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From left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Finance chairman Orrin Hatch, Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Trump's economic adviser Gary Cohn, make statements to reporters. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The Senate GOP tax plan unveiled last week includes a provision that would tax stock options and restricted stock units at vesting, rather than when they are exercised (as under current law) or when there actually is a liquid market (as under the amended House proposal).

Why it matters, per Greg Grogan, a compensation and employee benefits attorney with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett: "Employees will owe taxes on 'potential' value on the vesting date of their options before they know whether the option will ever really be worth anything and before there is any cash available to pay taxes."

  • Not only is such a plan nonsensical in terms of encouraging new company creation, but it's also fiscally dumb.
  • For example, imagine if all early Facebook employees had been taxed at the time of vesting (at relatively low valuations) as opposed to the time of exercise or sale. Pretty sure that would result in lower tax revenue (while, again, the entire plan might have discouraged people from working to build Facebook in the first place).
  • If it passes: Startups would need to flip their compensation structure to favoring cash over equity.

Go deeper

30 mins ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.

First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.