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Listen to the online stuff.

Basically, your employer got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, backdating stock options for some or all employees. Anyone with a backdated option is getting hit for this penalty tax.

IIRC, there was a code on your W-2 to indicate the amount of these options subject to the 409A tax. You might give that a double check.

I had a couple of clients affected by this who worked for Broadcom. Broadcom has chosen to give affected employees a cash payment (taxable of course) to basically pay this tax for them. You might also check and see if your employer is picking up this tax on their employees for the employer's error.

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