What is an 'Incentive Stock Option - ISO'
An incentive stock option (ISO) is a type of employee stock option with a tax benefit, when you exercise, of not having to pay ordinary income tax. Instead, the options are taxed at a capital gains rate.
BREAKING DOWN 'Incentive Stock Option - ISO'
Although ISOs have more favorable tax treatment than non-qualified stock options (NSOs), they also require the holder to take on more risk by having to hold onto the stock for a longer period of time in order to receive the better tax treatment.
Also, numerous requirements must be met in order to qualify as an ISO.