Enrolled Agents

IRS Enrolled Agent logo

An Enrolled Agent is a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has the technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administration 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 (attorneys and CPAS are licensed by the states).

These are the only three professional groups that have full rights of representation before IRS. That means that not only can an Enrolled Agent speak directly to the IRS regarding your taxes without you being present, they can represent you in an IRS audit, collection or appeal. Enrolled Agents also represent and resolve state tax issues. If you find yourself in tax trouble, you’ll want one of these professionals by your side.

Tina M. Kleckner EA, CAA
Enrolled to Practice Before the IRS
Certifying Acceptance Agent

Q&A Enrolled Agents: America’s Tax Experts®

If you pay taxes, you should know about ENROLLED AGENTS!

Q. What does the term Enrolled Agent (EA) mean?

A. “Enrolled” means to be licensed to practice by the federal government. “Agent” means authorized to appear in place of the taxpayer before the IRS. Only Enrolled Agents, attorneys, and CPA’s have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

****

Q. What is an Enrolled Agent (EA)?

A. Enrolled Agents are America’s Tax Experts® that have earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the IRS. Enrolled Agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. There are currently less than 50,000 EA’s practicing in the US.

****

Q. What is the history of Enrolled Agents?

A. The Enrolled Agent status was created as a reaction to fraudulent war loss claims in the wake of the American Civil War with roots tracing back to the Enabling Act of 1884, or General Deficiency Appropriation Bill (H.R. 2735), also known as the “Horse Act of 1884,” which was signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur on July 7, 1884. After the Civil War, many citizens faced difficulties in settling claims with the government for property confiscated for use in the war effort. As a result, Congress endowed enrolled agents with the power of advocacy to prepare claims against the government. From 1884 through the early 20th century, this statute remained largely unchanged.

When the Revenue Act of 1913 was passed, signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on October 3, 1913, the scope of the enrolled agent was expanded to include claims for monetary relief for citizens whose taxes had become inequitable. As income, estate, gift and other sources of tax collections became more complex, the role of the enrolled agent increased to include the preparation of the many tax forms that were required. As a result of this complexity, audits became more prevalent and the enrolled agent role evolved into taxpayer representation, promulgating a series of statutes which were combined into a single Treasury Department Circular in February 19, 1921, known as Circular 230, to address “the laws and regulations governing the recognition of agents, attorneys, and other persons representing claimants before the Treasury Department and offices thereof.”

****

Q. How can an Enrolled Agent help me?

A. Enrolled Agents specialize in taxation unlike attorneys and CPA;s. Throughout the year, EA’s advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts and any entities with tax reporting requirements. The EA’s expertise in the field of taxation enables them to represent taxpayers at all administrative levels within the IRS.

****

Q. How do Enrolled Agents differ from other tax experts?

A. EA’s are the only practitioners who have demonstrated technical competence to the IRS specifically in matters of taxation. Also, they are the only representatives for taxpayers who receive that credential directly from the U.S. government (CPA’s and attorneys are licensed by the states).

An individual may become an Enrolled Agent in one of two ways: The primary way is to pass a difficult three-part Exam known as the Special Enrollment Exam administered by the IRS. The test covers taxation of individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts, as well as procedure and ethics.

Less than one-third of individuals taking the examination have passed, allowing them to apply for enrollment and subject themselves to a background investigation by the FBI.

The other way is to have been an employee of the Internal Revenue Service for five years, regularly applying and interpreting the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and regulations.

****

Q. Are there any other requirements?

A. In addition to the stringent testing and application process, Enrolled Agents are required to earn 72 hours of continuing professional education, reported every three years, to maintain their status.

  • Because of the difficulty in becoming enrolled and maintaining that enrollment, there are fewer than 50,000 Enrolled Agents in the United States.
  • Enrolled Agents are the only professional tax practitioners who specialize in tax.
  • An applicant must pass a three-part IRS Special Enrollment Exam which covers many aspects of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • An applicant must pass a criminal and civil background check including a review of the applicants personal and business tax compliance.

****

Q. How can I find an Enrolled Agent?

A. Contact Tina by phone 920-277-2991 or email tinak@integrityintaxllc.com. We are available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Integrityintax/. Our website is www.integrityintaxllc.com.

Tina M. Kleckner EA, CAA
Enrolled to Practice Before the IRS
Certifying Acceptance Agent