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What is an Enrolled Agent?

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. An Enrolled Agent (or EA ) is a tax professional recognized by the Unite state federal government represent taxpayers in dealings with the IRS. The profession has been regulated by Congress since 1884.


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 may 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.


How does one become an Enrolled Agent?

The license is earned in one of two ways, by passing a comprehensive examination which covers all aspects of the tax code or having worked at the IRS for five years in a position which regularly interpreted and applied the tax code and its regulations. All candidates are subjected to a rigorous background check conducted by the IRS.


How can an Enrolled Agent help me?

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.


Privilege and the Enrolled Agent

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 allow federally authorized practitioners (those bound by the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230 regulations) a limited client privilege. This privilege allows confidentiality between the taxpayer and the Enrolled Agent under certain conditions. The privilege applies to situations in which the taxpayer is being represented in cases involving audits and collection matters. It is not applicable to the preparation and filing of a tax return. This privilege does not apply to state tax matters, although a number of states have an accountant-client privilege.


Are Enrolled Agents required to take continuing professional education?

In addition to the stringent testing and application process, the IRS requires Enrolled Agents to complete 72 hours of continuing professional education, reported every three years, to maintain their Enrolled Agent status. NAEA members are obligated to complete 90 hours per three year reporting period. Because of the knowledge necessary to become an Enrolled Agent and the requirements to maintain the license, there are only about 46,000 practicing Enrolled Agents.


What are the differences between the Enrolled Agents and other tax professionals?

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).


An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns or through experience as a former IRS employee. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.

공인세무사란  IRS에서 주관하는 개인 및 법인을 포함한 3가지의  테스트를 통과한 사람으로 납세자를 대리할 수 있는 권한을 가지고 있는 세무 전문가를 의미합니다. 주 정부에서 권한을 부여하는 변호사, 회계사와는 달리 연방 재무부 (U.S. Department of the Treasury)에서 권한을 부여하는 세무 전문가는 EA가 유일합니다.  또한 IRS에서 가장 높은 자격을 부여 받은 EA는 윤리적 기준을 준수해야 하며 3년 마다 72시간의  교육 과정을 이수하여야 그 자격이 유지됩니다.


The differences between enrolled agents and other tax professionals

Only enrolled agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in all areas of taxation, representation and ethics before they are awarded unlimited representation rights to represent taxpayers 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.

미국에서 납세자를 대리할 수 있는 권한을 가지고 있는 전문가는, EA 이외에 변호사, 회계사에게도 그 권한이 주어집니다. 하지만 주정부에서 자격을 부여하는 변호사, 회계사와는 달리 EA는 미국 내 모든 주에서 세무업무를 대리 할 수 있는 장점을 가지고 있습니다.

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