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Make the most of your equity compensation

 
 
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Waiting to understand your equity choices will cost you more long-term

Proactive tax planning & tax preparation specializing in ISO, NSO, RSU, ESPP, QSBS and 83(b) issues

Tech Professionals Trust Minnie Lau

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  • Thinking of leaving your company but uncertain about what comp is being left behind?

  • Want to exercise your stock options but are afraid of going over budget?

  • Don’t understand AMT and how it works?

  • As a founder, how do you structure your company’s equity plan to best benefit yourself and your employees?

  • Do you understand the general ins and outs of your compensation package?

Who We Work With

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TECH PROFESSIONALS

  • Educate yourself on equity compensation to maximize value for yourself, your employees & your investors.

  • Plan for future liquidity events to maximize your windfall.

  • Optimize the value of your Qualified Small Business Stock.

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EARLY-STAGE START-UPS

  • Determine what type of stock option plan is best for you and your employees.

  • Handle income tax filings so you can spend your time working on your business.

  • Minimize taxes by optimizing existing tax credits.

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TECH FOUNDERS

  • Understand your stock compensation package and what it means now and in the future

  • Determine the value of your equity compensation – how much money are you leaving on the table if you don’t exercise today

  • Structure a plan on RSU liquidation to meet your life goals

How We Help

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LISTEN

This is where we ask a bunch of questions and do our fact-gathering.  We want to know about your hopes and dreams along with your fears and constraints.  Show us your equity plan and the other major financial pieces in your life.

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ANALYZE

We review what you want and determine whether it’s achievable.  If it is – we’ll see if we can do it even better.  If it’s not, we give you the reality of what you can do so that you can make intelligent decisions with substance.

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IMPLEMENT

We help put a plan together for you to follow.  If external parties are involved, we will assist in coordinating them to put your master plan into action.  We may bring in an estate planning attorney to structure vehicles to defer taxation on your stock.  We’ll work with your wealth team to maximize your liquidity.

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FOLLOW THROUGH

In addition to tax planning, we offer tax preparation services.  AMT can be complicated – let us handle your taxes and keep track of your options. 

This is my third year working with Minnie. She tells me straight up what's going on with my taxes.

Laura R.

When I was offered our stock buy-out, Minnie really helped me and my wife with the details and tax planning. She is awesome to work with.

Jim + Kelly M.

Minnie is the best.  When it comes to my finances, Minnie has always provided me with expert advice.

Eli B.

  • How does your tax planning pricing work?
    We tailor our pricing based on your needs. See all pricing information by clicking here.
  • Can you work with my financial team?
    Absolutely! I regularly partner with your existing team to provide the best tax and stock option planning strategy. If you do not already have a financial advisor or team, I'm happy to refer you to several trusted partners.
  • I don't need tax planning. Can you just file my tax returns?
    No. At this time we are only providing tax preparation services for clients who engage us for a tax planning package. We apologize for the inconvenience.
  • What if I already have my own tax preparer or prepare my own?
    Marvelous! You do not need to break up with your tax preparer if you have one you love. We are able to work on your equity compensation planning and tax planning in harmony with your existing tax professional. For those who very much enjoy doing their own taxes (who doesn't?), one of the deliverables for our tax planning is a blueprint of what your projected taxes will look like. We support your choice to stay on Team TurboTax! Depending on your tax return complexity we may make a recommendation to outsource to a tax professional - but that professional does not need to be us! We usually recommend hiring a pro if you're dealing with multiple tax jurisdictions in a given year (like moving from one state to a different one) or exercising shares living in states with AMT (here's looking at you California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, and Minnesota)
  • How do you store my sensitive information?
    Securely! I use Canopy Tax for our sensitive client information. Canopy Tax is an IRS approved provider that meets all of the required cybersecurity measures. In addition to client file storage, it also provides a one-stop shop for document signing and communications.
  • What if I actively trade in cryptocurrency?
    Cool, me too! I am happy to help with this as well since all of your income is relevant to stock options planning. Talk to me about this and I’ll be happy to provide guidance on this as well.
  • I've been using my company's stock exercise calculator to determine how much I owe if I exercise my stock options. Am I harming myself by doing this?
    Possibly! Platforms like Carta and Shareworks have powerful tax forecasting tools built into their infrastructure. However, the information generated by these platforms can be one-dimensional, and the accuracy is 100% dependent on the information you input into their interface. If you've moved states or countries during your tenure with the company, your tax situation becomes more complicated since you're now vesting your equity compensation in multiple tax jurisdictions. Where you earn these stock options matters a lot. A small number of states (the largest being California) have Alternative Minimum Tax, which adds an additional layer of complexity. Understanding the mechanics of how this works and the ramifications you'll have if you decide to move after you exercise is really important for making an informed decision.
  • I only have Restricted Stock Units and no stock options.  Can you still help me?
    If you only have RSUs, we recommend you engage us with our bronze tax planning package. Please reference "How Does Your Tax Planning Pricing Work" for more details.
  • I’m really bullish on my company’s stock. Should I buy some now before they IPO? I want to maximize my upside without getting fleeced by taxes.
    It depends! Those are excellent questions that require some projections to be run. Every client has different priorities. Many want to get a certain amount of liquidity out after taxes, others want to be tax efficient even if it means liquidity takes longer. Make an appointment so we can talk about what matters to you!
Who I Am

About Minnie Lau CPA PC

Minnie Lau CPA PC provides tax advisory to high-earning and high-net-worth individuals.  Our clients include tech founders, early-stage tech start-ups, and tech employees.  We specialize in helping clients maximize the value of their equity compensation by utilizing strategies from the tax code to minimize federal and state taxes.

About Minnie Lau

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Minnie Lau is a CPA with over 15+ years of tax experience.  She is a transplant from Toronto, Canada, and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2000.  Minnie graduated from UC Berkeley, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies.  Subsequently, she earned a Master of Accounting from San Jose State.  Minnie has been featured a number of times in the New York Times.  She has been a speaker for organizations such as FPA, podcasts, and various Bay Area Rotary Clubs.

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