Enrolled Agents: The Tax Professionals
What is an Enrolled Agent?
An Enrolled Agent (EA) is an individual who has demonstrated technical competence in the field of taxation. Enrolled Agents, or EAs, can represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service.
What does the term “Enrolled Agent” mean?
“Enrolled” means EAs are licensed by the federal government. “Agent” means EAs are authorized to appear in place of the taxpayer at the Internal Revenue Service. Only EAs, attorneys and CPAs may represent taxpayers before the IRS. The Enrolled Agent profession dates back to 1884 when, after questionable claims had been presented for Civil War losses, Congress acted to regulate persons who represented citizens in their dealings with the Treasury Department.
How can an Enrolled Agent help me?
EAs advise, represent and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. EAs prepare millions of tax returns each year. EAs’ expertise in the continually changing field of tax law enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS.
What are the differences between EAs and other tax professionals?
Only Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate to the Internal Revenue Service their competence in matters of taxation before they may represent a taxpayer before the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all EAs specialize in taxation. EAs are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice from the United States government. (CPAs and attorneys are licensed by the states.)
How does one become an Enrolled Agent?
An individual must pass a difficult two-day examination administered by the IRS which covers taxation of individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts, procedures and ethics. Next, successful candidates are subjected to a rigorous back ground check before being granted the status of Enrolled Agent.