SBDC impacts local economy with free Tax-Aide Program

May 11, 2015

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mesalands Community College recently partnered with the New Mexico American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation Tax-Aide Program, to provide free tax return services for local seniors in the community. According to the AARP Foundation website, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aid Program is the nation’s largest volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance service.

Nationally the AARP Foundation Tax-Aid Program, involves more than 35,000 volunteers and serves 2.6 million taxpayers annually at more than 5,000 sites nationwide. This program is available free to taxpayers with low and moderate income, with special attention to those 60 and older, according to their website.

Vicki Watson, Director of the SBDC, explains the significance of this tax preparation program.

“We are excited that the Small Business Development Center can provide this service for low-income seniors and their families,” Watson said. “We are helping seniors meet their legal obligation to file their income taxes and in return their taking that extra money and putting it back into our economy.”

On March 28, 2015, six volunteers assisted local seniors for seven hours to e-file their income taxes. Watson said they had 65 error-free tax returns that resulted in a total of $16,882 ($9,391 federal and $7,491 state) in federal and state income tax refunds, which will have a positive impact on the local economy.

Watson said that the SBDC worked with the Clovis AARP Tax-Aide Center in Clovis, NM. She said they provided volunteers, training, laptops, and all of the other materials they needed to properly e-file the income tax returns.

“This year’s tax preparation program was a great success! I want to give a special thanks to the volunteers from the Clovis AARP Tax-Aide Center. Their efforts made the results from this program possible,” Watson said. “We hope in the future that we can extend this program to other low income families in our community.”