Old news, but still interesting and new to me. Companies get huge tax breaks by giving options to employees. So huge, in some cases, they pay no income tax.Quoted:
When an employee exercises an option to buy stock, the difference between the strike price (what the employee pays) and the market price (which is almost always higher) becomes taxable income for the employee and a tax deduction for the employer.
Why should the company get to write off the difference? Presumably because they shared the profit with the employee.