Financial Training & Taxes

Can People Be Trained To Be Compassionate?

Compassion, often reckoned to be the “highest personal virtue,” is held to embody the very essence of humanity. It is widely attributed to play a fundamental role in pro-social behavior, cooperation and human morality. But there is compelling evidence that the “compassionate instinct” to care and cooperate is not the sole preserve of humans. Across

Selecting A Charity: Trust But Verify

A good friend recently asked me several questions about selecting a charity. As I was considering how to respond, he asked, “Isn’t it a lot like selecting an investment?”

There are obvious differences between making an investment and supporting a charity. Primary amongst these is that charities are generally chosen to align with one’s belief system

2020-10-28T07:17:59-05:00Tags: |

Personal Finance and Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill is widely regarded as one of the most influential people of the 20th Century. Many political and military books have been written about him. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I came across a recently published book that chronicled Mr. Churchill’s life from a personal finance perspective.

David Lough’s superb book, “No More Champagne:

2020-10-28T07:32:18-05:00Tags: , |

Charity, Investing and Risk

A number of people advised me not to write a column involving fraud and charities, especially religious-based charities, because they considered it controversial. As I was deciding whether or not to do so, a good friend advised me that the potential controversy is exactly the reason why I should write such an piece, so here


A Comparison of Free and For Pay Tax Preparation Programs At Two Credit Unions

About The Authors

John Hoffmire, PhD

John Hoffmire is the director of the Center on Business and Poverty at the University of Wisconsin School of Business and faculty associate at the Puelicher Center for Banking Education at UW-Madison. Before starting the Center on Business and Poverty in 2004, John had a 20-year career in equity investing, venture


Savers’ Credit Program (SCP) review

Introduction and definition of a key term:

Filene Research Institute (Filene) has engaged and worked with Progress Through Business (Progress) on several very successful projects. It was thought that, with our experience with tax preparation and financial education programs, a plan of action could be developed jointly to serve those eligible for the Savers’ Credit1.  Since


The Economics of Serving Low-Income Employees at Tax Time: Implications ​for Credit Unions

John Hoffmire, PhD Director of the Center on Business and Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin School of Business, Chairman, Progress Through Business

Thomas Harms, Director, Progress Through Business

Copyright © 2009 by Filene Research Institute. All rights reserved.
ISBN 978-1-932795-58-5
Printed in U.S.A.

Filene Research Institute

Progress is the constant replacing of the best there is with something still better!— Edward


UW Credit Union Tax Season Help

The New Year is here and of course that means it’s time to be concerned about paying income tax. And once again help is being offered in Madison, Wisconsin to low and moderate-income workers.

Stephanie Thompson, a former Vista volunteer with Progress Through Business is coordinating our free tax help program in Madison in her new


Tax Preparation Help Available in Marathon County

Another tax preparation site started with major support from Progress Through Business is run by UW-Marathon County in Wausau, is facilitated by the AmeriCorps VISTA program and falls under the umbrella of the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service. This program fits into the mandate of both the UW Colleges and UW-Extension.

UWMC VITA programs


Volunteer Tax Preparers Enjoy Helping People

Volunteers in Madison, Wisconsin helped complete more than 490 federal income tax returns this season. Sixty-two volunteers working under the aegis of the UW Credit Union offered the free help in eight locations around the city.

Evan Smith, a junior accounting major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was one of the trained volunteers. A native of


Volunteers Efforts Result in Over $1,000,000

Volunteer efforts to help low-and middle-income workers complete federal and state income tax forms resulted in refunds of over $1,000,000 in Wisconsin and Arizona for the tax year 2011.

At Arizona Central Credit Union the help offered for 27 returns resulted in $36,509 in federal refunds and $7532 in state refunds.

At St. John’s Hospital, help with


Tax Program Progress for the Year 2012

COMPLETING FREE TAX FORMS FOR LOW INCOME EMPLOYEES – completing over 900 low-income employees’ tax forms for free.  For example, the $8/hour employees we helped, our research shows, received a benefit worth a 3% raise as our tax preparers found advantages and credits that employees would have missed.

The 900 tax forms completed this year showed

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