Enrolled Agents and Certified Public Accountants

Click Here to see IRS Website - Understanding Tax Return Preparer Credentials and Qualifications

What is a Certified Public Accountant?

Licensed by state boards of accountancy, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, certified public accountants have passed the Uniform CPA Examination. They have completed a study in accounting at a college or university and also met experience and good character requirements established by their respective boards of accountancy. In addition, CPAs must comply with ethical requirements and complete specified levels of continuing education in order to maintain an active CPA license.

What is an Enrolled Agent?

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by passing the three-part Special Enrollment Examination administered by the Internal Revenue Service. The Comprehensive exam requires the participant to demonstrate proficiency in federal tax planning, individual and business tax return preparation, and representation. Enrolled agents are generally unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before. Enrolled agents are subject to a suitability check and must obtain a minimum of 72 hours of continuing education every three years. Additionally, they must also obtain a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education, including 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct each year.