Not all paid return tax practitioners are equal! This IRS chart outlines the different levels of testing, continuing education requirements, unlimited representation rights and other criteria that you should know before hiring a tax professional.Using an enrolled agent can save significant time and effort in tax preparation and its associated tasks. EA(s) are equipped to advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements.
Continuing Education (CE) requirements ensure they have the knowledge to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS despite the continually changing tax laws. In fact, EA members must fulfill continuing professional education requirements that exceed the IRS’ required minimum.NAEA EAs provide two unique benefits to taxpayers.
- Emphasis on Ethics – Our principal focus is honest, intelligent and ethical representation of taxpayers before the governmental agencies. NAEA members adhere to a stringent Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct of the Association, as well as the Treasury Department’s Circular 230 regulations. In addition, our members belong to a strong network of experienced, well-trained tax professionals who work to make the tax code fair and reasonably enforced.
- Proof of Expertise – Only enrolled agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in all areas of taxation, representation and ethics before they are given unlimited representation rights before IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who are state licensed and who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation. Registered tax return preparers have passed a minimal competence test on tax forms for individuals, and have only limited representation rights.