An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federally-authorized tax practitioner with technical expertise in taxation, which the U.S. Department of the Treasury empowers to represent taxpayers before all Internal Revenue Service administrative levels for examinations (audits), appeals, and collections.
The right to practice before the Internal Revenue Service is regulated by Federal statute and governed under U.S. Treasury Circular 230. Persons authorized to practice are known as “Federally Authorized Tax Practitioners” (FATP). The FATP status is granted to attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents, and Enrolled Actuaries.
Enrolled Agents advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and entities with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled Agent expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers subject to scrutiny by the IRS and state taxing authorities.
Unlike CPAs and attorneys who receive their designations from individual state authorities and have a range of different focuses, enrolled agents focus solely on matters of taxation and obtain their professional titles directly from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The privilege of confidentiality exists between a taxpayer and an enrolled agent when the taxpayer is being represented in cases involving audits, collection, and appeals matters with the taxing authorities. This privilege is not, however, applicable to the preparation and filing of tax returns—only the defense of taxpayers.
Enrolled agents that are members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents are not only bound by U.S. Treasury Circular 230 regulations but also by a strict code of ethics and rules of professional conduct.
More about the Enrolled Agent designation can be found here:
www.NAEA.org – National Association of Enrolled Agents
www.CoSEA.org – Colorado Society of Enrolled Agents