This excerpt taken from the VZ DEF 14A filed Mar 23, 2009.
Federal Income Tax Considerations
The following is a summary of the federal income tax consequences of the various types of awards available under the 2009 LTIP based on current tax laws. The federal income tax consequences of any particular award may vary based on the terms and conditions associated with that award.
Restricted Stock Units, Performance Share Units and Performance Shares. A participant who has been granted a restricted stock unit, performance share unit or performance share will not realize taxable income at the time of grant, and the Company will not be entitled to claim a corresponding income tax deduction at that time. The participant will have income equal to the amount of cash received when the award is paid and/or the fair market value of the shares at the time they are distributed. The Company will be entitled to claim a corresponding income tax deduction at that time.
Restricted Stock. A participant who has been granted shares of restricted stock will not realize taxable income at the time of grant, and the Company will not be entitled to claim a corresponding income tax deduction, assuming that any restrictions on the participants ability to earn such award create a substantial risk of forfeiture for federal income tax purposes. When the stock that is the subject of an award vests, the participant will realize ordinary income in an amount equal to the then fair market value of
those shares, and the Company will be entitled to claim a corresponding income tax deduction. Gains or losses that the participant realizes upon a subsequent disposition of those shares will be treated as capital gains or losses. Alternatively, a participant may elect under Section 83(b) of the Code to recognize income at the date of grant of restricted stock and to have the applicable capital gain holding period commence as of that date. In that event, the Company will be entitled to claim a corresponding income tax deduction as of the date of grant.
Stock Options and SARs. A participant will not recognize any taxable income, and the Company will not be entitled to claim a corresponding income tax deduction, upon the grant of a nonqualified stock option, incentive stock option or SAR under the 2009 LTIP.
If a participant exercises a nonqualified stock option or SAR, he or she will recognize taxable income equal to the difference between the fair market value of Verizon common stock on the date of exercise and the grant price of such nonqualified stock option or SAR. Verizon will be entitled to claim an income tax deduction equal to the amount of taxable income recognized by the participant.
A participant does not recognize taxable income upon the exercise of an incentive stock option. However, the difference between the fair market value of Verizon common stock on the date of exercise and the grant price of the incentive stock option is a tax preference item that must be considered in determining whether the participant is subject to the alternative minimum tax. If the participant does not dispose of the stock acquired through the exercise of an incentive stock option within two years after the date of grant or one year after the exercise date, any taxable income recognized on the date of sale will be subject to tax as a capital gain. If the above holding period requirements are not met, part or all of any income recognized on the date of sale will be subject to tax as ordinary income, and Verizon will be entitled to claim an income tax deduction in an equal amount.
An incentive stock option becomes a nonqualified stock option if it is exercised more than three months after the participant has terminated his or her employment with Verizon or 12 months if the termination of employment is due to death or disability.
Deduction Limits and Performance Measures. A federal income tax deduction is typically not available for annual compensation in excess of $1,000,000 paid to the chief executive officer or any one of the other named executive officers (other than the chief financial officer). However, performance-based compensation as defined in Section 162(m) of the Code is not counted toward this limit. The Committee may designate certain awards under the 2009 LTIP as performance-based compensation and must condition those awards on the achievement of specified performance measures. The Committee may use Company performance measures that are based on one or more of the following: income measures (including, but not limited to, gross profit, operating income, earnings before or after taxes, or earnings per share); return measures (including, but not limited to, return on assets, investment, equity, or sales); free cash flow; cash flow return on investments (which equals net cash flows divided by owners equity); gross revenues; market value added; economic value added; and share price (including, but not limited to, growth measures and total shareholder return or relative growth measures and relative total shareholder return). To satisfy the requirements that apply to performance-based compensation, the performance measures must be approved by the Companys shareholders. Approval of the 2009 LTIP will also constitute approval of the performance measures listed above.