What Is An Enrolled Agent?Enrolled Agents (EAs) are tax professionals with unlimited practice rights before the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs who are licensed at the State level, EAs are granted their authority by the United States Treasury.
To earn the designation Enrolled Agent, candidates must pass a challenging 3-part exam. Historically, less than 1/3 of test-takers pass. Those who do pass are granted a license to represent taxpayers in all matters, before IRS Exams and IRS Collections. EAs are required to obtain a minimum of 72 hours of continuing education credits within a 3-year period, with a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education credits per year, of which two credits must concentrate on ethics.
As IRS Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, states "You may either represent yourself or, with proper written authorization, have someone else represent you in your place. Your representative must be a person allowed to practice before the IRS, such as an attorney, certified public accountant, or enrolled agent."
While attorneys and CPAs may focus on many areas outside of tax, an Enrolled Agent's expertise is centered on taxation.