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What is an EA?

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Barbara Moore, EA

Enrolled Agents (or EAs) are "America's Tax Experts". They specializes in taxation and are the only licensed tax practitioners who have the right to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This profession has been regulated since 1884.

 

To become an enrolled agent, an applicant must pass a comprehensive examination (Special Enrollment Examination or SEE) or has proof that they have an experience as an IRS employee. All candidates are subjected to a thorough background check, including a review of the applicant's tax compliance, conducted by the IRS.

 

Persons authorized to practice are known as "Federally Authorized Tax Practitioners," or FATP's. The right to practice is regulated by the Federal Statue. The FATP status is given to Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Actuaries, and to persons in a few other categories under Circular 230 a/k/a Treasury Reg. 10.3. Enrolled Agents, like other FATP's, are subject to a set of procedures and regulations. FATP's has the right to represent taxpayers before the IRS including appeals and audits.

 

Enrolled Agents (EAs) status doesn't automatically mean that they are already allowed to practice before the United States Tax Court. This is only limited to members of the Bar of the Court. It states that, “(4) Bar membership for non-attorneys requires that applicant pass a Tax Court examination: attorneys are admitted without having to take the examination. Practice before the United States district courts, bankruptcy courts, courts of appeal, and Supreme Court of the United States is limited to attorneys.

 

Enrolled Agents (EAs) are a diverse group of federally authorized tax professionals who have showed a high level of experience and knowledge in tax and are licensed to perform by the United States government. They have unlimited rights of representation before the IRS. EAs prepare tax returns for individuals, estates, corporations, or any other organization that requires tax-reporting. EAs also give advices and represents taxpayers who are observed by IRS, whether they're unable to pay for taxes or trying to avoid penalties. All EAs are required by the federal government to maintain their skills by continuing their education, specifically, IRS requires them to complete 72 hours of continuing education, announced every three years, for them to maintain their enrolled agent status. Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate their competence and effectiveness in all aspects of taxation to the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not be an expert when it comes to taxes, all EAs must specialize in taxation which requires them to pass a series of examination to get to their level.