Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federal designation for tax professionals who are licensed by the United States Treasury to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled Agents have earned the unrestricted ability to represent any taxpayer (individual, partnership, corporation, LLC, estate or trust) in any Internal Revenue Service matter (audit, collection or appeal). Only certified public accountants and attorneys have similar powers to represent taxpayers. However, CPAs and attorneys are licensed by the states in which they practice, not by a federal agency.
Enrolled Agents earn their designation by passing a comprehensive exam on federal taxation, taking extensive continuing education on federal taxes, and meeting stringent ethical standards.
The Special Enrollment exam is composed of three 3.5 hour long tests that cover individual taxes, business taxes, and representation, practice and procedures. The examinations are closed book and the questions may contain excerpts from the Internal Revenue Code or Income Tax Regulations. All three parts of the exam must be passed before a candidate can apply for the Enrolled Agent designation.
Enrolled Agents must continue to prove their knowledge of federal tax law once they achieve their federal designation by completing seventy two hours of continuing professional education every three years. The continuing education must be related to federal taxation and is reported to the Office of Professional Responsibility that oversees the professional standards for all Enrolled Agents. Members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents must adhere to an even higher standard of ninety hours of continuing professional education every three years.
Enrolled Agents are held to the ethical standards of the United States Department of the Treasury Circular 230. Failure to adhere to the provisions of Circular 230 can lead to monetary penalties, sanctions, and disbarment from practice before the Internal Revenue Service.
Enrolled Agents provide tax preparation, tax planning, and tax representation services to both individuals and businesses. Through ongoing and comprehensive education, Enrolled Agents stay on the cutting edge of federal taxation and are able to provide effective representation for taxpayers facing audits, collections cases or appeals.
William A Kamp, CPA EA has been an Enrolled Agent since 1986 and is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents. Call for a free initial consultation to discuss your tax situation with William.