An enrolled agent (EA) is a federally licensed tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers for audits, collections and appeals before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in matters of tax before they can represent taxpayers before the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all EAs specialize in taxation. In addition to the stringent testing and application process, the IRS requires EAs to complete 72 hours of continuing professional education every three years to maintain their licenses.
Only enrolled agents demonstrate their competence in matters of taxation and report their hours of continuing professional education to the IRS. EAs are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice directly from the U.S. government (certified public accountants and attorneys are licensed by states and their licenses are state specific). Unlike attorneys and certified public accountants, who may or may not choose to focus on taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation. An EA adheres to a stringent code of ethics and rules of professional conduct as well as the Treasury Department’s Circular 230 regulations. EAs are well-trained tax professionals who effectively represent taxpayers ensuring the tax code is fairly applied and reasonably enforced.