what is an enrolled agent

Our staff is dedicated to helping each taxpayer find success navigating their taxes. We can help you arrange a payment plan with the IRS, or we can help you seek other forms of relief in the form of CNC status or innocent spouse relief. A financial professional will offer guidance based on the information provided and offer a no-obligation call to better understand your situation. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications. Our work has been directly cited by organizations including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Investopedia, Forbes, CNBC, and many others. A CPA candidate must fulfill all of their state’s education requirements, satisfy practical experience prerequisites, and pass a four-part CPA examination.

An IRS enrolled agent typically represents a client during IRS hearings or when dealing with legal tax matters. In addition to the enrolled agent job title, these duties also extend to licensed attorneys and Certified Public Accountants or CPA’s. An enrolled agent is a tax professional who is given permission to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. EAs may charge less than CPAs for their services, but EAs’ expertise in taxation is often difficult to match. CPA rates are typically higher since the profession involves more education and a higher degree of expertise. Certified public accounting firms also have overhead costs passed on to clients.


But the benefits of the EA include increased job opportunities, income, status before the IRS, and tax expertise, so I believe the designation is very advantageous. One of the main reasons people choose to become an EA is the generous enrolled agent salary. Beyond legal matters, an enrolled agent can also serve as your neighborhood Tax Pro providing tax return filing services in-season. Or, addressing IRS letters that are sent as a result of needing to provide more documentation, filing amendments, etc.

With the introduction of income tax, EA’s responsibilities extended to include tax preparation and addressing taxpayer problems with the IRS. When providing advice to clients, EAs must practice integrity and take appropriate measures to comply with all legal obligations. They must maintain the confidentiality of their client’s information and avoid potential conflicts of interest. When deciding between an EA or a CPA, you will see that both types of professionals are well-qualified. They can both deliver the financial guidance you may need for your taxes.

History of Enrolled Agents

Once you have the EA in hand, you must maintain it by meeting continuing education (CE) requirements. You must clock 72 hours of CE every 3 years with a minimum of 16 hours per year, and at least 2 of your 16 annual hours must focus on ethics. But as we already learned, the EA salary can easily handle that figure. Thankfully, some review courses now use adaptive e-learning platforms that could help you study better. Both courses track your performance as you answer questions and figure out what types of questions you’re getting wrong. Then, they direct your studies to focus on your weak content areas.

Or, with TurboTax Live Full Service, a local tax expert matched to your unique situation will get your taxes done 100% right – as soon as today. Whichever plan you choose, you’ll get you taxes done with 100% accuracy and your maximum refund, guaranteed. The Education Foundation seeks to help tax professionals to reach their goal of becoming Enrolled Agents by providing scholarships to prepare for the Special Enrollment Examination. You can also check your local yellow pages or a local business directory like Yelp. You can also find some financial advisors who are enrolled agents. Popular tax preparation companies like H&R Block or Liberty Tax Service also have many enrolled agents on staff.

What Is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

A recent review of the tax code revealed that it includes 3.8 million words and that there have been 4,428 changes to the code over the preceding ten years, an average of more than one per day. Some provisions are indexed for inflation, so they change as well. Some are effective at the beginning of the year, while others are effective on the date a particular bill or law is signed. An Enrolled Agent is authorized by the U.S. federal government to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

what is an enrolled agent

Your EA does not have to divulge information to the IRS that you’ve confided in them unless it concerns the preparation and filing of your tax returns. Like CPAs and tax attorneys, EAs can handle all types of tax matters and can represent their clients’ interests before the IRS. Yarilet Perez is an experienced multimedia journalist and fact-checker with a Master of Science in Journalism.

They can represent clients in all dealings with the IRS, from filing forms and returns to defending them in audits. The IRS recommends using a tax preparer that is a member of a professional organization that offers continuing education and other resources, and holds members to a code of ethics. NAEA goes beyond the IRS’s recommendations by requiring members to fulfill continuing education requirements that exceed the IRS’s required minimum. In addition, NAEA what is an enrolled agent members must adhere to a stringent Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct. Members of NAEA belong to a strong network of experienced , well-trained tax professionals who effectively represent their clients and work to make the tax code fair and reasonably
enforced. An enrolled agent is a federally licensed tax practitioner who has unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS for any issues relating to collections, audits, or tax appeals.