What is an Enrolled Agent?
An Enrolled Agent is a person who specializes in taxation/tax return preparation, who has passed a set of exams solely on those topics, and is licensed by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
What does an Enrolled Agent do?
Primarily an Enrolled Agent works on tax returns and taxation. Enrolled Agents are able to represent the taxpayer to the IRS, with or without the taxpayer present.
What is the difference between an Enrolled Agent and a CPA?
An Enrolled Agent specializes in taxation and tax return preparation while a CPA has a broader scope of accounting knowledge and usually chooses an area of specialization from the following: Audit, Corporate Finance, Estate Planning, Financial Planning, Income Tax, Information Technology, or Management. Enrolled Agents also receive the right to practice from the federal government while CPAs receive their licensures from the states.
What are the requirements of an Enrolled Agent?
There are two ways to earn an Enrolled Agent designation:
- Pass a comprehensive examination which covers all aspects of the tax code.
- Work at the IRS for five years in a position that applies the tax code and regulations.
All Enrolled Agents are subject to a background check by the IRS. Also, Enrolled Agents must complete 72 hours of continuing professional education every three years in order to maintain the license and must abide by the ethical standards set forth in the Department of the Treasury’s Circular 230.