What Is An Enrolled Agent?

You might have heard of a CPA. But what is an Enrolled Agent?
I get this question many times.

The easiest way I can explain this is by starting out to say that a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is state-specific, since he is licensed by a particular state board. But an EA (Enrolled Agent) is licensed by the US Treasury, so he is able to practice in all 50 states.

A CPA is trained more for performing audits and for examining the books of a public company. But an Enrolled Agent specializes in only tax issues. So if you want someone who spends the majority of his time dealing with the IRS, preparing tax returns, and dealing with tax notices, then an Enrolled Agent is for you.

An Enrolled Agent is able to represent clients before all levels of the IRS and state tax agencies. So if you have a tax issue, you can count on an Enrolled Agent to handle that issue for you at the highest level of the IRS.

As a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents, I am required to take 90 hours of continuing education every three years, and I am held to the highest ethical requirements.

Here is a link to a good article on what an Enrolled Agent is from the National Association of Enrolled Agents.