Enrolled Agent (EA): Overview, History, FAQ

Search Dictionary

Definition of 'Enrolled Agent (EA): Overview, History, FAQ'

An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federally authorized tax practitioner who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled Agents are the only federally authorized tax practitioners who are not required to hold any other credentials beyond their Enrolled Agent designation.

To become an Enrolled Agent, candidates must pass a three-part comprehensive examination covering individual and business tax law, as well as representation and practice before the IRS. Enrolled Agents must also complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years to maintain their active status.

Enrolled Agents are authorized to represent taxpayers before all levels of the IRS, including the IRS Office of Appeals. They can also represent taxpayers in tax court and before state and local taxing authorities.

Enrolled Agents are not attorneys, but they have the same rights and privileges as attorneys when representing taxpayers before the IRS. This includes the right to represent taxpayers in audits, collections, and appeals.

Enrolled Agents are also required to adhere to the same ethical standards as attorneys. This includes the duty to represent taxpayers honestly and fairly, and to keep all client information confidential.

Enrolled Agents are an important part of the tax system. They provide taxpayers with valuable assistance in understanding and complying with the tax laws. They also help the IRS to administer the tax laws fairly and efficiently.

History of Enrolled Agents

The Enrolled Agent designation was created in 1884 by the U.S. Congress. At the time, the IRS was a relatively new agency, and it needed help to enforce the tax laws. Congress decided to create a new class of tax practitioners who would be authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

The first Enrolled Agents were appointed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. They were required to pass a written examination and to take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the United States.

In 1913, the Enrolled Agent designation was transferred to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Enrolled Agent program is now administered by the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.

Today, there are over 60,000 Enrolled Agents in the United States. They represent taxpayers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

FAQs About Enrolled Agents

Q: What are the benefits of hiring an Enrolled Agent?

A: Enrolled Agents are highly trained tax professionals who can help you with a variety of tax issues. They can prepare your taxes, represent you in audits, and help you with tax planning. Enrolled Agents are also required to adhere to the highest ethical standards.

Q: How do I find an Enrolled Agent?

A: You can find an Enrolled Agent by searching the IRS website or by contacting your local IRS office. You can also ask for referrals from friends, family, or business associates.

Q: What are the costs of hiring an Enrolled Agent?

A: The cost of hiring an Enrolled Agent will vary depending on the complexity of your tax situation. You should be prepared to pay an hourly rate for your Enrolled Agent's services.

Q: What are the differences between an Enrolled Agent and a CPA?

A: Enrolled Agents and CPAs are both highly trained tax professionals. However, there are some key differences between the two professions. Enrolled Agents are authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS, while CPAs are not. Enrolled Agents are also required to take continuing education courses every three years, while CPAs are not.

Q: Can I represent myself in front of the IRS?

A: Yes, you can represent yourself in front of the IRS. However, it is often helpful to have an Enrolled Agent or other tax professional represent you. An Enrolled Agent can help you understand your rights and options, and can represent you in a professional manner.

Do you have a trading or investing definition for our dictionary? Click the Create Definition link to add your own definition. You will earn 150 bonus reputation points for each definition that is accepted.

Is this definition wrong? Let us know by posting to the forum and we will correct it.