The company I'm working for (for some time already) offered me and other colleagues employee stock options. They're presenting it as such a great "gift" to us and almost that we should be grateful for it.
The vesting scheme is set so that I won't get anything for a certain period. But due to the local tax laws, you'd need to pay taxes on the whole sum upfront. My calculation is, it probably will not be beneficial for me if I stay in this company for - say - less than 2 years. Until that point, I will only lose money (on the tax paid, which cannot be reclaimed). I might gain quite a lot if I stayed for 4 years, but that's really a long time for me.
I'm not really sure if I want to stay in the company long enough so it becomes beneficial. So my natural instinct would be to refuse this option.
I don't mean to be ungrateful, I think I'm doing a good job for this company (even without stocks), I don't have a specific problem with that job. Also it's not that I don't believe in this company market success, I do. But in ~2 years I might want to be somewhere else.
My concern is that refusing "such a great offer" (as it was presented by my employer) will be kind of a red flag for the employer that I'm thinking of leaving the company. I don't want to leave right now, I'm not ready for that change at this point.
So is refusing a stock option an option? When from the company perspective, I don't risk anything, "just the taxes"?
Or should I just swallow it and pay the taxes and live with the risk that I might only lose money on this? That certainly won't trigger any suspicion, but I'm not sure if it's very honest to myself.