This excerpt taken from the SIRI DEF 14A filed Apr 30, 2009.
Federal Income Tax Consequences Relating to Awards
The following is a brief summary of some of the federal income tax consequences of certain transactions under the Plan based on federal income tax laws in effect on the date hereof. This summary is not intended to be complete and does not describe state or local tax consequences. It is not intended as tax guidance to participants in the plan.
Tax Consequences to Participants
Non-qualified Stock Options. In general, (i) no income will be recognized by an optionee at the time a non-qualified stock option is granted; (ii) at the time of exercise of a non-qualified stock option, ordinary income will be recognized by the optionee in an amount equal to the difference between the option price paid for the shares and the fair market value of the shares, if unrestricted, on the date of exercise; and (iii) at the time of sale of shares acquired pursuant to the exercise of a non-qualified stock option, appreciation (or depreciation) in value of the shares after the date of exercise will be treated as either short-term or long-term capital gain (or loss) depending on how long the shares have been held.
Incentive Stock Options. No income generally will be recognized by an optionee upon the grant or exercise of an ISO. The exercise of an ISO, however, may result in alternative minimum tax liability. If shares of our common stock are issued to the optionee pursuant to the exercise of an ISO, and if no disqualifying disposition of such shares is made by such optionee within two years after the date of grant or within one year after the transfer of such shares to the optionee, then upon sale of such shares, any amount realized in excess of the option price will be taxed to the optionee as a long-term capital gain and any loss sustained will be a long-term capital loss.
If shares of our common stock acquired upon the exercise of an ISO are disposed of prior to the expiration of either holding period described above, the optionee generally will recognize ordinary income in the year of disposition in an amount equal to the excess (if any) of the fair market value of such shares at the time of exercise (or, if less, the amount realized on the disposition of such shares if a sale or exchange) over the option price paid for such shares. Any further gain (or loss) realized by the participant generally will be taxed as short-term or long-term capital gain (or loss) depending on the holding period.
SARs. No income will be recognized by a participant in connection with the grant of a tandem SAR or a free-standing SAR. When the SAR is exercised, the participant normally will be required to include as taxable ordinary income in the year of exercise an amount equal to the amount of cash received and the fair market value of any unrestricted shares of our common stock received on the exercise.
Restricted Stock. The recipient of restricted stock generally will be subject to tax at ordinary income rates on the fair market value of the restricted stock (reduced by any amount paid by the participant for such restricted stock) at such time as the shares are no longer subject to forfeiture or restrictions on transfer for
purposes of Section 83 of the Code (Restrictions). However, a recipient who so elects under Section 83(b) of the Code within 30 days of the date of transfer of the shares will have taxable ordinary income on the date of transfer of the shares equal to the excess of the fair market value of such shares (determined without regard to the Restrictions) over the purchase price, if any, of such restricted stock. If a Section 83(b) election has not been made, any dividends received with respect to restricted stock that is subject to the Restrictions generally will be treated as compensation that is taxable as ordinary income to the participant.
RSUs. No income generally will be recognized upon the award of RSUs. The recipient of a RSU award generally will be subject to tax at ordinary income rates on the fair market value of unrestricted shares of our common stock on the date that such shares are transferred to the participant under the award (reduced by any amount paid by the participant for such RSUs), and the capital gains/loss holding period for such shares will also commence on such date.
Performance Awards. No income generally will be recognized upon the grant of performance awards. Upon payment in respect of the earn-out of performance awards, the recipient generally will be required to include as taxable ordinary income in the year of receipt an amount equal to the amount of cash received and the fair market value of any unrestricted shares of our common stock received.
Tax Consequences to Us or Our Subsidiary
To the extent that a participant recognizes ordinary income in the circumstances described above, we or the subsidiary for which the participant performs services will be entitled to a corresponding deduction provided that, among other things, the income meets the test of reasonableness, is an ordinary and necessary business expense, is not an excess parachute payment within the meaning of Section 280G of the Code and is not disallowed by the $1 million limitation on certain executive compensation under Section 162(m) of the Code.
Compliance with Section 162(m) of the Code
The Plan is designed to enable us to provide certain forms of performance-based compensation to executive officers that will meet the requirements for tax deductibility under Section 162(m) of the Code.
Compliance with Section 409A of the Code
To the extent applicable, it is intended that the Plan and any grants made thereunder comply with the provisions of Section 409A of the Code, so that the income inclusion provisions of Section 409A(a)(1) of the Code do not apply to the participants. The Plan and any grants made under the Plan will be administered in a manner consistent with this intent. Any reference in the Plan to Section 409A of the Code will also include any regulations or any other formal guidance promulgated with respect to such Section by the U.S. Department of the Treasury or the Internal Revenue Service.