What Is an Enrolled Agent?
An enrolled agent is a tax professional who is permitted to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. In other words, they are authorized by the IRS to prepare your taxes. As an enrolled agent, you can expect them to know all about tax law and regulations. If you want a professional who can provide competent representation for any of your federal income tax needs, then you must hire an EA.
Requirements for Becoming an EA
Enrolled agents are the only tax professionals who do not require a state license. They have a federal license and can represent taxpayers in any state, but they must complete 72 hours of continuing education every 36 months to maintain their enrollment status with the IRS. Enrolled agents are subject to the guidelines of Circular 230, which provides ethical standards in their profession. They also have a code of ethics and rules set out by NAEA for its members.
Skills of Enrolled Agents
Many enrolled agents are former IRS employees, which means they have extensive knowledge of the agency’s practices and policies. Enrolled agents also have a thorough understanding of tax codes, giving them an edge over other professionals who provide tax preparation services for clients. They also have in-depth knowledge of tax rules and regulations, which helps them develop strategies for minimizing or eliminating the liabilities of their clients. Enrolled agents are capable of providing advice on any matter that may affect your tax liabilities, including estate planning or business transactions. They can also represent you before the IRS when it comes to audits and collection notices. An enrolled agent has the ability to represent you in the court of law if need be. This is particularly true if you are facing criminal charges.
Why Should I Hire an Enrolled Agent?
When it comes down to preparing your taxes and submitting them to the IRS, you should always hire an enrolled agent.
- Enrolled agents are highly trained individuals when representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service because they have a much better understanding of the tax law and regulations.
- When you hire an enrolled agent, it means that they will be able to answer any questions you might have and know how best to represent your case.
- An enrolled agent will be able to ensure that your tax return is filed on time and accurately.
- With an enrolled agent, you can expect them to know all there is about the IRS code when it comes down to preparing taxes.
- They are also able to provide competent representation for any of your federal income tax needs.
- Enrolled agents will be able to provide you with the peace of mind that comes along with knowing the IRS legally authorizes them.
What’s the Difference Between a CPA and an EA?
CPAs must pass the Certified Public Accountant Examination, while EA does not need to take an exam like that. CPAs charge a fee for their services, while an enrolled agent will be paid by you but also have the option to accept fees from third-party payers, including tax preparation software companies and other financial institutions that provide these types of services. Enrolled agents cannot offer any services related to investment advice, finance, or accounting. CPAs must obtain a state license, while enrolled agents only need to be authorized by the IRS before they can practice as an EA.
Enrolled agents are highly trained, legally authorized individuals who can provide you with competent representation for any of your federal income tax needs. Hire an enrolled agent today to receive the peace of mind that comes along with knowing they are licensed by the IRS. Furthermore, it’s important to hire a professional who is subject to ethical guidelines and has rules set out by NAEA. With an enrolled agent, you can expect them to know all there is about the IRS code when it comes down to preparing taxes, and they are able to answer any questions you might have. Lastly, remember that CPAs must pass a certification exam while EAs do not need to take one like that in order for them to practice as an EA.
About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®
True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.
True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.