Why should you consider using an enrolled agent for your tax preparation needs? After all, you may know someone who will prepare your returns for you and charge you less. Well, let’s first see how the IRS describes an enrolled agent. From their website:
An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.
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. Learn more about enrolled agents in Treasury Department Circular 230 (PDF).
As you can see, enrolled agents have trained extensively on the tax code in order to be ready to handle even the most complex returns. And the IRS ensures that enrolled agents stay up-to-date on the most recent changes to the tax laws. Plus, should the IRS want to examine one of your returns more closely, an enrolled agent can be your representative.