested restricted stock units (and dividend equivalents, if any) are settled and distributed, the participant will recognize ordinary income equal to the amount of cash and/or the fair market value of shares received less the amount paid for such restricted stock units (if any).
If the participant is an employee or former employee, the amount a participant recognizes as ordinary income in connection with any award is subject to withholding taxes (not applicable to incentive stock options) and the Company is allowed a tax deduction equal to the amount of ordinary income recognized by the participant. In addition, Code Section 162(m) contains special rules regarding the federal income tax deductibility of compensation paid to the Companys chief executive officer and to certain of the Companys other executive officers. The general rule is that annual compensation paid to any of these specified executives will be deductible only to the extent that it does not exceed $1,000,000. However, the Company can preserve the deductibility of certain compensation in excess of $1,000,000 if such compensation qualifies as performance-based compensation by complying with certain conditions imposed by the Code Section 162(m) rules (including the establishment of a maximum number of shares with respect to which awards may be granted to any one employee during one year) and if the material terms of such compensation are disclosed to and approved by the Companys shareholders.
This excerpt taken from the AAPL DEF 14A filed Apr 16, 2007.
Federal Income Tax Consequences. The federal income tax consequences of issuing and exercising stock options under the Director Plan may be summarized as follows. The grant of a stock option has no immediate federal income tax effect. The director will not recognize taxable income and the Company will not receive a tax deduction. When the director exercises the option, the director will recognize ordinary income and the Company will receive a tax deduction, in each case measured by the difference between the exercise price and the fair market value of the shares on the date of exercise. When the director sells shares obtained from exercising a stock option, any gain or loss will be taxed as a capital gain or loss (long-term or short-term, depending on how long the shares have been held).