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Program Offers Free Tax Preparation to Thousands of New Mexicans

PHOTO: Thousands of New Mexicans are expected to collectively save millions of dollars filing their taxes for free through Tax Help New Mexico. Photo courtesy U.S. Army.
PHOTO: Thousands of New Mexicans are expected to collectively save millions of dollars filing their taxes for free through Tax Help New Mexico. Photo courtesy U.S. Army.
March 24, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Thousands of New Mexicans are again expected to use a program offering free tax preparation - with just a few weeks before the filing deadline. Jeffrey Ledbetter, program manager, United Way of Central New Mexico, said Tax Help New Mexico provides no-cost services for people over age 65, and those meeting certain income guidelines.

"It's anyone under $52,000, and if you open that door wide to that group, you get an incredibly broad spectrum of the whole society," Ledbetter said. "You get the teachers to the local homeless people."

The program is a partnership between the United Way, Central New Mexico Community College and the IRS, which assists with training and materials, he explained.

Last year, Tax Help New Mexico processed about 31,000 tax returns, saving clients nearly $4 million in fees and generating about $20 million in tax refunds, he said. Ledbetter added that the program partners with other nonprofits across the state to train local residents to prepare taxes.

"If we can get the local people doing the local people's taxes, with all of the refund money going back into the local community, all of that money stays in there," he pointed out.

According to Central New Mexico Community College, there are more than two dozen Tax Help locations around the state.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM