The Enrolled Agent (EA) certificate program is 270 hours in length that prepares highly qualified tax specialists for personal or business work. This program prepares students to pass the Enrolled Agent Special Enrollment Exam administered by Prometric for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Enrolled agents are specialized tax practitioners who are federally licensed to represent taxpayers in dealings with the IRS. EAs prepare taxes, can stand in for clients during an audit, and handle other business a client may have with the IRS.
Common tasks for mid-level EAs include the preparation and review of tax returns, following up with tax invoices, preparing bank reconciliations, providing information to external auditors, and much more. The responsibilities for a mid-level position exceed that of an entrylevel agent, which explains the difference in pay. Entry-level agents are primarily tax practitioners. During tax season, these agents review and prepare tax returns for both individuals and businesses.
To qualify for high-level positions, EAs must typically have a minimum of 5 years’ experience in tax consulting, planning and representation. Other tasks include preparing tax returns, performing tax accounting reconciliations, teaming up with the different departments regarding any tax issues, etc.
An EA can obtain employment rather than form a tax practice, and the Enrolled Agent designation will make job applications more competitive. Enrolled agent is the highest credential awarded by the IRS; the agency even notes that it’s an “elite status.” When an 2016 – 2017 College Catalog - 61 employer sees the EA designation on a resume, they’ll already know that EA’s possess a high level of competency in tax issues.