What is an Enrolled Agent?
An Enrolled Agent (EA) helps a taxpayer to save significant time and effort in tax preparation and its associated tasks. An EA is equipped to advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. EAs’ required Continuing Education ensures they can effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS in the continually changing field of taxation. A member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) must fulfill continuing professional education requirements that exceed the required minimums set by the IRS. An EA provides two unique benefits:
- Ethics and Supervision: An EA is focused is honest, intelligent and ethical representation of taxpayers before the government agencies. As NAEA member adheres to the stringent Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct of the association. An EA is regulated by the Treasury Department’s Circular 230 regulations, and, along with attorneys and CPAs, is supervised by the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility in practice before the IRS. An NAEA member belongs to a nationwide network of well-trained tax professionals who seek to ensure that the tax code is fair and reasonably enforced.
- Proof of Expertise: EAs are required to demonstrate competence in matters of taxation before they may represent taxpayers before the IRS. In contrast to attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not specialize in taxes, all Enrolled Agents specialize in taxation. EAs receive their a national right to practice from the U.S. government; attorneys and CPAs are licensed by and in the various states. To receive their license to practice, an EA is tested by the IRS on tax matters involving individuals, small businesses, partnerships, LLCs, S Corporations, C Corporations, estates, trusts, and not-for-profit organizations. In contrast to tax preparers, an EA is tested on and licensed on the process of representing a taxpayer in the process of audit by the IRS and in the process of negotiation and appeal of audit results.