What is an EA?

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

What are the differences between Enrolled Agents and other tax preparers?
Only Enrolled Agents demonstrate their competence in matters of taxation and repost their hours of continuing professional education to IRS. Enrolled Agents are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice directly from the U.S. government (certified public accountants and attorneys are licensed by states and their licenses are state specific). Unlike attorneys and certified public accountants, who may or may not choose to focus on taxes, all Enrolled Agents specialize in taxation.

Why should I choose an Enrolled Agent who is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)?
The principal concern of NAEA and its members are honest, intelligent, and ethical representation of the financial position of taxpayers before government agencies. Members of NAEA must fulfill continuing professional education requirements that exceed IRS standards. In addition, NAEA members adhere to a stringent code of ethics and rules of professional conduct as well as the Treasury Department’s Circular 230 regulations. NAEA members belong to a strong network of experienced, well-trained tax professionals who effectively represent their clients and work on behalf of taxpayers to see that the tax code is fairly applied and reasonably enforced.

How can an Enrolled Agent help me?
Enrolled Agents advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any other entity with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled Agents prepare millions of tax returns each year. Enrolled Agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by IRS.
Some Enrolled Agents work only during tax season or by appointment only, while other enrolled agents have year-round practices. In addition to tax preparation and tax representation, many enrolled agents offer other business-related services which may include:

  • Accounting
  • Financial planning or budgeting
  • Payroll services
  • Financial statement preparation
  • Mortgage assistance

Because Enrolled Agents have such diverse backgrounds and may offer a variety of services, it is important to talk with your Enrolled Agent about how his/her expertise may assist you.

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 place of the taxpayer before IRS. Only Enrolled Agents, attorneys, and certified public accountants may represent taxpayers before IRS. The Enrolled Agent profession dates back to 1884 when, after questionable claims were presented for Civil War losses, Congress acted to regulate persons who represented citizens in their dealings with the U.S. Department of the Treasury.