3 Reasons to Hire an Enrolled Agent

A minimum of 16 hours must be earned per year, two of which must be on ethics. You can be confident that your EA is well informed if you hire one that is maintaining their credential. 

When it comes to taxes, business owners & individuals seek professional support to ensure their business will run smoothly.  Many people hire bookkeepers & CPAs as their services & technical skill is well known.  But when it comes to enrolled agents, or EA’s, – most people scratch their head as they’ve never heard of one before.

From the IRS

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee. 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.

Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), 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. Learn more about enrolled agents in Treasury Department Circular 230 (PDF).

You can read the full link here: Enrolled Agent Information

Additionally, Enrolled agents have a fairly heavy continuing education requirement.  EAs must obtain 72 hours of continuing education every three years.  Additionally, 16 hours must be earned each year with 2 hours in ethics. Enrolled agents must obtain 72 hours of continuing education every three years. A minimum of 16 hours must be earned per year, two of which must be on ethics. You can be confident that your EA is well informed if you hire one that is maintaining their credential.

What can an Enrolled Agent do?

So, what can an Enrolled Agent do for you?

  1. An EA can represent clients before the IRS. Clients sign power of attorney for an EA to represent them before an IRS audit, negotiate installment contracts, offers in compromise, etc.
  2. EAs prepare tax returns – Individual, partnership & corporate returns. As an EA is licensed to practice before the IRS – it only goes that they can & do prepare tax returns.
  3. A lot of EAs act as bookkeepers & perform accounting services. However, depending on the state you reside in, they may or may not be able to hold themselves out as accountants & bookkeepers.

So where’s the best place to find an EA? You can start by searching the National Association of Enrolled Agents, by following this link here: https://taxexperts.naea.org/

Happy Taxes!

 

About the Author

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Joseph A. Davis, EA, CDFA®

Director

With over 13 years in the financial services industry, Joe knows his stuff. Cursed with the desire to be a serial entrepreneur - Joe is a real estate investor & managing partner for Davis Financial LLC, Utah Divorce Services and Tax Smart Pros. He most recently became the director for Find a CPA Today. Joe is an Enrolled Agent, EA, & CDFA®. He also holds FINRA licenses 7, 66 & 24. When Joe isn't trading, looking for new real estate investments or obsessing over his work - you can find him at home, playing with his children & probably mowing his lawn.

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