Why An Enrolled Agent Is The Greatest Tax Expert
Enrolled Agents are America’s Tax Experts!
An IRS enrolled agent (EA) is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. This is accomplished by passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns. Or, through experience as a former IRS employee. In addition, all candidates are subject to a rigorous background check conducted by the IRS.
Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years. Because of the expertise necessary and the requirements to maintain the license, fewer than 50,000 practicing enrolled agents worldwide exist.
Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), are unrestricted regarding which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients. Learn more about enrolled agents in Treasury Department Circular 230.
The significant advantage you get by using an EA to do your tax return is that the same team that handles the return preparation can represent you if you are subject to an audit. It can be a significant advantage if your return is at all complicated.
What is an enrolled agent with the IRS?
“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 have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. The EA profession dates back to 1884 after the presentation of questionable claims for Civil War losses. Congress then took action to regulate persons who represent citizens in their dealings with the U.S. Treasury Department.
How can a tax expert help me?
IRS-enrolled agents advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and entities with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to represent taxpayers at all administrative levels within the IRS effectively.
Privilege and the EA
The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 allow federally authorized practitioners (those bound by the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230 regulations) a limited client privilege. This privilege allows confidentiality between the taxpayer and the enrolled agent under certain conditions. The right applies to situations where there is taxpayer representation in audits and collection matters. It does not apply to the preparation and filing of a tax return. In addition, this privilege does not apply to state tax matters, although some states have an accountant-client privilege.
Enrolled Agent vs. CPA – what are the differences?
Only enrolled agents must demonstrate to the IRS their competence in all areas of taxation, representation, and ethics before they are given unlimited representation rights before IRS.
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) have a state license, specialize in accounting, and may or may not choose to specialize in taxes. However, unlike attorneys and CPAs, all EAs specialize in taxation.
Do any ethical standards bind them?
EAs must abide by the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230. It provides the regulations governing the practice of enrolled agents before the IRS.
Our goal at Peace Of Mind Tax Help is to provide our clients with the best counsel, advocacy, and personal service. We are not only tax resolution and representation experts but strive to become valued business partners. Peace Of Mind Tax Help commitment is to understanding our client’s unique needs. Every tax situation is different and requires a personal approach to providing realistic and practical solutions.