What To Look For When Choosing A Tax Preparer

When choosing a new Tax Preparer you should check with the I.R.S. at to make sure they are a “Registered” Tax Preparer.  Anyone who prepares tax returns for a fee must have an IRS issued preparer tax identification number (PTIN) in order to legally prepare your tax return for compensation. Make certain your preparer has one and enters it on your return filed with the IRS. (They are not required to enter it on the copy they provide you.)

Understanding Tax Return Preparer Credentials and Qualifications

Any tax professional with an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is authorized to prepare federal tax returns. However, tax professionals have differing levels of skills, education and expertise.

An important difference in the types of practitioners is “representation rights.” Here is guidance on each credential and qualification:

UNLIMITED REPRESENTATION RIGHTS: Enrolled agents, certified public accountants, and attorneys have unlimited representation rights before the IRS. Tax professionals with these credentials may represent their clients on any matters including audits, payment/collection issues, and appeals.

Enrolled Agents – Licensed by the IRS. Enrolled agents are subject to a suitability check and must pass a three-part Special Enrollment Examination, which is a comprehensive exam that requires them to demonstrate proficiency in federal tax planning, individual and business tax return preparation, and representation. They must complete 72 hours of continuing education every 3 years. Learn more about the Enrolled Agent Program.

Certified Public Accountants – Licensed by state boards of accountancy, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Certified public accountants have passed the Uniform CPA Examination. They have completed a study in accounting at a college or university and also met experience and good character requirements established by their respective boards of accountancy. In addition, CPAs must comply with ethical requirements and complete specified levels of continuing education in order to maintain an active CPA license. CPAs may offer a range of services; some CPAs specialize in tax preparation and planning.

Attorneys – Licensed by state courts, the District of Columbia or their designees, such as the state bar. Generally, they have earned a degree in law and passed a bar exam. Attorneys generally have on-going continuing education and professional character standards. Attorneys may offer a range of services; some attorneys specialize in tax preparation and planning.

LIMITED REPRESENTATION RIGHTS: Some preparers without one of the above credentials have limited practice rights. They may only represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service. They cannot represent clients whose returns they did not prepare and they cannot represent clients regarding appeals or collection issues even if they did prepare the return in question. Tax return preparers with limited representation rights include:

Annual Filing Season Program Participants – This voluntary program recognizes the efforts of return preparers who are generally not attorneys, certified public accountants, or enrolled agents. It was designed to encourage education and filing season readiness. The IRS issues an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion to return preparers who obtain a certain number of continuing education hours in preparation for a specific tax year.

Beginning with returns filed after Dec. 31, 2015, only Annual Filing Season Program participants have limited practice rights. Learn more about this program.

PTIN Holders – Tax return preparers who have an active preparer tax identification number, but no professional credentials and do not participate in the Annual Filing Season Program, are authorized to prepare tax returns. Beginning January 1, 2016, this is the only authority they have. They have no authority to represent clients before the IRS (except regarding returns they prepared and filed December 31, 2015, and prior).

Helen Raborn, owner of Helen’s Tax Service, is an Annual Filing Season Program Participant, she is a Registered Tax Return Preparer and an Authorized IRS e-File Provider.  Prior to each Tax Season she completes more than 16 hours of Continuing Education each year in order to maintain her status with the IRS.

If you have questions about your Tax Return, give Helen’s Tax Service a call at 979-849-0461 or send an email,

Read more


Welcome to Helen’s Tax Service, a family owned business since 2008 Helen has made a lot of new changes for the 2016 Tax Year.  Stop by and see her new office, next door to the old office, 12238 Annette Road Angleton, Texas 77515 Helen’s new office is roomy and spacious, with a handicap ramp, a restroom, and a waiting area.  She has hired a new Tax Preparer, her son, Monroe “Monty” McRight and she has room to hire a receptionist if needed to answer the phone and greet the clients. 

In keeping up with technology, she now has her very own website,  Coming soon will be her very own Facebook Page where you can “Like” us and follow us throughout the year.  Other changes in technology include new computers, printers and signature pads for E-filing tax returns. 

Now don’t forget about Joe, her husband, he is the man behind the scenes and you may see him every now and then, helping with parking and directing clients to the new building.  The only thing that hasn’t changed is Helen’s personal touch you get when she prepares your taxes; individual, small business or partnership and corporations

Helen is really excited about the 2016 Tax Year and with the help of her son, Monty, they are both looking forward to preparing your Taxes for 2016 and many years to come, along with helping you in answering your questions about your 2016 Taxes, especially questions about the Affordable Care Act(ACA), the Earned Income Credit(EIC) or the Child Tax Credit.  Or, if you just have questions in general about your taxes for 2016 Taxes or any previous year, give Helen or Monty a call, (979) 849-0461 or email her at;

Helen’s Tax Service accepts Cash, Check and Credit/Debit Cards or have your tax preparation fees deducted from your refund through EPSTax, a bank product.  Helen now offers “ProtectionPlusAudit Assistance Services and Identity Theft Restoration Services.

Helen is registered with the IRS as a Registered Tax Return Preparer.

Helen’s Tax Service is an Accredited Business member of the Better Business Bureau and has been awarded the 2015/2016 BBB Gold Star Certificate.

Call now, (979) 849-0461, to schedule an appointment or just stop by.  Walk-ins are welcome.


Read more