Enrolled agent status is
the highest credential the
IRS awards.
Individuals who obtain this
elite status must adhere to
ethical standards and
enrolled agents, like
attorneys and certified public
accountants (CPAs), have
unlimited practice rights. This
means they are unrestricted
as to which taxpayers they
can represent, what types of
tax matters they can handle,
and which IRS offices they
can represent clients before.
But unlike attorneys and
CPAs, who may or may not
choose to specialize in taxes,
all enrolled agents specialize
in taxation. CPAs and
attorneys are licensed by the
states, but enrolled agents
are federally licensed.  That
means they are not limited to
practicing in states from
which they have received a
license; they can practice
anywhere in the United
Contact us:
Lake Station

Enrolled Agent
Lafata Tax Service
Schedule an
Enrolled Agents: America’s Tax Experts Fact Sheet

What is an Enrolled Agent?

Enrolled agents (EAs) are federally-authorized tax practitioners who have
demonstrated technical competence in tax law and are the only taxpayer
representatives licensed to practice by the United States government. Only
EAs, attorneys and CPAs may represent taxpayers without limitation before
the IRS. EAs advise and represent taxpayers who are being examined by
IRS, taxpayers who are unable to pay, and taxpayers who wish to avoid or
recover penalties. EAs prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships,
corporations, estates, trusts and any other entities with tax-reporting
requirements. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not choose to
specialize in taxes, all EAs specialize in taxation and are required by the
federal government to maintain their professional skills with continuing
professional education.

History of Enrolled Agents

After the Civil War, many citizens had problems settling claims with the
government for horses and other property confiscated for use in the war
effort. After many petitions and much pleading, Congress, in 1884,
endowed enrolled agents with the power of advocacy to prepare claims
against the government and to seek equitable justice for the citizenry.  For
many years, the purpose of the enrolled agent was to act in this capacity.

In 1913, when the income tax was passed, the job of the enrolled agent
was expanded to include claims for monetary relief for citizens whose taxes
had become inequitable. As the income tax, estate, gift and other sources of
tax collections became more complex, the role of the enrolled agent
increased to include the preparation of the many tax forms that were
required. Additionally, as audits became more prevalent, their role evolved
into taxpayer advocacy and negotiating with the Internal Revenue Service on
behalf of their clients.

In 1972, EAs united to form a national association to represent the needs
and interests of EAs and the rights of taxpayers. That association is today
called the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA). Through their
national association and state affiliates, enrolled agents have successfully
defended their rights to practice and furthered the passage of legislation
and administrative rules that benefit both tax practitioners and ordinary