Definition of 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 license is earned by passing a comprehensive examination which covers all aspects of the tax code. All candidates are subject to a rigorous background check conducted by the IRS.
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. 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).
Enrolled Agents advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts and any entities with tax-reporting requirements.