What is an Enrolled Agent?
Enrolled Agents are licensed by IRS. Unlike a Professional Tax Preparer, an Enrolled Agent or CPA can represent you at an audit without your physical presence. Whereas, with a Professional Tax Preparer you HAVE to be physically present.
The Enrolled Agent (EA) is a professional tax preparer who has passed an IRS test covering all aspects of taxation, plus passed an IRS background check.
Enrolled Agents (EA) have passed a two-day, 8-hour examination. The examination (called the Special Enrollment Examination) covers all aspects of federal tax law, including the taxation of individuals, corporations, partnerships, and various regulations governing IRS collections and audit procedures. Enrolled Agents are tested directly by the IRS. Enrolled Agents focus exclusively on taxes.
In addition to the stringent testing and application process, the IRS requires Enrolled Agents to complete 72 hours of continuing professional education, reported every three years, to maintain their Enrolled Agent status. Because of the knowledge necessary to become an Enrolled Agent and the requirements to maintain the license, there are only about 46,000 practicing Enrolled Agents.
The "EA" designation may be revoked by the IRS' Office of Professional Responsibility for malpractice.
Enrolled agents are Professional Tax Preparer specialists licensed by the federal government but, more importantly, they are also able to represent their client if there is a problem with their tax return. Usually the Enrolled Agents fees are less than a CPA Mom Certified Public Accountant.