What is an Enrolled Agent?

An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service for audits, collections, and appeals.

What does the term “Enrolled Agent” mean?

“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. Only Enrolled Agents, attorneys, and CPAs 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 U.S. Treasury Department.

How is an EA different from other tax preparers?

Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate competence in matters of taxation. Their right to represent taxpayers comes directly from the US Department of the Treasury. Unlike many preparers for whom tax preparation is a seasonal job, EAs provide services year-round in tax planning, preparation, and representation.

How does one become an Enrolled Agent?

The designation is earned in one of two ways. One way is by passing a comprehensive examination which covers all aspects of the tax code, one of the most difficult professional examinations in the country. The second way is to have worked at the IRS for five years in a position which regularly interpreted and applied the tax code and its regulations. All candidates are subjected to a rigorous background check conducted by the IRS. Following successful enrollment, EAs are required to maintain a rigorous schedule of professional education in the tax field.

How can Enrolled Agent help me?

Enrolled Agents advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled Agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS.