Paulsen Proposes New Employee Stock Ownership Tax Rules
Rep. Erik Paulsen wants to make it easier for startups to offer its employees a slice of ownership. Or, at least, that’s the intention of the bill he introduced in House of Representatives earlier this month.
The Empowering Employees Through Stock Ownership Act would allow employees to defer taxes normally due up front when exercising a stock option—a common form of compensation at a startup, but one that can cause issues if the employee doesn’t have cash on hand to pay the taxes. The bill provides employees with as many as seven years before the taxes are due.
“This bipartisan legislation will grow startup small businesses by helping make these jobs more attractive to top talent and empowering their employees,” Paulsen said in a statement. “Startups and small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, and this common-sense fix will accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY). An identical bill is currently working through the Senate authored by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Dean Heller (R-NV).