Enrolled Agent – WRONG CHOICE
Enrolled Agent – WRONG CHOICE is a post that should NOT have to be written, and it is not directed the many EA’s that we know and work with on a daily basis. Rather, it is squarely directed at the National Association of Enrolled Agents [“NAEA”] marketing efforts and those EA’s that continue to perpetuate the bald-faced lies that should attract the attention of IRS Office of Professional Responsibility [“OPR”]. Let’s begin our discussion by starting with an article the is riddled with the deliberate misrepresentations of material facts and deceptive statements. EA vs. CPA: Which is Right for You? which we found through a link on the website of Greenfields Accounting the website of Jake Johnstun, EA. [we note the article date is 3/26/2012].
EA vs. CPA
Let’s begin with an overview of NAEA
If you have difficulty viewing the slides, you can access them here.
We are going to try to be as succinct as we can by linking to many of our prior posts on aspects of this topic.
The article suggests “Choose an EA” when:
When you have out-of-state returns. Enrolled agents are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their unlimited right to practice from the federal government (CPAs and attorneys are licensed by the states). That means if you need to file in more than one state and eventually need representation before that state in an audit or resolution case, the same EA can do it, Pinck says.
The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy which includes the state regulatory agencies – State Boards of Accountancy for each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia and four territories have created a website, CPAVerify.org .
Free and open to the public, CPAverify.org is a CPA lookup tool populated by official state regulatory data sent from Boards of Accountancy to a central database. The website represents the first ever single-source national database of licensed CPAs and CPA firms. Determine a CPA or CPA firm’s
credentials without having to search each of the 55 Boards of Accountancy website individually.Additionally, CPAverify.org also includes markers of enforcement, non-compliance or disciplinary action for added confidence in hiring a CPA.
The process to verify an EA’s credentials required you to email the IRS.
When you need help resolving an IRS dispute or expect to owe. People who don’t have the resources to pursue a taxation attorney often hire EAs instead for civil resolution cases, according to David Miles, an enrolled agent with 20/20 Tax Resolution in Broomfield, Co. Not only do EAs rates tend to be more affordable, they can their tax law expertise to represent clients in tax proceedings, audit hearings and appeals.
Another misrepresentation of the truth, and an outright violation of Circular 230 [Sec 10.51(a)(5). There are numerous sanctions for self-designation as an “expert” that apply to attorneys, CPA’s and Enrolled Agents. See How Not To Become An Expert.
Here’s a breakdown of the two professions:
An EA is authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections, and appeals, according to the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA). EAs advise, represent and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts and any entities with tax-reporting requirements.
EA’s only tend to focus on preparing taxes, and many specialize in tax resolution. In addition to an IRS-administered testing and application process, enrolled agents must complete at least 72 hours of continuing education every three years.
Enrolled Agents ARE NOT, REPEAT NOT PROFESSIONALS
- Enrolled Agents have absolutely NO requirements for minimum education or experience. They are not required to have graduated from high school, nor are they required to document experience to obtain the EA credential. The Internal Revenue Service only hire them as CLERKS -mail or file clerks with their ability to document thirty hours of college-level accounting courses. See – Tax Careers At The IRS
- Enrolled Agent is NOT a profession. There is a clear definition of what constitutes a profession, both in the general lexicon of the English language, and as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, an EA in neither – See aBIZinaBOX Contemplates Some Yiddish Wisdom or The Truth About Enrolled Agents vs. CPA’s As Trusted Advisors.
We have created a number of other resources that can provide additional resources to help in the selection of a tax or accounting professional including:
The Making of Frank-Enrolled-Agent [as seen on owler.com]
They say a picture is worth 1000 words, so we offer this visual:
Finally, we offer a suggestion that would go a long way towards make the Enrolled Designation substantially more credible. We offer our gift of:
If you have difficulty accessing the slides, you can view them here.