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08/Oct/2021

Individuals who take the necessary steps to become an Enrolled Agent must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education (CE) courses every three years. A minimum of 16 hours must be earned per year, two of which must be focused around ethics. Enrolled agents must use an IRS approved CE provider for these credits to be counted.

Becoming a member of TxSEA helps EAs reach their highest potential and continue growing in their field. You will have the opportunity to network with other tax professionals in your state and local area, have a group to discuss new tax laws and policies with as they arise, and have many opportunities to stay track with CE credits.

TxSEA offers online and in-person webinars that are designed to help you improve your business and stay up to date with your licensing. We work with the National Association of Enrolled Agents to help spread information and promote opportunities they provide for all EAs.

 

What Is The Role of An Enrolled Agent?

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.

 

What Are The Record Keeping Requirements for EAs and ERPAs?

Preparers must retain the following records for four years:

  • The name of the CE Provider organization;
  • The location of the program;
  • The title of the program, approval number received for the program, and copy of the program content;
  • Written outlines, course syllabi, textbook, and/or electronic materials provided or required for the program;
  • The date(s) attended;
  • The credit hours claimed;
  • The name(s) of the instructor(s), discussion leader(s), or speaker(s), if appropriate; and
  • The certificate of completion and/or signed statement of the hours of attendance obtained from the continuing education provider

 

I applied during an enrollment cycle, how many continuing education credits must I complete?

If your initial enrollment occurs during an enrollment cycle, you are required to complete 2 hours of qualifying continued education credits per month AND 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct credits per year. When your new enrollment cycle begins, you will be required to satisfy the full 72-hour continuing education credit requirement.

Example: If you enroll in year 2 of an enrollment cycle in May, you are required to complete 2 hours of qualifying education credits for each month (May (2), June (2), July (2), August (2)…etc. until the end of the enrollment year(s); in addition to completing 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct credits for each year. Your result would be, 40 hours of CE credits with 4 hours of ethics credits for the enrollment cycle.

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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30/Sep/2021

Are you looking for a professional tax agent to help you through your unique tax situation? Working with an enrolled agent is an excellent choice for those facing complex and difficult dynamics. Nerd Wallet shares some tips below to help you find a qualified tax expert:

So if you’re searching for help, here are seven tips on how to find the best tax preparer or tax advisor for you.

  1. Ask for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)

The IRS requires anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation to have a PTIN. Note the phrase “for compensation” — volunteer tax preparers don’t need PTINs. Make sure your income tax preparer puts his or her PTIN number on your return — the IRS requires that, too.

  1. Require a CPA, law license or Enrolled Agent designation

A PTIN ​is relatively easy to get, so go a step further and get a credentialed preparer — someone who’s also a certified public accountant (CPA), licensed attorney, enrolled agent (EA) or who has completed the IRS’s Annual Filing Season program. The Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor and Accredited Tax Preparer are examples of programs that help preparers fulfill the Annual Filing Season Program requirement. These credentials all require varying amounts of study, exams and ongoing education

How do you find the best tax preparer near you with the credentials you want? One way is to search the IRS’s directory. It includes preparers with PTINs and IRS-recognized professional credentials. Volunteer preparers and preparers with just PTINs won’t be in the database.

  1. Look for friends in high places

Membership in a professional organization such as the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or the American Academy of Attorney CPAs is always a good thing to have in a tax advisor, as most have codes of ethics, professional conduct requirements and various certification programs.

  1. Compare fees

How much do tax preparers charge? The average fee for preparing a Form 1040 is $203, and tax preparers who don’t use a flat rate typically charge $138 per hour, according to the National Society of Tax Professionals. Often, tax preparers either charge a minimum fee plus cost based on the complexity of your return (that minimum fee ranges from $160 to $172 on average), or they charge a set fee for each form and schedule needed in your return (filing a Schedule C might cost an extra $84 on average, for example). If you come across a tax preparer whose fee is based on the size of your refund or who says he or she can get you a bigger refund than the next guy, that’s a red flag.

  1. Reconsider tax advisors who don’t e-file

The IRS requires any paid preparer who does more than 10 returns for clients to file electronically via the IRS’s e-file system. If your tax preparer doesn’t offer e-file, it may be a sign the person isn’t doing as much tax prep as you thought.

  1. Confirm they’ll sign on the dotted line

The law requires paid preparers to sign their clients’ returns and provide their PTINs. Never sign a blank tax return — the preparer could put anything on the return, including their own bank account number so they can steal your refund.

