What is An Enrolled Agent?
Erin Armstrong is an enrolled agent, licensed by the IRS. She is also a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents.
An enrolled agent (EA) is a federally licensed tax practitioner who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the IRS. (1) Enrolled agents are allowed to advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates, or trusts, and they can represent any of these entities before the IRS for any issues relating to collections, audits, or tax appeals.
Many business owners are unclear about the differences between CPAs and EAs. Both CPAs and EAs are generally considered accountants, but they each have a slightly different scope of expertise. CPAs are trained in a broad array of tasks, such as accounting, performing audits and preparing audited financial statements for companies (CPAs can specialize in taxes and tax law, but extensive tax expertise is not required to be a CPA). On the other hand, EAs are the recognized tax experts, and they are the only ones required to demonstrate their proficiency in all aspects of taxes and tax law. Also, while CPAs are licensed by a particular state, EAs are licensed by the federal government.
All enrolled agents must complete 72 hours of continuing education training every three years, but if they are members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), they must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education training every year. (2) There are 53,000 practicing EAs in the United States. Of these, 11,000 are members of the NAEA.