This excerpt taken from the NVLS DEF 14A filed Apr 11, 2007.
Incentive Stock Options. The grant of an incentive stock option under the 2001 Plan will not result in any federal income tax consequences to the participant or to the Company. A participant recognizes no federal taxable income upon exercising an incentive stock option (subject to the alternative minimum tax rules discussed below), and the Company receives no deduction at the time of exercise. In the event of a disposition of stock acquired upon exercise of an incentive stock option, the tax consequences depend upon how long
the participant has held the shares of Common Stock. If the participant does not dispose of the shares within two years after the incentive stock option was granted, nor within one year after the incentive stock option was exercised, the participant will recognize a long-term capital gain (or loss) equal to the difference between the sale price of the shares and the exercise price. The Company is not entitled to any deduction under these circumstances.
If the participant fails to satisfy either of the foregoing holding periods (referred to as a disqualifying disposition), he or she must recognize ordinary income in the year of the disposition. The amount of ordinary income generally is the lesser of (i) the difference between the amount realized on the disposition and the exercise price or (ii) the difference between the fair market value of the stock at the time of exercise and the exercise price. Any gain in excess of the amount taxed as ordinary income will be treated as a long or short-term capital gain, depending on whether the stock was held for more than one year. The Company, in the year of the disqualifying disposition, is entitled to a deduction equal to the amount of ordinary income recognized by the participant, subject to possible limitations imposed by Section 162(m) of the Code and so long as the participants total compensation is deemed reasonable in amount.
The spread under an incentive stock option - i.e., the difference between the fair market value of the shares at exercise and the exercise price - is classified as an item of adjustment in the year of exercise for purposes of the alternative minimum tax. If a participants alternative minimum tax liability exceeds such participants regular income tax liability, the participant will owe the larger amount of taxes. In order to avoid the application of alternative minimum tax with respect to incentive stock options, the participant must sell the shares within the calendar year in which the incentive stock options are exercised. However, such a sale of shares within the year of exercise will constitute a disqualifying disposition, as described above.