What is an Enrolled Agent?
An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a multi part comprehensive IRS exam. That exam covers all aspects of the tax code including individual and business tax returns, An Enrolled Agent (EA) can also earn the designation having worked for the IRS for a minimum of 5 years at a position that regularly interprets and applies the tax code and its regulations. Passing the exams requires the candidate to demonstrate proficiency in federal tax planning, individual and business tax return preparation and representation. Enrolled Agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete a minimum of 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.
An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a practitioner who has the technical expertise in the field of tax law and who is empowered by the United States Department of the Treasury in all aspects of representation. An Enrolled Agent represents clients before the Internal Revenue Services for audits, offers in compromise, collections and appeals.
Since an Enrolled Agents (EA) are federally authorize, they are the only tax professionals who may represent clients in every part of the country.
Enrolled Agents (EA) have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before. Attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs) also are unrestricted but are licensed by a state agency oversight board and MAY NOT specialize in taxation.
Learn more about enrolled agents in Treasury Department Circular 230 (PDF).