Highest Credential Tax Professionals
An enrolled agent (EA) is a tax professional authorized by the United States government to represent taxpayers in matters regarding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). EAs must pass an examination or have sufficient experience as an IRS employee and pass a background check.12 Enrolled agents first appeared in 1884 due to issues arising with Civil War loss claims.3
Enrolled agents are federally authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS.2
Prospective enrolled agents must either pass the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) or meet minimum IRS experience requirements.1
Fraudulent claims submitted for Civil War losses prompted the creation of the enrolled agent.3
Enrolled agents also provide tax planning and preparation.
Although enrolled agents may represent individuals and businesses before the IRS, they are not IRS employees.
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Understanding Enrolled Agents
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. According to the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)—the organization that represents licensed EAs—they are allowed to advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for people, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and anything else that is required to report to the IRS.
Enrolled Agents vs. Other Tax Professionals
Enrolled agents are required to prove their proficiency in every aspect of taxes, ethics, and representation, unlike CPAs and attorneys, who may not specialize in taxes.
Comprehensive tax knowledge: Enrolled Agents are experts in all aspects of federal taxation, from individual tax returns to complex business tax issues. They have passed a rigorous examination that covers a broad range of tax topics, and they are required to complete ongoing education to stay up-to-date on changes to the tax code. This means that they have the knowledge and experience to provide clients with accurate and comprehensive tax advice.
Representation before the IRS: Enrolled Agents are authorized by the IRS to represent taxpayers in all matters before the agency, including audits, collections, and appeals. This means that if a client has a tax issue or dispute with the IRS, an Enrolled Agent can provide representation and help them navigate the complex IRS procedures.
Personalized tax planning: Enrolled Agents can help clients develop personalized tax planning strategies that can help minimize their tax liability and optimize their financial situation. They can analyze a client’s unique tax situation and offer customized solutions to help them achieve their financial goals.
Ethical standards: Enrolled Agents are bound by the IRS’s rules of professional conduct, which require them to act with integrity and provide honest and accurate tax advice. Clients can trust that an Enrolled Agent will provide ethical and professional services that are in their best interest.
Availability and accessibility: Enrolled Agents are often more accessible than other tax professionals, as they are not limited by geographical location or office hours. Many Enrolled Agents offer virtual services, which means that clients can access their services from anywhere and at any time