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>>To be more precise than you were, this is taxed as wages, and there's really nothing you can do to soften the blow. Look on the bright side. At least you'll max out on SS contributions early.<<

A little late on the reply, you seem to be saying that my labeling of this money should be called wages, not ordinary income. I need to ask a follow up. I also have a problem with being considered a "highly compensated employee" (don't all cry at once). I have not been able to max out my 401k. I am locked into 5% of my wages. Previous stock option exercises were not included in computing my "wage." My income from the exercises was labeled "ordinary income" to show the difference. It was taxed at the same rate as wages.

Do I have this correct or is it just semantics? I would love to be wrong.

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