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.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TAX PREPARER AND AN ENROLLED AGENT?
Persons that prepare taxes for a fee, that are not Enrolled Agents, will have to pass a competency test by 2013, and will be required to successfully complete 15 credit hours of approved continuing education (CPE hours) in tax preparation.
Enrolled Agents, CPAs, and Attorneys have already completed competency tests, for not only individual returns, but also for business, estates, and trusts, and are licensed to represent taxpayers before the IRS.
Enrolled Agents are required to successfully complete 24 CPE hours of approved continuing education per year, and are required to complete 30 CPE hours per year by NAEA.