  1. Check if they’d have your back

Enrolled agents, CPAs and attorneys with PTINs can represent you in front of the IRS on audits, payments and collection issues, and appeals. Preparers who just have PTINs can’t — even if they prepared your return. Preparers who complete the Annual Filing Season Program can represent clients only in limited circumstances.

Availability is also crucial. Even after the filing season is over and your tax return is history, the best tax preparers will take your call, respond to your email, or welcome you for a visit.

 

Why Choose an Enrolled Agent?

According to the IRS:

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.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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20/Sep/2021

Enrolled Agents are America’s tax experts. According to the IRS:

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.

Most people know, filing your own tax returns can be a complex and tedious process. This is especially true if you are a business owner, independent contractor, or need to itemize your deductions one by one. Luckily, working with an experienced tax preparer or financial advisor can help you to navigate this difficult process in order to get the best results in your filing.

It is important to choose a qualified tax professional for your tax issue. Not all tax professionals have the same background, knowledge, expertise, or privilege. Enrolled agents have very few restrictions when working with their clients. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential you can receive from the IRS, and gives them unique powers when it comes to the tax preparation process.

They are able to represent clients in any state and can communicate directly with the IRS on their client’s behalf. This can make it simple for individuals in difficult circumstances. If you need help with your individual or business taxes, an EA can help you.

Canopy outlines some of the primary benefits for becoming an Enrolled Agent below:

Whether someone is just starting out in their career or they have plenty of tax preparation experience and want to take things to the next level, they should consider becoming an enrolled agent. Here are three of the most valuable benefits in becoming an enrolled agent.

  1. Verification of Tax Expertise

Earning an EA license means that the tax accountant is part of an elite group that is recognized as a tax expert. As the highest certification given by the IRS, an EA is an easy way to signal that the professional who holds the license has a very high level of tax expertise.

The IRS has such strict standards about earning an EA credential that everyone understands it means deep knowledge and a range of expertise. An EA is not limited to state or regional knowledge, either. Because it is regulated by The Department of Treasury, EA credentials are recognized and revered in every state.

  1. Opportunities for Job Growth

Becoming an enrolled agent is an excellent way to explore job opportunities and business prospects that may not otherwise be open. EAs specialize in tax issues of all kinds ranging from businesses to individuals. An EA license makes tax accountants highly desirable when it comes to jobs at a tax firm, a government entity, or for a CPA in the private sector. With an EA on their resume, it’s easy for someone to stand out among other job applicants.

  1. Expanded Earning Potential

For tax accountants, earning an EA can increase their salary by several thousand dollars and allows them to take the next step in their career. The higher salary potential is one of the many benefits that an EA license can provide. In the eyes of their clients, EAs are incredibly valuable because they need help understanding the complexities of taxes and how they affect their business or their individual earnings.

EAs can represent taxpayers in any kind of situation in front of the IRS on an unlimited number of tax topics. From collections and audits to appeals and advising, EAs can work in any state and there are no limits to the type of clients or the type of IRS offices they can take on. No matter where they are in their career, EAs will always be able to provide a wide range of tax services to an increasing number of clients from all backgrounds.

 

How Can I Become an Enrolled Agent?

To become an enrolled agent, you can either work directly for the IRS for 5+ years or pass all parts of a test called the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE). EAs are also required to complete continuing education credentials . To maintain EA status, you must complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years.

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of these credits and network with other EAs in their area. Do not fall behind on your education, stay on track with TxSEA.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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19/Sep/2021

After you have passed your Enrolled Agent exam, you may be wondering what the best options are to move forward with your career. While every EA will have their own path, there are some steps you can take to help increase your chances of success.

Become a TxSEA & NAEA Member

One of the best ways to find resources and connect with other tax professionals is by joining a group dedicated to enrolled agents. There is a national organization, as well as state level organizations dedicated to helping EAs connect to their peers and serve their clients needs.

For Texas EAs, there is the Texas Society of Enrolled Agents (TxSEA). This organization has 4 chapters throughout the state that meet digitally and in-person. If you are an EA in Texas, you can learn more about your local chapters here.

Get a Mentor

When you join TxSEA, our members will work with new professionals to find established Enrolled Agents to partner up with. Seasoned EAs offer helpful insight and industry knowledge that can help launch your career and set you up for success.

