Financial Executives International filed an amicus curiae “friend of the court” brief on April 4 in support of a court decision in a case involving Textron to protect certain tax work papers and supporting notes from disclosure to the Internal Revenue Service.

Arguments in the appeal of the U.S. vs. Textron opinion issued last August are expected to be held this summer in the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Aug. 29, 2007, the Federal District Court in Rhode Island held that the tax accrual work papers of Textron were protected by attorney work product protection and denied the IRS access.

The petition was jointly filed by FEI’s Committee on Taxation and Committee on Corporate Reporting, and was prepared by the law firm Miller & Chevalier. The committees argue that the lower court decision appropriately balances the competing interests of the IRS, the investing public and the fairness considerations that protect attorney work product.

This appropriate balancing should permit companies to share candid assessments of potential litigation claims with their outside auditors, for example, without fear that such information would be accessible by competitors or adversaries.

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