What’s an Enrolled Agent?

The enrolled Agent (EA) designation originated in 1884, created by the U.S. government to regulate agents who represented U.S. citizens with claims for Civil War losses. Today, EAs are licensed by the federal government and represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service and help prepare returns for individual, partnerships, corporations, estate, trust and other tax entities. EAs are also experts in tax planning and can help ensure that you don’t pay too much or risk an audit. Members of California Society of Enrolled Agents prepare nearly 2,000,000 tax returns each year.

 

How can an Enrolled Agent help me?

Enrolled Agents advice, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnership, corporations, estate, trust, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled Agents’ expertise in the continually changing filed of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers at all administrative levels within the IRS.

 

How does one become an Enrolled Agent?

There are only two ways to earn the Enrolled Agent (EA) designation. The first route is to pass a three-part examination, arguably one of the most difficult professional examinations in the country.  The exam covers all aspects of taxation, including ethics. The application process includes a through background investigation.  The other way to become an EA is to be employed by the IRS for a minimum of five years regularly interpreting and applying the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and Regulations.

 

What continuing education is required of Enrolled Agents?

In addition to the stringent testing and application process, the IRS requires Enrolled Agents to complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years to maintain their license. California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA) Members are obligated to complete 90 hours during this three year period.

 

Are Enrolled Agents bound by any ethical standards?

Enrolled Agents are required to abide by the provisions of the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230, which provides regulations governing the practice of Enrolled Agents before the IRS. CSEA Members are also bound by the Society’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct.

 

What are the differences between Enrolled Agents and other tax professionals?

Only Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in matters of taxation prior to representing a taxpayers before any department of the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all Enrolled Agents specialize in taxation. Enrolled Agents are the only taxpayer representatives who receive an unlimited rights to practice from the U. S. government (CPAs and attorneys are license by the states).