One of our EAs shared their experience working with a mentor:

As soon as I received my EA, my mentor and employer Kathy had me working as her TxSEA education chair assistant. The IRS had just implemented strict CE provider requirements. Part of my job, besides being an EA, was to collect 3 Chapter’s CE seminar documentation, upload CE hours for attendees and make the Houston meetings run smoothly.

I look back on that time and realize that that was the perfect way for me, an introvert, to get to know people, nice and slowly. By the time Kathy retired as president of the Chapter and TxSEA Education Chair it wasn’t such a big step to move into both positions. I knew quite a few TxSEA members in the 3 Chapters….

The benefits of TxSEA I’m talking about are intangible and real. You don’t have to be a member to take advantage of the education that we continually need. You can probably find other groups that fit your comfort zone. But are they tax nerds? Can they help you in your business? TXSEA and its members can. Come join, participate and expand your zone.

Network With Other EAs

Networking is helpful for professionals in many industries, but especially for EAs. This is because tax laws are always evolving. Our organization helps to keep all of our members educated and up to date with all changes and current tax related deadlines.

Our organizations meets every Thursday morning online from 9 AM to 9:30/10 AM on the first 4 Thursdays. Discuss issues that come up in your practice, meet EAs and get to know them and their specialties for future contact.

How Can I Become an Enrolled Agent?

To become an enrolled agent, you can either work directly for the IRS for 5+ years or pass all parts of a test called the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE). EAs are also required to complete continuing education credentials . To maintain EA status, you must complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years.

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of these credits and network with other EAs in their area. Do not fall behind on your education, stay on track with TxSEA.

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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05/Sep/2021

We have covered in previous blog posts, that Enrolled Agents (EAs) are America’s Tax Experts. This is because EAs are federally-licensed tax practitioners who may represent taxpayers before the IRS when it comes to collections, audits and appeals. As authorized by the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230 regulations, EAs are granted unlimited practice rights to represent taxpayers before IRS and are authorized to advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements.

Enrolled agents are the only federally-licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. The enrolled agent profession dates back to 1884 when, after questionable claims had been presented for Civil War losses, Congress acted to regulate persons who represented citizens in their dealings with the U.S. Treasury Department. Enrolled agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers at all administrative levels within the IRS.

 

So, who are the tax experts in Texas?

With Enrolled Agents being America’s Tax Experts, it only makes sense that the Enrolled Agents in Texas serve as the leading tax experts in the state. While EAs are not limited to practice in one state, they are likely to have more intimate knowledge and understanding of the tax laws that govern the state they work in compared to other tax professionals.

If you are facing state tax problems, federal tax issues, need help with income tax preparation, or are a small business with more complex tax needs, EAs can help you. Working with a TxSEA member provides you the opportunity to work with an up to date and informed EA. All of our members are given resources to evolve and learn as tax laws change, to ensure they are providing the best tax advice and guidance to their clients.

Enrolled agents have privilege with the taxpayers they represent, under certain conditions. This privilege allows for confidentiality between the enrolled agent and taxpayer in circumstances where the taxpayer is being represented in situations involving audits and debt collection. It is important to note, this privilege does not apply to the preparation and filing of a tax return, and does not apply to state tax matters.

 

Are Enrolled Agents The Highest Tax Expert?

According to the IRS:

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.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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24/Aug/2021

Enrolled Agents (EAs) are America’s Tax Experts

Enrolled Agents (EAs) are federally-licensed tax practitioners who may represent taxpayers before the IRS when it comes to collections, audits and appeals. As authorized by the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230 regulations, EAs are granted unlimited practice rights to represent taxpayers before IRS and are authorized to advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled agents are the only federally-licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. The enrolled agent profession dates back to 1884 when, after questionable claims had been presented for Civil War losses, Congress acted to regulate persons who represented citizens in their dealings with the U.S. Treasury Department. Enrolled agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers at all administrative levels within the IRS.

 

Privilege and the Enrolled Agent

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 provides federally-authorized practitioners (those bound by the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230 regulations) with a limited client privilege. This privilege allows confidentiality between the taxpayer and the enrolled agent under certain conditions. The privilege applies to situations in which the taxpayer is being represented in cases involving audits and collection matters. It is not applicable to the preparation and filing of a tax return. This privilege does not apply to state tax matters, although a number of states have an accountant-client privilege.

