After raising a Series B, Xcell Biosciences ramped up hiring and wanted to ensure new employees understood their equity compensation so they could make informed equity decisions.
“We were targeting candidates who didn’t come from a startup environment and had long tenures with larger companies,” said Xcell Biosciences senior accountant, Daniel Tirado. “They might not be familiar with the startup equity world, so we wanted to give them the resources they needed to make the most of their equity compensation. If we’re asking them to make a leap of faith, we want to help them maximize the return on that leap of faith.”
Daniel Tirado, senior accountant
Before Carta Tax Advisory, we didn’t offer equity education because of the liability we could incur for giving tax advice.
Xcell Biosciences is a San Francisco-based life science company creating technology that helps support the development of cell therapy products.
“Before Carta Tax Advisory, we didn’t offer equity education because of the liability we could incur for giving tax advice,” said Daniel. “I worked at previous companies that hosted an internal webinar where the finance team explained equity basics, but because it was so broad, it wasn’t helpful for employees,” he added. “And since employees didn’t understand the value of their equity, it lost some of its value as a retention tool.”
To help employees understand their stock options and make smart equity decisions, Xcell Biosciences wanted an unbiased third party to provide educational webinars and tax advisors to answer employee questions like:
- What’s the difference between ISOs and NSOs?
- How many options can I exercise to avoid the alternative minimum tax (AMT)?
- How much will I owe in taxes if I exercise now vs. later?
With Carta Tax Advisory, Xcell Biosciences can provide in-depth equity education without putting itself in the potentially risky position of giving tax advice.
Carta’s tax advisors provide company-wide webinars customized to Xcell Biosciences’ equity plan and unlimited, free one-on-one tax advisory sessions to all employees. In the one-on-one sessions, employees can dive deeper into their equity and tax questions, calculate different exercise/sell scenarios, and walk away with a personalized tax plan.
Xcell Biosciences seamlessly rolled out equity and tax education to its employees to help them make informed decisions about their equity and bolstered its benefits package.
Reduced operational burden
Xcell Biosciences already turned to Carta for equity management and 409A valuations, so using the Tax Advisory service was a turn-key solution. “We were already on Carta for cap table management, so it was a no-brainer,” said Daniel. “Carta had access to all our equity information, so we wouldn’t have to continuously update information or integrate with another system. It was already there.”
Strengthened a competitive benefits program
An unexpected bonus has been the positive reaction Xcell Biosciences has received from new hires when they see Carta Tax Advisory in their benefits package. “It’s been well received during onboarding by new employees, especially those who are new to the startup world and realize they really need this education,” said Daniel.
Help your employees navigate equity and tax decisions