What: The WNMU School of Business Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which provides free income tax preparation assistance to low-income, elderly, disabled, and limited English-speaking taxpayers. Families and individuals with an income of $57,000 or less are eligible, as are those 65 years or older.

In 2020, seven WNMU students and student manager Paige Pinto volunteered nearly 600 hours over nine weeks to prepare and file a total of 260 federal returns and 259 state returns. Federal refunds totaling $270,943 and state refunds totaling $63,364 were returned to the community. Included in this total were Earned Income Tax Credits of $60,172, and Education Credits of $19,129. According to local information indicating an average cost of $150 to file a single tax return, so the value of the services provided by WNMU students equates to a savings of preparation fees estimated to be around $92,050.

Additional details are available at https://sb.wnmu.edu/tax

Who: The WNMU School of Business provides this community assistance. Student volunteers, led again this spring by MBA student Paige Pinto, work with members of the public to prepare and file returns. All the volunteers are required to become certified through the advanced IRS certification exam and obtain dedicated knowledge of tax laws for each given year. Silver City CPA Linda McGee initiated the VITA program at WNMU in 1982. Today, WNMU continues VITA under the guidance of WNMU Professor of Accounting Laurie Barfitt and in coordination with Tax Help New Mexico Director Jeffery Ledbetter.

When: Services will be offered on a walk-in basis on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Call 575-538-6637 to schedule a drop off.

Where: Returns will not be prepared in-person. Instead, taxpayers may drop off their tax forms at Light Hall Room 124, and students will complete the returns independently.

How: The VITA program at WNMU will operate with the same healthy and safety protocols that were in place last year, including exclusively offering drop-off/pick-up service and following university practices protocols like indoor mask wearing to minimize transmission of the coronavirus.

Clients must bring:

  • Photo ID;
  • Original Social Security Card(s) for taxpayers and dependents;
  • Tax forms, such as W-2s/1099s/1099-SA from all employers;
  • Proof of applicable tax-deductible expenditures;
  • Bank account & routing numbers or, preferably, a voided check; and
  • Mask(s) to be worn indoors on the WNMU campus.

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option above this to the right, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to editor@grantcountybeat.com and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

It has come to this editor's attention that people are sending information to the Grant County Beat Facebook page. Please be aware that the editor does not regularly monitor the page. If you have items you want to send to the editor, please send them to editor@grantcountybeat.com. Thanks!

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.