Section 162(m) of the tax code limits the amount of deductible compensation that a company can pay to the CEO and top four other most highly paid officers to $1 million annually. While there are other exceptions to the $1 million deduction limitation, e.g. compensation deferred under a nonqualified deferred compensation plan, the performance-based exception is the one that receives the most attention. Compensation must meet four statutory requirements in order to be considered performance-based under Section 162(m). Interestingly however, stock options have been designated by Congress as being per se performance-based compensation. This designation has drawn the ire of several members of Congress, who have accused companies of trying to game the tax system by increasing option-based compensation for executives. Section 162(m) as a whole has been criticized by both Democrats and Republicans, who agree that 162(m) did not accomplish its intended goal of limiting compensation by making it more performance based and instead has resulted in unintended consequences (e.g. 162(m) may have established one million dollars as the base salary for CEOs). While Democrats have routinely decried executive compensation tax policies, even notable Republicans have echoed the calls to some extent. As a result, any potential reform to the tax code is likely to include changes to, or even the elimination of Section 162(m).