The Columns

W&L Law’s Brant Hellwig Publishes Book on U.S. Tax Court

— by on June 2nd, 2015

Washington and Lee law professor and incoming dean Brant Hellwig recently completed a manuscript detailing the historical evolution and jurisdiction of the United States Tax Court.

The text, titled “The United States Tax Court – An Historical Analysis,” is an expanded second edition of the seminal Tax Court history published by Professor Harold Dubroff in the late 1970s. Dubroff’s edition was written shortly after Congress established the Tax Court as a court of record under Article I of the Constitution.  The Tax Court commissioned Hellwig to update Dubroff’s work in light of the considerable expansion in the Tax Court’s statutory jurisdiction in recent years.

“Professor Dubroff’s original manuscript served as a critical source of information about the Tax Court, and it is an honor to bring the text in line with more recent developments,” said Hellwig.

Among the updates, the revised and expanded text analyzes subsequent cases affecting the Tax Court’s constitutional status, including the Supreme Court’s 1991 decision in Freytag v. Commissioner as well as the 2014 decision from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in Kuretski v. Commissioner.

New topics include the discussion of a number of innovations in the Tax Court’s jurisdiction that are intended to improve the efficiency of tax litigation.  Hellwig also explores the jurisdiction of the Tax Court to review the administration of a variety of recently created taxpayer rights.

U.S. Tax Court Chief Judge Michael B. Thornton announced the publication of the text recently at the opening of the United States Tax Court Judicial Conference. In addition to making the two-volume bound version of the text available for purchase through the Government Printing Office (GPO), the Tax Court has provided a free electronic version of the book through the GPO as well, available online here.

Hellwig joined the W&L law school faculty in 2012. He teaches a variety of tax courses, including Federal Income Taxation of Individuals, Partnership Taxation, Corporate Taxation, and Estate and Gift Taxation. His scholarship in the field is similarly broad, ranging from the income tax treatment of deferred compensation arrangements to the estate tax treatment of closely held business entities employed as trust substitutes.

In February, Hellwig was appointed dean of W&L Law, effective July 1.

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