Iowa State University to Continue Offering Wisconsin Tax School

Following the death of key founder, Iowa State is now directing the Wisconsin tax school program

March 24, 2020, 1:07 pm | Kristine Tidgren

AMES, Iowa – For more than 20 years, agricultural tax professionals in Wisconsin have relied on the same basic tax school program as Iowans.

The Wisconsin program shared key Iowa connections from the start, namely that it was founded by Iowa State University alumnus Phil Harris (’73 economics).

Harris, who died in January, 2018, operated the Wisconsin tax school through his company, Tax Insights, in partnership with the Land Grant University Tax Education Foundation, which is the same organization that Iowa State partners with for its own tax school.

Harris was an emeritus professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and served as a visiting professor at Iowa State.

Continuing the effort

tax education.Thanks to the generosity of his wife, Karen Harris, the Wisconsin tax school will continue – under the direction of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State.

“As a Land Grant University Tax Education Foundation member, Iowa State will offer the same workbook, the same speakers and the same teaching of Wisconsin law,” said Kristine Tidgren, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University, and holder of the Leonard Dolezal Professorship in Agricultural Law. “We also were fortunate to be able to hire Diane and Jim Wisniewski, so we are offering the same-top notch staff.”

Karen Harris said she felt confident with Iowa State’s leadership and ability to take over the program for Wisconsin.

“I have great confidence that Iowa State will continue excellent tax education for the many Wisconsin tax school attendees Tax Insight served,” she said. “It was important to me to make this gift to Iowa State because Phil and I met at Iowa State. It is fitting that through this gift I am able to give back to our alma mater.”

Unique information

According to Tidgren, the tax program provides important information and education that tax preparers might not otherwise receive.

“It’s part of our land grant mission to provide this education,” said Tidgren. “We now provide seven annual tax courses and three agricultural tax issues courses in Wisconsin. Without this generous gift, these programs may not have continued.”

The 2020 tax course will begin in October. For more information or register, visit the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation online. Tidgren can be reached at 515-294-6365, or

Phil Harris was the lead editor for the popular “National Income Tax Workbook,” which will continue to be offered during the course. The web address, phone number and contact address will also stay the same.


Original photo: Tax education.

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