 

The Differences Between Enrolled Agents and Other Tax Professionals

Only enrolled agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in all areas of taxation, representation and ethics before they are awarded unlimited representation rights to represent taxpayers before IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who are state-licensed and who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation.

 

Ethical Standards

Enrolled agents are required to abide by the provisions of the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230, which provides the regulations governing the practice of enrolled agents before the IRS. NAEA members are also bound by a Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct of the Association.

 

Why Should I Become An EA?

Limitless Earning Potential

Because you’ll be a confirmed tax expert with unlimited rights before the IRS, you won’t have to turn down any chance to make money by supplying tax services. Instead, you can complete more complicated tax returns, which means you can increase your earning potential.

The services you can offer include helping people with audits, preparing and filing documents on a client’s behalf, attending hearings and conferences in place of your client, and providing written advice to third parties on the tax implications of business transactions.

These services are lucrative not only because they are vast, but also because they are in demand across all industries. All kinds of entities require the assistance of enrolled agents, such as accounting firms, law firms, investment firms, corporate accounting departments, state departments of revenue, banks, and private practices.

With so many work opportunities available, you’ll have the freedom to decide if you’d like to work full-time or part-time; year-round or just during busy season; for yourself or someone else. In fact, with the independence you’ll have to work as much as you like and on whatever kind of accounts you like, your earning potential is unlimited.

And don’t forget: On average, EAs earn about 10% more per return than an unenrolled tax preparer. As you can see from this chart, the more experience you acquire as an enrolled agent, the more money you can make.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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17/Aug/2021

With hurricane season in full swing, now is a good time to refresh yourself on some simple strategies that can help to protect you in the event of an emergency. The IRS has released this tax tip guide for disaster preparedness:

After a natural disaster, having access to personal financial, insurance, medical and other records can help people starting the recovery process quickly. There are a few things taxpayers can do to help protect their financial safety in a disaster situation.

Here are some financial preparedness tips.

  • Update emergency plans. A disaster can strike at any time. Personal and business situations are constantly evolving, so taxpayers should review their emergency plans annually.
  • Create electronic copies of documents. Taxpayers should keep documents in a safe place. This includes bank statements, tax returns and insurance policies. This is especially easy now since many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically. If original documents are available only on paper, taxpayers can use a scanner and save them on a USB flash drive, CD or in the cloud.
  • Document valuables. Documenting valuables by taking pictures or videoing them before a disaster strikes makes it easier to claim insurance and tax benefits, if necessary. IRS.gov has a disaster loss workbook that can help taxpayers compile a room-by-room list of belongings.
  • Understand tax relief is available in disaster situations. Information on Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses is available at IRS.gov. Taxpayers should also review the itemized deduction for casualty and theft losses. Net personal casualty and theft losses are deductible only to the extent they’re attributable to a federally declared disaster. Claims must include the FEMA code assigned to the disaster.

Taxpayers who live in a federally declared disaster, can visit Around the Nation on IRS.gov and click on their state to review the available disaster tax relief. Those who live in counties qualifying for disaster relief receive automatic filing and payment extensions for many currently due tax forms and don’t need to contact the agency to get relief.

 

Disaster Relief Resource Center for Tax Professionals

Disasters can mean that many payroll and practitioner businesses and their clients suffer significant losses. Our goal is to provide resources and help to the affected payroll and practitioner community.

This resource center addresses common questions from tax professionals.

For news releases and other announcements on recent disasters, see Tax Relief in Disaster Situations. Disaster relief applies to tax preparers who are unable to file returns or make payments on behalf of the client because of the disaster. Taxpayers outside of the disaster area may qualify for relief if:

  • their preparer is in the disaster area, and
  • the preparer is unable to file or pay on their behalf.

 

Disaster Assistance Information

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA is an organization that helps tax professionals reach their goals and find the resources they need for their clients. Joining our society makes it simple for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of earning the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals licensed as enrolled agents today. Explore our site to learn more about the benefits of TxSEA for you and your clients.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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30/Jul/2021

Enrolled Agents are America’s Tax Experts. We are federally-licensed tax practitioners who specialize in tax preparation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. If you get a letter from the IRS, or worse, are audited or are the target of a collection action, your EA can speak directly to the IRS on your behalf.

