What is an Enrolled Agent? Is it the same as a CPA (certified public accountant)? Can an Enrolled Agent (EA) do taxes? Sign financial statements? Represent clients before the IRS (www.irs.gov) and the state departments of revenue?
What is an enrolled agent?
“An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the IRS” by passing a three part exam that covers individual (Form 1040) and business tax returns. A person can also become an enrolled agent by working for the IRS. However, people are not considered enrolled agents until they leave the employment of the IRS.
The EA credential is the highest credential that the IRS gives out!! EA’s must complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years. EA’s also have unlimited practice rights before the IRS and the state departments of revenue! That means that I, as an enrolled agent, can represent any taxpayer in the United States on any tax matter be it either tax return preparation and tax audit and collection matter. As an enrolled agent I must adhere to the ethical requirements of U.S. Treasury Department Circular 230 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/pcir230.pdf).
Is an enrolled agent the same as a CPA?
The Enrolled Agent distinction is not the same as a CPA. Rather, it is the highest distinction that the IRS awards tax professionals! The states regulate the CPA designation.
Can an Enrolled Agent prepare tax returns?
Yes, Enrolled Agents, such as myself, prepare tax returns!!
Can an Enrolled Agent sign financial statements?
An Enrolled Agent can prepare, but not sign, financial statements. I can refer you to a CPA who can sign financial statements for your business.
Can an Enrolled Agent sign represent you or your business before the IRS and the state departments of revenue?
Yes, Enrolled Agents enjoy unlimited representation rights before the IRS and the state departments of revenue. That means I can defend you before the IRS for any tax audit or collections matter.