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RSU Tax Rate Arlington Virginia: Essential Information for Employees

Restricted stock units (RSUs) have become a popular form of compensation, especially in the tech industry. In locations such as Arlington, Virginia, many employees find that understanding the taxes associated with RSUs is crucial for effective financial planning. This article will provide an overview of RSU taxation, focusing on the particularities that may apply to employees in Arlington, Virginia.

RSUs are commonly offered as part of an employee’s compensation package, providing an opportunity to benefit from the growth of the company’s stock. When these units vest, their fair market value becomes taxable as ordinary income. For employees in Arlington, Virginia, understanding the specific tax implications and rates that apply to RSUs is essential to managing their financial affairs.

In addition to federal tax obligations, Virginia state taxation also plays a role in an employee’s RSU tax rate. Employees must know local tax laws and regulations when planning their RSU-related income. This article aims to navigate the complexities of taxes on RSUs in Arlington, Virginia, helping employees make informed decisions about their financial futures.

What Are Restricted Stock Units (RSUs)

Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) are a popular form of stock compensation among tech companies and startups. They are company shares awarded to employees, which vest over a period of time. This is a popular form of equity compensation that benefits employees and employers. RSUs are subject to taxes, and the rates at which they are taxed vary depending on several factors, including the employee’s income and the state they reside in.

Benefits of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) for Employees

Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) are becoming increasingly popular among employees in today’s competitive job market due to their numerous benefits. RSUs provide a valuable form of equity compensation, granting employees a stake in the company’s success. One significant advantage of RSUs is their potential for substantial financial gains, as the value of RSUs increases with the company’s stock price.

Additionally, RSUs encourage loyalty and long-term commitment, as they typically vest over a specific period, incentivizing employees to remain with the company. Furthermore, RSUs align the interests of employees with shareholders, fostering a sense of ownership and motivation to drive the company’s performance.

Lastly, RSUs offer favorable tax treatment, with potential tax deferral options, reducing the immediate tax burden and maximizing employee benefits. Overall, RSUs present a compelling opportunity for employees to participate in the company’s growth, receive financial rewards, and build a stronger partnership with their organization.

Benefits of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) for Employers

Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) offer employers a compelling advantage in attracting and retaining top talent in today’s competitive business landscape. RSUs are a powerful tool to motivate and reward employees, fostering a sense of loyalty and commitment. By offering RSUs, employers give employees an ownership stake in the company, aligning their interests with the organization’s long-term success. This alignment drives employee engagement, productivity, and a shared focus on achieving company goals.

RSUs also act as a retention strategy, as they typically vest over time, incentivizing employees to stay with the company and contribute to its growth. Moreover, RSUs can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional cash bonuses, allowing employers to grant valuable equity without immediate cash outflows. Additionally, RSUs can attract top talent, as they offer the potential for substantial financial rewards and an opportunity for employees to build wealth alongside the company’s success.

In summary, RSUs provide employers with a powerful tool to enhance employee retention, engagement, and recruitment while driving organizational performance and fostering a culture of shared ownership.

Overview of RSU Tax Rate

In Arlington, Virginia, RSUs are generally taxed at the federal and state levels. At the federal level, the tax owed on RSUs depends on the individual’s income tax bracket. These brackets range from 10% to 37% in 2023, and the individual’s adjusted gross income determines the specific rate applied. When RSUs vest, the fair market value of the shares at that time is considered ordinary income and subsequently taxed at the individual’s federal income tax rate source.

In addition to federal taxes, RSUs are subject to Virginia state income tax. The state has a progressive tax system, with rates ranging from 2% to 5.75%. As with federal taxes, the amount of state tax an individual pays on their RSUs is determined by their overall income for the year source.

It is essential for employees who possess RSUs to understand the tax implications, as the taxes owed can significantly impact the net value of their equity compensation. Furthermore, tax planning strategies might help reduce the overall tax liability for individuals receiving RSUs. Companies that issue RSUs should also provide guidance and ensure their employees clearly understand the taxation rules applicable to their RSUs source.

Employees residing in Arlington, Virginia, should consider consulting a financial advisor or tax advisor like My Personal Tax CPA to ensure proper tax planning and compliance when dealing with RSUs. Maintaining an accurate understanding of the RSU tax rate is imperative for employees and employers to maximize the benefits of equity-based compensation plans and minimize potential tax-related issues. If you’d like to book a free consultation to review your restricted stock units (RSU) tax rate and capital gains tax, please get in touch today.

RSU Taxation for Virginia Residents

Ordinary Income

For Virginia residents, the taxation of RSUs begins when they reach a vested and settled status, typically coinciding with a liquidity event. The ordinary income from RSUs is calculated by multiplying the number of shares by the fair market value at the time of the vesting date. This amount is subject to both federal and Virginia state income tax.

When filing Virginia state income tax returns, residents must include income from all sources, including ordinary income from vested RSUs. Part-year residents are required to compute their Virginia taxable income by factoring in the ratio of their net income, gain, loss, and deductions from Virginia sources to their net income, gain, loss, and deductions from all sources, as explained in the Public Document (P.D) 85-134 (06/18/1985).