Enrolled Agents are trained in a wide variety of tax situations, both common and unusual. With tax laws changing yearly, it’s more critical than ever to consult with a qualified tax specialist on your tax and financial strategy. The Enrolled Agent license is the highest credential the IRS issues. If you want to be confident about your tax return, work with an Enrolled Agent.

 

Are Enrolled Agents The Highest Tax Professionals?

According to the IRS:

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.

 

Can Enrolled Agents Work With Out of State Clients?

Unlike a CPA, an EA can practice in all 50 states without needing to apply state by state to represent your clients.

 

How to Become an Enrolled Agent

To become an enrolled agent, you can either work directly for the IRS for 5+ years or pass all parts of a test called the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE). EAs are also required to complete continuing education credentials . To maintain EA status, you must complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years.

 

Why Join TxSEA?

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of the credits they need to maintain their licensing, as well as provides an opportunity for networking with other EAs in their local area. This can provide helpful information and leads to tax professionals working as enrolled agents today.

Our core principles revolve around:

EDUCATE

Stay up to date on the latest tax laws and policies.

MENTOR

Learn from established tax professionals to become more dynamic.

PROMOTE

Network and promote your business through our organization.

CONNECT

Connect with other experienced Enrolled Agents in Texas.

Do not fall behind on your education, stay on track and connected with other tax professionals when you join TxSEA.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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13/Jul/2021

When it comes to financial advisors, you may be unsure who you should work with in your specific situation. Understanding the different accreditations is critical when looking for a licensed tax professional to help you through your financial needs.

When making your decision about whom to work with, you may consider your options between an enrolled agent (EA) and a certified public accountant (CPA). Both of these financial advisors can help you maximize the tax efficiency of your investments, as well as assist you in creating and carrying out a financial plan that benefits you.

 

What Is an Enrolled Agent?

An enrolled agent, or EA, is a kind of tax professional who focuses narrowly on managing tax arrangements for business or private entities. EAs boast a wide range of knowledge in such tax-related subjects as income, estate, gift, payroll, levies, returns, inheritance, non-profit and retirement taxes. Once EAs passed their qualifying exam, the federal government recognizes them as tax specialists. An EA’s typical responsibility includes representing his or her clients—businesses or individuals—before the IRS on issues of audits, appeals or tax collection. An EA is the highest credential the IRS awards. A professional with this designation typically makes $15,000 to $20,000 more than CPAs annually. You’ll want to seek out an EA for any and all tax-related issues, as they’re the uncontested experts on such topics, according to the IRS.

 

What Is a CPA?

States approve CPAs, while the federal government approves EAs. CPAs typically do most of their work for public accounting firms of all sizes. They don’t just specialize in any one sector of accounting. Rather they can assist as advisors and consultants for all accounting, tax and financial services for the businesses, individuals and other organizations they may represent. CPAs help their clients set and achieve their financial goals through money management and financial planning. These goals could be anything from putting down a payment for a home to opening a new branch of business across the country. CPAs are the go-to if you’re looking for a broad scope of expertise.

 

When To Work With an EA vs. CPA

EAs and CPAs are both knowledgeable, experienced financial professionals who are held to high ethical standards. The primary difference between an EA vs CPA is that EAs specialize in taxation, and CPAs can specialize in taxation and beyond.

So, how do you know when to work with one over the other? That depends on the type of services you are looking for.

 

Working With an EA

If you need help with an IRS issue, such as a collection problem or an audit, working with an EA will be your best bet. These tax experts are adept at dealing with the IRS, and some EAs even worked as IRS agents before opening their own practices, giving them helpful insight to the most complex tax issues.

These tax professionals are also a great option if you need tax preparation and planning advice for an individual or business. While EAs can’t provide compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements like most CPA’s can, they can generally put the business’s records into tax-basis statements that they then use to prepare a tax return.

 

Enrolled Agent vs. Other Tax Professionals

One of the most obvious things that set EAs apart from other tax professionals is the process to become certified. There are two different ways an individual can become an enrolled agent. The first way is to work for the IRS in a position that requires you to interpret the tax code for several years. The other, more frequently utilized path, is to pass the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) and a background check.

The SEE is a three-part exam the IRS administers directly. It covers tax concerns for individuals and businesses as well as other practices and procedures. You do not need a college degree or any speciality schooling in order to take the exam.

Another major difference between EAs and other tax professionals is their unlimited practices. EAs are able to represent anyone on any matter relating to taxation, collection or appeals. The only other professional with representation freedom like this is a certified public accountant (CPA). EAs also have federal licenses, which means they can represent clients in any state or US territory.

