So I have been going on about it forever, I have even announced that I am headed to the exams to become one. So what is an Enrolled Agent (EA)? Simply put, Enrolled Agents (EAs) are America’s tax experts. The Enrolled Agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status adhere to great ethical standards and are required to complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years. (If they are members to NAEA, they are required to maintain 30 Credit hours per year, in tax education.)
Enrolled agents have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before. Clearly, someone to have in your corner if you have IRS issues.
Still, what does it mean? The NAEA defines the designation as – “Enrolled” means to be licensed to practice by the federal government, and “Agent” means authorized to appear in the place of the taxpayer at the IRS.
So let’s put something to rest once and for all, EAs do not work for the IRS. Just because the name has Agent in it, does not mean they are some sort of revenue officer/Agent with the IRS whatever… EAs are on your side just like any tax pro. In fact, an EA is the ultimate tax professional.
Currently there are only about 48,000 EAs. A vast majority of them deal mostly represent taxpayers during IRS collections, audit investigations, offers in compromise, and reducing penalties. But having them do your tax return is a good idea to, I mean really, the ultimate tax professional in your corner…. Never fear the tax man again.
One last note that I have noticed over the years, you will find that many EAs fees are less than those of CPAs and Attorneys.
Enjoy the video as we talk about what tit is to be an EA and some of the questions from the regular tax payers have, including the sad mention that one taxpayer says, I never heard of an Enrolled Agent not to mention what they do.
A few suggested sites to read to learn more…
- CPA? EA? Choosing Income Tax Professional
- What is an Enrolled Agent?
- Red Flags: How to Know When Your CPA Isn’t Really Working For You
© 2013, Bruce McFarland. All rights reserved.