What is an Enrolled Agent?

Have you ever noticed that when people refer to their tax professional they frequently refer to them as “my CPA” regardless of the person’s credentials?  In the vernacular, ”CPA” has become synonymous with “tax professional.” The fact of the matter is that CPAs do much more than prepare tax returns. They are licensed by their state to practice public accounting, which includes bookkeeping, preparing financial statements, performing audits, and, of course, tax preparation.  While this broad skill set is valuable, it does not lend itself to focused expertise in a specific field. The CPA is akin to the General Practitioner, who has a wide range of medical knowledge, but sends you to a specialist when you need more focused care. In the world of accounting, that is where the Enrolled Agent comes in.

Fact: EAs are specialists in our field: 

There are 53,000 Enrolled Agents in the US, compared with 644,000 CPAs.

Similarly, there are 23,000 cardiologists in the US, compared with 624,000 General Practitioners

Unlike CPAs who are licensed by their state to practice in that state, Enrolled Agents are licensed by the US Treasury Department to practice in all 50 states.  Our expertise is tax law, and we are heavily regulated and monitored by the Treasury Department Office of Professional Responsibility. We are required to maintain rigorous continuing education standards that include the highest ethical standards.  We are America’s Tax Experts. 

To learn more about the Enrolled Agent credential visit the National Association of Tax Professionals website at naea.org

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