Monday

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. 

So with that said, what exactly is an “Enrolled Agent”?


“Enrolled” means to be licensed to practice by the federal government, and “Agent” means authorized to appear in the place of the taxpayer at the IRS. Only Enrolled Agents, attorneys, and CPAs 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 U.S. Treasury Department.


How does one become an Enrolled Agent?


The license is earned in one of two ways, by passing a comprehensive examination which covers all aspects of the tax code, or having worked at the IRS for five years in a position which regularly interpreted and applied the tax code and its regulations. All candidates are subjected to a rigorous background check conducted by the IRS.


How can an Enrolled Agent help me?


Enrolled Agents advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled Agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS.


Privilege and the Enrolled Agent


The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 allow federally authorized practitioners (those bound by the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230 regulations) a limited client privilege. This privilege allows confidentiality between the taxpayer and the Enrolled Agent under certain conditions. The privilege applies to situations in which the taxpayer is being represented in cases involving audits and collection matters. It is not applicable to the preparation and filing of a tax return. This privilege does not apply to state tax matters, although a number of states have an accountant-client privilege.


Are Enrolled Agents required to take continuing professional education?


In addition to the stringent testing and application process, the IRS requires Enrolled Agents to complete 72 hours of continuing professional education, reported every three years, to maintain their Enrolled Agent status.  Because of the knowledge necessary to become an Enrolled Agent and the requirements to maintain the license, there are only about 46,000 practicing Enrolled Agents.


What are the differences between Enrolled Agents and other tax professionals?


Only Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS 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 Enrolled Agents specialize in taxation. Enrolled Agents are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice from the U.S. government (CPAs and attorneys are licensed by the states).


Are Enrolled Agents bound by any ethical standards?


Enrolled Agents are required to abide by the provisions of the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230, which provides the regulations governing the practice of Enrolled Agents before the IRS.

Patriot Tax Resolution | Better Business Bureau Review | Longmont, CO

Patriot Tax Resolution | Better Business Bureau Review | Longmont, CO

Sunday

Business Installment Agreement $500 month on $35,000 Liability on 941, 940 and 1120 taxes on his S-Corp

Was also able to negotiate with this client's Revenue Officer (RO) to avoid the dreaded trust fund recovery penalty that the Revenue Officer's are being directed to assess on all quarterly payroll (941) liabilities on the individual of the business whom it deems willful and responsible for the non-payment of the trust fund portion of the tax (the amount withheld from the employee's wages).  

Friday

Client's Case Resolved in less than 30 Days-Resolution: Uncollectible

I was successfully able to have this client's business account placed into uncollectible status after being on the case for less than 30 days (started July 15th and had the case in uncollectible status by August 5th) after pushing the Revenue Officer and the Taxpayer Advocate to approve the uncollectible status due to the client's bank demanding the case be resolved before my client's home was foreclosed upon (qualified for a loan modification under Obama's HAMP Program).