Capital Gain or Loss

Upon selling the shares obtained from vested RSUs, Virginia residents may realize a capital gain or loss. The capital gain or loss is calculated as the difference between the selling price of the shares and their fair market value at the time of vesting. This amount is subject to capital gains tax, which depends on whether the shares were held for a short-term or long-term period.

Virginia residents must report their realized capital gains or losses on their state income tax return. If the shares were held for more than one year, they are subject to long-term capital gains tax at the federal level, which typically has a lower tax rate than short-term capital gains tax.

W-2 Reporting

For Virginia residents with vested RSUs, the ordinary income arising from the vesting event is included in their W-2 form provided by their employer. The income should be reported on both federal and Virginia state income tax returns. In the case of part-year residents, this income should be allocated to Virginia sources when filing Form 760, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Individual Income Tax Return.

In summary, RSU taxation for Virginia residents involves ordinary income tax at the time of vesting and capital gains tax upon selling the shares. These amounts must be accurately reported on an individual’s federal and Virginia state income tax returns, with part-year residents allocating income to Virginia sources appropriately.

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RSU Taxation for Nonresidents

Taxable Income for Nonresidents

In Arlington, Virginia, nonresidents who earn income from Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) vesting are subject to taxation. Virginia state income tax regulations require that nonresidents report RSU-related income when they file their tax returns 1. For non-residents, taxable income from RSUs is “computed by multiplying their Virginia taxable income (as if they were residents) by the ratio of their net income” from Virginia sources compared to their total income from all sources2.

Filing As A Nonresident

Nonresidents must file Form 760, the Virginia state income tax return form for nonresidents, if their Virginia source income exceeds the state’s filing threshold3. For part-year residents, a separate filing of Form 760 is required, and the nonresident portion of the taxable income will also be subject to taxation.

If a nonresident has moved out of the state during the tax year, filing all required tax returns accurately and on time is essential. Virginia law requires nonresidents to pay taxes and report gains from RSUs, even if the nonresident has moved away during the tax year4.


  1. (https://www.tax.virginia.gov/laws-rules-decisions/rulings-tax-commissioner/18-114) ↩
  2. (https://www.tax.virginia.gov/laws-rules-decisions/rulings-tax-commissioner/18-114) ↩
  3. (https://www.tax.virginia.gov/laws-rules-decisions/rulings-tax-commissioner/18-114) ↩
  4. (https://www.tax.virginia.gov/laws-rules-decisions/rulings-tax-commissioner/18-114) ↩

In conclusion, understanding the RSU tax rate in Arlington, Virginia is crucial for employees and employers. By being aware of the tax implications of RSUs, employees can make informed decisions about their compensation and tax planning. Too many people enter their job contracts without a clear idea of their tax liability, how restricted stock units work, how RSU income is typically taxed, and the intricacies of RSU taxes.

People must understand the RSU tax rate in their state, how this form of equity compensation is taxed, what kind of federal and state taxes they owe based on their income tax rates, whether their vesting schedule impacts their tax liability, and how their vested stock options and RSUs are taxed differently. ]

On the other hand, employers can also use this knowledge to structure compensation packages that are competitive and attractive to top talent. An understanding of their employee’s total tax bill and immediate tax liability will allow them to better support quality talent in making the right decisions.

As the business landscape evolves, RSUs will remain a valuable tool for companies to motivate and retain employees while driving organizational performance. With the right tax planning and guidance, employees and employers can unlock the full potential of RSUs in Arlington, Virginia.

If you are looking for a tax advisor to help you navigate your equity compensation and navigate your capital gains taxes, we can help. We understand RSU tax rates and have strategies to help you file your federal income taxes and your state and local taxes. Request a quote today, and a tax professional from our team will be happy to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the RSU tax rate in Arlington, VA?

The tax rate applied to RSUs in Arlington, VA, depends on federal and state income tax laws. RSUs are considered a form of compensation and are, therefore, subject to income taxes like any other form of income. In Virginia, income tax rates range from 2% to 5.75%, depending on the taxable income bracket.

How does Arlington’s income tax affect RSU taxation?

Arlington County does not impose a separate local income tax on its residents. Therefore, Restricted Stock Unit (RSU) taxation in Arlington, VA, is mainly influenced by federal income tax and the state of Virginia’s income tax withholding regulations mentioned earlier. It is essential for recipients of RSUs to understand their tax liability and ensure they comply with the federal and Virginia state tax laws.

Does Arlington’s sales tax rate apply to RSU?

Arlington’s sales tax rate does not apply to RSUs, as RSUs are considered a form of compensation and not a product or service subject to sales tax. A Restricted Stock Unit is generally taxed based on the fair market value of the shares when they vest, and the taxes are primarily in the form of income taxes. Therefore, RSU recipients need to focus on income tax liabilities rather than sales tax when evaluating their individual tax situations.

Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult a tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction or submitting any IRS form.
Picture of Ramin Mohammad

Ramin Mohammad

Ramin Mohammad is a lawyer and CPA with over 15 years of experience including working in audits, teaching, and in big law. Ramin helps clients on both personal and business related tax issues ranging from a multitude of practice areas including tax structuring, planning and cross jurisdictional taxes. His client-base expands throughout the US and overseas offering tax consulting, tax planning and tax preparation.

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