February 13, 2018
If you’re new to the world of business, you may not know what an EA, or enrolled agent is or even how they can help businesses with their taxes. If you’re one of those people, then read on and find out whether an EA can help you with your taxes:
What are enrolled agents?
EA’s are similar in their roles and responsibilities to CPA’s and tax attorneys, in that they are tax professionals who can help you with your business, and individual tax returns, and can also represent you before the IRS.
Over time, the duties of the Enrolled Agent have increased to include preparing the many tax forms required resulting from reforms and changes to federal and state laws.
Does the IRS accept EA’s?
Qualified EA’s have obtained the highest credentials that the IRS can award, meaning that they are deemed able to represent taxpayers before them. Resulting from their high status, they are obliged by law to stick to a strict standard of ethics and must complete 72 hours of continuing education over a period of 3 years.
Enrolled Agents may represent whomever they wish and choose which type of tax matters they deal with, essentially meaning that they have unlimited practice rights. They can work across state borders, and unlike CPA’s and attorneys, are not required to meet the reciprocity requirements of the state that they wish to practice in.
Is there anything that an EA is not permitted to do?
EA’s can perform a wide variety of accounting tasks, and can even perform audits, but they are not able to give the kind of opinion that a public company would need when filing its’ financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, most small businesses that are not public, are not required to have audited statements that are compliant with SEC.
How can an EA help you and your small business?
Enrolled Agents are immensely useful to small businesses, since they can prepare your taxes and represent you before the IRS if necessary, while able to complete a multitude of accounting tasks, too. Their knowledge of all tax laws, state and federal throughout the entire country, is second to none, and for that reason, they are often in the best position to help you and your business stay tax law compliant.
Many professional companies offering tax preparation and planning services will have at least one EA on their team, and a consultation (either over the phone or face to face) will quickly determine whether you and your small business would benefit from their expertise and knowledge.