I have been preparing taxes since 1988. Initially, I worked exclusively for one of the nationally advertised firms. In subsequent years, I workedat various times with several CPA firms and Enrolled Agents during tax season. In recent years, I work exclusively on returns for my own clients.
I am Enrolled Agent (EA). Obtaining that designation required that I pass a comprehensive examination by the IRS along with a background check. As an EA, I am authorized to represent clients at all administrative levels of the IRS. Although I am not a CPA, I did meet the education requirements and have passed the exam required for this credential. I have also obtained the designations of Accredited Tax Preparer and Accredited Tax Advisor.
An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service for audits, collections, and appeals.
Enrolled Agents advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled Agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS.
Only Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in matters of taxation before they may represent a taxpayer before the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all Enrolled Agents specialize in taxation. Enrolled Agents are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice from the U.S. government (CPAs and attorneys are licensed by the states)
Enrolled Agents are required to abide by the provisions of the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230, which provides the regulations governing the practice of Enrolled Agents before the IRS. NAEA members are also bound by a Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct of the Association.