 

Texas Society of Enrolled Agents
https://txsea.org/
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26/Jun/2021

Are you considering starting a career in the accounting industry? Are you someone who is good with numbers and likes to solve complex issues? Becoming an Enrolled Agent (EA) is a career that is in high-demand, is easy to get started in, and provides financial stability.

Those who have the most success as Enrolled Agents are individuals who are organized, detail-oriented, good with numbers, and are able to stay up to date on forever evolving tax laws. This is a job that involves working with people and maintaining high ethical standards in order to be in compliance with federal and state laws.

If you are interested in achieving your career goals, becoming an EA may be the right choice for you.

Do I Need To Go To College To Become An EA?

College is not required for individuals who wish to become Enrolled Agents. You can become an EA either by working directly for the IRS for five years or more in certain roles, or by taking the Enrolled Agent exam. This is a 3-part exam known as the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE).

The exam is comprised of three parts:

  • Part 1 – Individuals
  • Part 2 – Businesses
  • Part 3 – Representation, Practice and Procedures

 

The National Association of Enrolled Agents outlines these key factors for those interested in taking the exam:

  • Candidates may schedule each part of the exam at their convenience, in any order. It is not required to take all parts in one sitting. Exam fees are $181.94 per part.
  • Prometric maintains approximately 300 test sites throughout the US and internationally. To enter the testing facility, you must present a valid, government-issued identification card containing both your signature and picture.
  • Each part of the exam will have about 100 questions, along with a small number of experimental questions that will not be scored (you will not know which questions will count towards your score and which are included to gather statistical information on questions prior to being added to the exam).
  • The exam includes three types of multiple choice questions: direct question, incomplete sentence and all of the following except.
  • Exam results are scaled, by calculating the number of questions answered correctly from the total number of questions asked and converting to a scale that ranges from 40 to 130.
  • Test results are available immediately following the exam. Candidates who pass are not told their score simply that they passed. Candidates who fail will be told their score, as well as diagnostic information to help prepare for re-examination.
  • Candidates who do not pass a part of the exam after four attempts during the May 1 through February 28 test window must wait until the next testing period before attempting the part again.
  • Candidates have a two year window from the time they pass the first part to pass the other two parts of the exam.

 

How Much Do Enrolled Agents Earn?

Enrolled Agent Salaries

EA salaries depend on a variety of factors, such as the number of years of experience, type of experience, and work location. There are three salary levels for enrolled agents. They are entry level, mid-level, and senior level.

Enrolled Agent Salaries for Entry Level

An entry-level enrolled agent with up to five years of experience can typically expect to earn an average of $42,000 per year.

Enrolled Agent Salaries for Mid-Level

A mid-level enrolled agent with between five and 10 years of experience can generally expect to earn an average salary of $50,000.

Enrolled Agent Salaries for Senior Level

A senior-level enrolled agent with between 10 and 20 years of experience can typically expect to earn an average salary of $55,000. Agents with more than 20 years of experience may see a pay raise up to $60,000 per year.

 

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25/Jun/2021

What Is An Enrolled Agent?

Enrolled Agents are America’s tax experts. According to the IRS:

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.

Most people know, filing your own tax returns can be a complex and tedious process. This is especially true if you are a business owner, independent contractor, or need to itemize your deductions one by one. Luckily, working with an experienced tax preparer or financial advisor can help you to navigate this difficult process in order to get the best results in your filing.

It is important to choose a qualified tax professional for your tax issue. Not all tax professionals have the same background, knowledge, expertise, or privilege. Enrolled agents have very few restrictions when working with their clients. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential you can receive from the IRS, and gives them unique powers when it comes to the tax preparation process.

They are able to represent clients in any state and can communicate directly with the IRS on their client’s behalf. This can make it simple for individuals in difficult circumstances. If you need help with your individual or business taxes, an EA can help you.

 

What Does an Enrolled Agent Do?

Enrolled agents represent taxpayers before the IRS at all administrative levels (examinations, collections and appeals). This means, if you have a tax issue, a notice from the IRS or are currently being audited, you can work with an enrolled agent to handle all direct interactions with the IRS, provide information and explanations on your behalf, and enter into an agreement with the IRS.

