An IRS Enrolled Agent is someone qualified to represent taxpayers before the IRS. They qualify for this either by being former IRS employees or by passing a comprehensive three-part IRS test that covers both business and individual tax returns.
Enrolled agent status is one of the highest credentials awarded by the Internal Revenue Authority. Any individual who obtains this elite status must be willing to adhere to all the ethical standards set out by the IRS and complete continuing education courses of 72 hours each after every three years.
What does an enrolled agent do?
Enrolled agents are just like CPAs or attorneys and have unlimited practice rights. They are unrestricted when it comes to the taxpayers they represent, the matters they handle, and the IRS offices they can work with.
They are authorized to help their clients prepare tax returns and work with partnerships, individuals, estates, corporations, trusts, and any other entity with tax-reporting requirements.
As per the NAEA, or National Association of Enrolled Agents, all enrolled agents are federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation.
The only place they cannot offer representation is in tax court.
What is an enrolled agent for taxes?
An Enrolled agent is essentially supposed to help you with your taxes, but they are different from tax experts.
The EA will be able to prepare a client’s tax returns and advice on all tax-related matters. Additionally, they will deal with the IRS on your behalf. For example, during an audit, the EA will represent you and provide the expertise needed.
What Does Enrolled Agent Mean Concerning Tax Professionals?
As mentioned above, an EA will prepare all of your tax returns and offer valuable tips for tax-related issues. Additionally, when dealing with the IRS in any capacity, their presence is needed as your representation.
However, one of the main differences between a Tax professional and an EA is the process of certification.
To become an EA, you should either have been an IRS agent for five years, and can interpret the tax code, or pass an SEE – Special Enrollment Exam.
The exam is a three-part test covering all tax concerns and other tax-related procedures and practices.
On the other hand, to become a tax professional, you must pass a CPA course and become a certified public accountant.
How can one find an enrolled agent?
To find an EA near you, all you have to do is use the National Association of Enrolled Agents – NAEA database. This is a searchable directory, where you search “find a tax expert.”
The popular tax services offered by an enrolled agent qualify them to be called tax experts, and most of them are readily available. Additionally, you could check the local business directory for a list of the available ones.