This excerpt taken from the HSY DEF 14A filed Mar 16, 2007.
What are the tax aspects of the EICP?
A recipient of a stock option or SAR will not have taxable income upon the grant of the option or SAR. For options and SARs the participant will recognize ordinary taxable income on exercise equal to the increase of the fair market value of the shares over the exercise price on the date of exercise. In the United States, any gain or loss recognized upon any later disposition of the shares generally will be capital gain or loss.
Unless the participant elects to be taxed at the time of receipt of an award of restricted stock or performance stock, the participant will not have taxable income until the restricted stock or performance stock vests. The taxable income will be the fair market value of the shares at the time of vesting. A recipient of restricted stock units, performance stock units, or deferred stock units or other stock-based awards and cash awards will not have taxable income until the award is paid. The participant will recognize taxable income equal to the fair market value of the shares or the amount of cash received by the participant. In addition, section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code imposes certain restrictions on deferred compensation arrangements. Awards that are treated as deferred compensation under section 409A are intended to meet the requirements of that section.
At the discretion of the Committee, the EICP allows a participant to satisfy tax withholding requirements under U.S. federal and state tax laws or applicable foreign tax laws in connection with the exercise or receipt of an award by electing to have shares of Common Stock withheld, or by delivering to us already-owned shares of our Common Stock, having a value equal to the amount required to be withheld. If shares of our Common Stock are withheld to satisfy a participants tax withholding obligations with respect to an award, then the withheld shares will not be available again for issuance under the EICP.
We will be entitled to a tax deduction in connection with an award under the EICP only in an amount equal to the ordinary taxable income realized by the participant and at the time the participant recognizes the income. Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code contains special rules regarding the federal income tax deductibility of compensation paid to our Chief Executive Officer and certain other executive officers. The general rule is that annual compensation paid to the Chief Executive Officer or other named executive officers will be deductible only to the extent that it does not exceed $1,000,000. However, we can preserve the deductibility of certain compensation in excess of $1,000,000 if we comply with conditions imposed by section 162(m), 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 for awards other than options and SARs, the Committee setting performance goals which must be achieved prior to payment of the awards. The EICP is designed to enable the Committee to grant awards that satisfy the requirements of section 162(m), thereby allowing us to minimize the effect of section 162(m) on our federal income tax deduction in connection with these awards.
The tax discussion above is based on U.S. income tax laws as currently in effect and is not intended to be a complete discussion of or to address the tax treatment under any foreign jurisdiction or any state or local laws.