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what is an enrolled agent

Being an enrolled agent offers competitive wages and job security that will constantly expand and be in demand. EAs also enjoy exclusive representational rights for their clients with the various levels of the IRS. Find an enrolled agent by calling a local public accounting company or tax business. One of the primary advantages of employing an EA to file your tax returns is that they can work in any state.

  • Those who are also members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) must complete 30 hours per year for three years for a total of 90 hours.
  • The purpose of this rigorous exam is to ensure that you possess thorough knowledge of tax law.
  • If you have a tax question, concern, or general inquiry, you can reach out to our office online or via the phone.
  • During tax season, services are offered by both EAs and CPAs, making selection increasingly difficult.

They are usually well-versed in dealing with the IRS, as several worked as IRS agents before starting their practices. Apply for enrollment and pay the enrollment fee through Pay.gov Form 23 or download the Application for Enrollment Form 23. We do not manage client funds or hold custody of assets, we help users connect with relevant financial advisors. The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) has a searchable, sortable directory on its “Find a Tax Expert” website. If you’re looking for an exhaustive list, that’s a good place to start. The EA designation can be revoked for malpractice by the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.

Definition and Example of an Enrolled Agent

These individuals are highly qualified and licensed to give out tax advice, perform accounting responsibilities and audits, prepare your taxes, and give detailed consultations on complex tax issues. CPAs are often a good choice for taxpayers because they can fully represent you before the IRS when it comes to all your tax issues. Under existing statutes, EAs are able to provide advisory services and prepare tax returns for anything that is required to report under the IRS.

  • The reason I would encourage you to get your license yourself, even if you hire a licensed person to do the work, is because by IRS regulation, you must be licensed in order to solicit representation services.
  • All kinds of entities require the assistance of enrolled agents, such as accounting firms, law firms, investment firms, corporate accounting departments, state revenue departments, banks, and private practices.
  • In 1884, the Horse Act was signed into law by President Chester Arthur to establish and standardize enrolled agents.
  • So, with the EA license, you’ll be known as the most committed and qualified tax professional.
  • If you have more questions about how to pass the enrolled agent exam or how to become an enrolled agent, my enrolled agent blog can answer them.
  • These tax professionals must undergo a comprehensive three-part SEE to get their qualification.

The social media team at H&R Block works to provide valuable tax and personal finance information to clients – and potential clients. When considering what type of tax expert is right for your needs, though, things can get a bit complicated. From a CPA to an enrolled agent, there are many options to consider. Read on to learn more about what an IRS enrolled agent does and how they can help you navigate your tax situation.

How Much Longer Will Passing Take If You Fail an Exam Part?

They must file accurate returns, make tax payments on time, and respond promptly to the IRS when assessed. CPAs help clients set and achieve financial goals through money management and financial planning. These goals could include anything from putting a down payment for a home to opening a new branch of business across the country. In other words, a CPA is the go-to if you’re looking for a broad scope of expertise. EAs must also have or obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) from the IRS, but this is required of anyone who prepares or helps a taxpayer prepare a federal tax return.

what is an enrolled agent

The Horse Act was signed to establish and standardize enrolled agents. EA prepared civil war claims, and residents were represented in interactions with the Treasury Department. Keep the continuing education and ethical requirements in mind if you select someone from a directory. Do a little homework and check with the EA referral service or the NAEA as well. You can also verify an enrolled agent’s status directly with the IRS.

What’s the Difference Between EAs and CPAs?

Also, the other half of the equation is how quickly you can accumulate those study hours. Once you have passed the examination, there’s also a “compliance check” to verify that you have diligently filed your own taxes and have no outstanding tax debts. Someone what is an enrolled agent on our team will connect you with a financial professional in our network holding the correct designation and expertise. Former employees of the IRS with five years of experience can become enrolled agents without completing the Special Enrollment Examination.

An enrolled agent must additionally pass a “tax compliance check.” Their own personal tax records must be in order. They can’t owe the IRS and must have filed all their tax returns due to date. Reputable preparers will ask to see receipts and will ask multiple questions to determine whether expenses, deductions, and other items qualify. By doing so, they are trying to help their clients avoid penalties, interest, or additional taxes that could result from an IRS examination.

I’ll help you determine how long it will take you to become an EA so you can develop your EA exam schedule. If you have a tax question, concern, or general inquiry, you can reach out to our office online or via the phone. At Finance Strategists, we partner with financial experts to ensure the accuracy of our financial content. On the other hand, CPA examinations have four parts, and each part costs $208.40.

what is an enrolled agent

Each year, a minimum of 16 hours must be obtained, of which two must be on ethics. Apply for the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE), administered by a third-party contractor. It consists of three parts and tests knowledge of taxes, tax law, and ethics. Enrolled agent status is the highest accreditation that can be granted by the IRS and allows special authority over any kind of tax preparation.


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