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Questions and Answers About Enrolled Agents

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  • What is an enrolled agent?
  • How can a Greentree Accounting Enrolled Agent help me?
  • What are the differences between enrolled agents and other tax professionals?
  • What does the term “enrolled agent” mean?
  • What is Representation?
  • Why should I choose an Enrolled Agent who is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)?

What is an enrolled agent?

Enrolled Agents (EAs) are America's Tax Experts as defined by The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA).   http://www.naea.org/taxpayers/what-enrolled-agent

EAs are the only federally-licensed tax practitioners who both specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Enrolled Agents are tax specialists who have earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the IRS by either passing a comprehensive three-part examination (each one being 4 hours long) covering individual tax returns, business tax returns, representation, practice and procedure OR through relevant experience as a former IRS employee. All candidates are subjected to a rigorous background check conducted by the IRS. As well as fingerprinting by the IRS and a criminal background check to be an Authorized e-File Provider.

How can a Greentree Accounting Enrolled Agent help me?

An Enrolled agent at Greentree Accounting can advise, represent and prepare the tax returns of individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates and trusts and any other entity with tax reporting requirements, such as sales tax returns and payroll tax returns.

Enrolled agents prepare millions of tax returns each year and their expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS.

In addition to tax preparation, tax planning and tax representation, Greentree Accounting offers other business-related services, which includes:

  • Bookkeeping or Monthly Accounting Write-up Services
  • Full Service Payroll Processing
  • Financial Statement Preparation
  • Business Consulting regarding other business matters

What are the differences between enrolled agents and other tax professionals?

The Enrolled Agent license is the most expansive license the IRS grants a tax professional. Enrolled agents are generally unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what type of tax mattes they can handle, and the IRS offices before which they may practice.

Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who can may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation.

As for Registered tax return preparers, they only have to pass a minimal competence test on tax forms for individuals, and have only limited representation rights.

Only enrolled agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in all areas of taxation, representation and ethics before they are given unlimited representation rights before IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who are state licensed and who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation.

CPAs and attorneys are licensed by the states, but enrolled agents are federally licensed. While the IRS requires all preparers to obtain and maintain a valid Preparer Identification Number (PTIN), enrolled agents have gone beyond the basic requirements and have demonstrated their expertise through testing and maintaining Continuous Professional Education (CPE) annual requirements. Members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents are required to maintain 30 credit hours of CPE per year.

What does the term “enrolled agent” mean?

“Enrolled” means to be licensed to practice by the federal government, and “Agent” means authorized to appear in the place of the taxpayer at the IRS. Only enrolled agents, attorneys, and CPAs have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. The enrolled agent profession dates back to 1884 when, after questionable claims had been presented for Civil War losses, Congress acted to regulate persons who represented citizens in their dealings with the U.S. Treasury Department.

What is Representation?

Taxpayers who find themselves in tax trouble are allowed to represent themselves before the various administrative levels of the IRS. However, most taxpayer facing an IRS collection action, an IRS audit of any sort, or an appeal of any collection or examination action would be wise to send a qualified tax expert in his or her place. Taxpayers who are represented have a guide who can lead them through the process, someone authorized to speak on their behalf and fight for the best possible outcome.

Why should I choose an Enrolled Agent who is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)?

The IRS recommends using a tax preparer that is a member of a professional organization that offers continuing education and other resources, and holds members to a code of ethics. NAEA goes beyond  the IRS recommendations by requiring members to hold fulfill continuing education requirements that exceed the IRS required minimum, In addition NAEA members must adhere to a stringent Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional conduct. Members of NAEA belong to a strong network of experienced, well trained tax professionals who effectively represent their clients and work to make the tax code fair and reasonably enforced.