About stock options Options generally fall into two main categories: incentive stock options (ISOs) and non-qualified stock options (NQSOs or NSOs). ISOs are usually taxed at the capital gains rate, but often require the employee to hold the stock for a specified period of time after purchase. NSOs are taxed at the higher ordinary income rate — but employees can sell the stock at any time after purchase. This may help to avoid the risk of holding the stock. Stock options: factors to consider Raising the funds required to exercise your options are one important factor to consider during the evaluation process. Plus, the tax ramifications of exercising those options and understanding their impact are crucial. There are examples of decisions you will make based on your circumstances, and your Allen & Company financial advisor can help. You’ll work personally with an advisor from our Lakeland, Winter Haven, or Space Coast offices. Our advisors work in close partnership with your accountant, tax professional, and other experts. Am important part of our process is talking through suggested solutions before you exercise your options, and guiding you through the process every step of the way.