Case | HBS Case Collection | September 1984 (Revised July 2005)

Higgins v. Commissioner

by Henry B. Reiling


Discusses the issue of whether an activity is a trade or business. The Court held that the taxpayer's very substantial stock and bond portfolio management activities were not a trade or business, whereas the taxpayer's real estate activities did constitute a trade or business. Following the case, an important 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision reaffirming Higgins is summarized. By Justice Reed.

Keywords: Taxation; Courts and Trials; Investment Portfolio; Property; United States;


Reiling, Henry B. "Higgins v. Commissioner." Harvard Business School Case 285-008, September 1984. (Revised July 2005.)