Walter Hellerstein


Walter Hellerstein joined the Georgia Law faculty in 1978 and was named the Francis Shackelford Distinguished Professor in Taxation Law during 1999 and a UGA Distinguished Research Professor in 2011. He teaches in the areas of state and local taxation, international taxation and federal income taxation.

Widely regarded as the nation's leading academic authority on state and local taxation, Hellerstein has devoted most of his professional life to the study and practice of state and local taxation. He is co-author, with his late father and John Swain, of the leading treatise on state taxation, State Taxation vols. I & II 3d ed. (Thomson Reuters 2015 rev.) (with tri-annual updates), and of the leading casebook on state and local taxation, State and Local Taxation, 10th ed. (West, 2014) (with Stark, Swain & Youngman). He is also co-author with Arthur Cockfield et al. of Taxing Global Digital Commerce (Kluwer Law International, 2013). In addition, he has written numerous law review articles on state taxation that have appeared in the Cornell Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, The University of Chicago Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, The Supreme Court Review, Tax Lawyer, the Journal of Taxation, the National Tax Journal, the Tax Law Review, Tax Notes, State Tax Notes and other journals. Hellerstein's work is regularly cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and by state courts throughout the nation.

Hellerstein has also practiced extensively in the state tax field. He has been involved in numerous state tax cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, having successfully argued on behalf of taxpayers in both Hunt-Wesson, Inc. v. Franchise Tax Bd., 528 U.S. 458 (2000) and Allied-Signal, Inc. v. Director, Div. of Taxation, 504 U.S. 768 (1992). He has also been deeply involved in international cross-border tax issues, particularly with regard to consumption taxes. Hellerstein is an academic adviser to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Committee on Fiscal Affairs, Working Party No. 9) on issues involving cross-border consumption taxation, and he is a member of the Working Party's Technical Advisory Group that is developing guidelines for the taxation of cross border supplies of services and intangibles. He has consulted with the United Nations and the World Trade Organization on e-commerce issues and has lectured at the European Tax College in Leuven, Belgium, and in Tilburg, The Netherlands; the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and the University of Lyon (III) in Lyon, France.

Before joining the Georgia Law faculty, Hellerstein was a judicial clerk for Judge Henry J. Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, served in the Honors Program of the Air Force General Counsel's Office, practiced law at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and taught at the University of Chicago Law School. He formerly was associated with Morrison & Foerster (1986-96), Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan (1996-98, 2004-08) and KPMG (1999-2004). He is a member of the American Law Institute and the District of Columbia, Illinois and New York bars.

J.D., University of Chicago (1970)
A.B., Harvard University (1967)

Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Portfolios:
1400 T.M., Federal Constitutional Limitations on State Taxation (author)
1190 T.M., State Taxation of Corporate Income From Intangibles (author)

Walter Hellerstein is a member of the Bloomberg BNA Tax Management State Tax Advisory Board.