Choosing an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) vs. a CPA or RTRP
All tax professionals are not created equal—and knowing the differences could be an advantage in managing your tax liability. You may be familiar with “CPAs”, or “Certified Public Accountants”. These professionals are licensed only in the state(s) they operate in and are not required to demonstrate their competence in all areas of taxation to the IRS. “RTRPs” or “Registered Tax Return Preparers” have even fewer requirements and need only pass a minimal competency test.
“IRS Enrolled Agents” must meet more stringent requirements. In fact, Enrolled Agents are known as America’s Tax Experts. We are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in all areas of taxation and who have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS anywhere in the country, to the highest level of any tax court.
- IRS Enrolled Agents are not only required to understand the complexity of today’s tax code and how it applies to you, but also how constant changes affect your liability.
- In addition to stringent testing to initially qualify (including a rigorous background check), IRS Enrolled Agents are required to obtain many more hours of specialized tax training than are required for CPA or RTRP professionals. EAs who are also members of the NAEA (National Association of Enrolled Agents) undergo even more training, exceeding IRS requirements.
- IRS Enrolled Agents are required to abide by the provisions and ethical standards of the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230.
- With an IRS Enrolled Agent, you have a limited client privilege under the law and can have confidentiality for certain conditions, such as audits and collections.