We’ve all heard of CPAs, or certified public accountants. These masters of the accounting universe (of which I am one 🙂 ) do everything from taxes, to audits, to company financials.
But what is an “enrolled agent?” An enrolled agent, or EA is a federally authorized tax professional who has technical expertise and is empowered by the US Department of Treasury to represent taxpayers at all levels of interaction with the Internal Revenue Service.
There are two ways to become an EA. 1) work for the Internal Revenue Service for five years in a position that requires interpretation of tax code; 2) pass all three parts of the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) and pass a comprehensive background check.
Many enrolled agents opt for the SEE route and enroll in and take the Special Enrollment Examination. The SEE covers three parts: part one covers individuals, part two covers businesses, and part three includes representation practices and procedures.
There is no educational or experience prerequisite to becoming an EA, but knowledge of the tax code is of paramount importance. Earning the EA license demonstrates the candidates advanced knowledge of the US tax code and related tax issues.