What is an Enrolled Agent
An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a Federally Authorized Tax Pracitioner who has
technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by
the U.S. Department of Treasury to represent taxpayers before all
administrative levels of the IRS for audits, collections, and appeals.
- What does the term "Enrolled Agent" mean?
"Enrolled" means EA's are licensed to practice by the federal
government. "Agent" means EA's are authorized to appear in place of the
taxpayer at the IRS. Only EA's, attorneys, and CPA's 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?
EA's advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals,
partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax
reporting requirements. EA's prepare millions of tax returns each year.
Enrolled Agents' expertise in the continually changing field of taxation
enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS, as
well as, deal with IRS Collection Division on behalf of taxpayers.
- What are the differences between EA's and other tax professionals?
Only Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their
competence in matters of taxation before they may represent a taxpayer
before the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPA's, who may or may not choose to
specialize in taxes, all EA's specialize in taxation. EA's are the only
taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice from the
U.S. government. (CPA's and attorneys are licensed by the states.) The
EA's Federal license allows them to represent taxpayers in any state in
the U.S. and its territories.
- Are EA's required to take continuing professional education?
In addition to the stringent testing and application process, EA's are
required to complete 72 hours of continuing professional education,
reported every 3 years, to maintain their status. Because of the
difficulty in becoming an Enrolled Agent and keeping up the required
credentials, there are no more than 30,000 active EA's in the United
- Are Enrolled Agents bound by any ethical standards?
EAs are required to abide by the provisions of the U.S. Treasury
Department Circular 230. EA's found to be in violation of the provisions
contained in Circular 230 may be suspended or disbarred.