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In February 2002, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued new proposed regulations with respect to the golden parachute rules. In response to numerous comments received by the IRS, the new proposed regulations both modify and clarify the set of proposed regulations issued by the IRS on golden parachutes in 1989. They address the definition of disqualified individuals, the treatment of statutory stock options, methodologies for valuing stock options and the shareholder approval requirements. While they do not represent a radical departure from the 1989 proposed regulations, the breadth is notable. Taxpayers should note that the new regulations may be relied upon for payments contingent on a change in ownership or control occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2004. For payments occurring prior to that date, taxpayers have the option to rely upon either the new proposed regulations or the 1989 proposed regulations.

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