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How to spot the difference between a CPA and Enrolled Agent

Filing your taxes can be a complicated and time-consuming process, particularly if you own a business and are focused on the day-to-day needs of its operations. Finding a tax professional who can help you is important. 

When most people think of finding tax help, they often instinctively consider a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). However, there are other tax professionals with the experience and training necessary to help your business navigate any tricky tax topics.  

An Enrolled Agent, for instance, can provide the tax services your business may need. Let’s learn a little more about what Enrolled Agents do, and the role they play when it comes to tax planning and preparation. 

  • What is an Enrolled Agent?: Enrolled Agents are trained to provide tax-planning support, resolve tax-compliance issues and file tax returns for individuals and businesses. They are officially credentialed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after passing a three-part, comprehensive test that covers various tax-related topics. It’s the highest credential awarded by the IRS, and Enrolled Agents must adhere to rigorous ethical standards and finish 72 hours of continuing-education courses every three years. 

  • How is an Enrolled Agent different from a CPA?: Like CPAs, Enrolled Agents are well-versed in tax matters. However, CPAs receive additional training and gain experience in handling various accounting tasks, such as auditing and financial planning, that go beyond the traditional service offerings of Enrolled Agents. Additionally, while Enrolled Agents are certified through the federal government by the IRS, CPAs must earn their certification through various governing boards at the state level. 

  • How can an Enrolled Agent serve you?: Enrolled Agents are uniquely equipped to serve clients who exclusively need tax-related support and counsel, such as in matters of tax compliance.

At PADGETT BUSINESS SERVICES®, we have a robust, talented network of CPAs, Enrolled Agents and tax professionals who can provide a wide range of services and support to your business. Whether it’s assistance with a tax-related issue or a comprehensive accounting need, our team is ready to help. Find an office near you today and set up a time to talk. 

Do you have the support you need to manage your small business bookkeeping? Contact us to schedule an appointment to speak with a local small business advisor.

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