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 report 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.
Are Enrolled Agents Required to Take Continuing Professional Education?
In addition to the stringent testing and application process, IRS requires enrolled agents to complete 72 hours of continuing professional education every three years to maintain their licenses. NAEA members are obligated to complete 90 hours in each three year period. Due to the expertise necessary to become an enrolled agent and the requirements to maintain the license, there are only about 46,000 practicing enrolled agents.