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What is an EA

What is an Enrolled Agent?

An Enrolled Agent (EA) is an individual who has demonstrated technical competence in the field of taxation. Enrolled Agents can represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities.

"Enrolled" means EAs are licensed by the United States Treasury Department. "Agent" means EAs are authorized to appear in place of the taxpayer at the Internal Revenue Service. Only EAs, attorneys, CPAs and enrolled actuaries 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 Treasury Department.

Only Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate to the Internal Revenue Service 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 EAs specialize in taxation. EAs are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice from the United States Treasury. (CPAs and attorneys are licensed by the states.)

In addition to stringent testing and IRS application process, EAs are required to complete at least 72 hours of continuing professional education every three years to maintain their status. EAs are required to abide by the provisions of the US Treasury Department Circular 230 which details the ethical responsibilities of Enrolled Agents.