Exercise Backdating

Definition of 'Exercise Backdating'


A practice where option holders fraudulently claim to have exercised their call options at a specific time in the past, where in reality, the options were exercised much later. Exercise backdating is often performed by executives who wish to illegally reduce the amount of capital gains taxes they have to pay as a result of exercising the options.

Investopedia explains 'Exercise Backdating'


An executive will save on capital gains tax if he or she sells shares that have been gained from options (which were exercised less than a year ago). The total amount of taxes on any realized profits could be as high as 35%. However, if those option-granted shares were held for over a year, the total amount of taxes paid could be reduced to as low as 15%. Since some executives have options where the total value of underlying securities are worth millions of dollars, so backdating the exercise date would save them tens of thousands of dollars in taxes.


Filed Under: ,

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. National Best Bid and Offer - NBBO

    A term applying to the SEC requirement that brokers must guarantee customers the best available ask price when they buy securities and the best available bid price when they sell securities.
  2. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin account. In the context of the NYSE and FINRA, after an investor has bought securities on margin, the minimum required level of margin is 25% of the total market value of the securities in the margin account.
  3. Leased Bank Guarantee

    A bank guarantee that is leased to a third party for a specific fee. The issuing bank will conduct due diligence on the creditworthiness of the customer looking to secure a bank guarantee, then lease a guarantee to that customer for a set amount of money and over a set period of time, typically less than two years.
  4. Degree Of Financial Leverage - DFL

    A ratio that measures the sensitivity of a company’s earnings per share (EPS) to fluctuations in its operating income, as a result of changes in its capital structure. Degree of Financial Leverage (DFL) measures the percentage change in EPS for a unit change in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT).
  5. Jeff Bezos

    Self-made billionaire Jeff Bezos is famous for founding online retail giant Amazon.com.
  6. Re-fracking

    Re-fracking is the practice of returning to older wells that had been fracked in the recent past to capitalize on newer, more effective extraction technology. Re-fracking can be effective on especially tight oil deposits – where the shale products low yields – to extend their productivity.
Trading Center