SILVER CITY, NM — Western New Mexico University students are offering free tax preparation assistance to seniors and low-income families in the southwest corner of the state. 

This is the 42nd year WNMU students have run the local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This free service is for people whose household income is $64,000 or less and for those who are 65 years or older. The volunteers — WNMU business and accounting students— are certified by the IRS and trained to help taxpayers identify tax credits.

By providing free tax preparation assistance to individuals and families with low to moderate incomes, the VITA program helps “residents navigate the complexities of the tax system and claim tax refunds for which they are eligible,” said Assistant Professor of Accounting Dr. Remington Curtis, “This financial assistance not only eases the burden on individuals but also injects vital resources back into the local economy, fostering economic growth.”

“Moreover,” Curtis continued, “VITA contributes to community empowerment by promoting financial literacy and encouraging active participation in managing personal finances. For many years, the VITA program has been a catalyst for positive change, enhancing financial inclusion and resilience in rural areas.”

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at WNMU will run through April 15. The service center will be closed for spring break March 9-17.

For help filing their taxes, people may come to Light Hall room 124 on the WNMU campus (1000 W. College Ave.) Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM. Service is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis with no appointments available. The service center will also be open 12:00 PM-5:00 PM; however, this time is used to prepare tax forms, and new returns are not accepted during this time.

Those seeking assistance should bring a photo ID (driver’s license, military identification card or passport), their Social Security card or ITIN documents, W-2s or 1099s from all employers, the birthdates of all parties, last year’s tax return, Form 1095-A if applicable, information about other income, deductions and credits if applicable, daycare provider information if applicable, and banking information for direct deposit.

More information about the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program provided by the School of Business at WNMU is available at ­­.

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