The only tax issues an enrolled agent cannot represent you for, are ones that take place in tax court. In order to represent a taxpayer in tax court, you must be a licensed attorney or have passed the “U.S. Tax Court Non-Attorney” exam. Your enrolled agent can help you find a professional to help you in tax court, if you are in that position.

Additionally, enrolled agents are authorized to advise and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts or any other entities with tax-reporting requirements. In fact, enrolled agents are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

Enrolled agents have privilege with the taxpayers they represent, under certain conditions. This privilege allows for confidentiality between the enrolled agent and taxpayer in circumstances where the taxpayer is being represented in situations involving audits and debt collection. It is important to note, this privilege does not apply to the preparation and filing of a tax return, and does not apply to state tax matters.

Enrolled Agent vs. Other Tax Professionals

One of the most obvious differences between EAs and other tax professionals is the process to become certified. There are two different ways an individual can become an EA. The first way is to work for the IRS in a position that requires you to interpret the tax code. The other, more frequently utilized path, is to pass the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) and a background check.

The SEE is a three-part exam the IRS administers directly. It covers tax concerns for individuals and businesses as well as other practices and procedures. You do not need a college degree or any speciality schooling in order to take the exam.

Another major difference between EAs and other tax professionals is their unlimited practices. EAs are able to represent anyone on any matter relating to taxation, collection or appeals. The only other professional with representation freedom like this is a certified public accountant (CPA). EAs also have federal licenses, which means they can represent clients in any state or US territory.

 

How to Become an Enrolled Agent

To become an enrolled agent, you can either work directly for the IRS for 5+ years or pass all parts of a test called the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE). EAs are also required to complete continuing education credentials . To maintain EA status, you must complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years.

TxSEA makes it easy for enrolled agents in Texas to stay on top of these credits and network with other EAs in their area. Do not fall behind on your education, stay on track with TxSEA.

 

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11/Jun/2021

What Is An Enrolled Agent (EA)?

According to the IRS, 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.

What Are The Steps To Becoming An Enrolled Agent:

-Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)

-Visit Prometric’s Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) web page to schedule your test appointments, review the SEE Candidate Information Bulletin PDF, sample test questions, and other test preparation resources. Achieve passing scores on all three parts of the SEE* within three years.

-Apply for enrollment and pay enrollment fee electronically using Pay.gov Form 23 or by downloading Form 23, PDF Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service (PDF) and mailing the completed form and a check to the IRS.

-Pass a suitability check, which will include tax compliance to ensure that you have filed all necessary tax returns and there are no outstanding tax liabilities; and criminal background.

Are There Classes To Become An Enrolled Agent?

While there are many different resources available to help you study and prepare for your licensing exam, none of these courses are required. You can study independently or work with a tutoring program to learn the information required.

You will need to pass all three parts of the Special Enrollment Examination in order to be licensed as an Enrolled Agent. However, you can take each part individually because you are given two years from passing the first exam to pass all three parts! This makes studying and passing the SEE exam manageable even for those with busy schedules.

Do I Need A Degree To Be An Enrolled Agent?

You do not need a college degree to become an Enrolled Agent. However, if you have a degree a career as an Enrolled Agent still might be a great option for you. This career appeals to a wide range of individuals including college graduates, high school graduates, and retired workers.

You can use your industry relevant knowledge from your previous career to target specific groups of individuals for your tax practice. Having insider information about the expenses associated with a specific industry can give you an upper hand when working with professionals currently still active in that field.

For instance, if you previously worked in oil and gas, you may find that it is easier for you to attract clients in this industry. You will have a common background, understand specific expenses associated with the job, and be able to provide helpful insight for their tax filing.

Why Should I Become An Enrolled Agent?

Enrolled agents are tax professionals that are able to help individuals and businesses handle the most complex issues. These professionals are experts when it comes to tax code, federal tax guidelines, tax preparation, and tax law.

Now is an excellent time to become an Enrolled Agent because we are currently experiencing a shortage of these important tax experts. There is a demand for professionals who can handle complex tax returns and represent their clients before the IRS.

Whenever you become an Enrolled Agent, your earning potential is much greater than that of a seasonal tax preparer. This is because you will have a higher level of tax knowledge and are an unrestricted, meaning you are able to do more things for your clients. You can work year-round assisting clients with tax preparation and a wide range of other different tax issues.

 

How Do I Maintain My Status As An Enrolled Agent?

Individuals who obtain the Enrolled Agent status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education (CE) courses every three years. A minimum of 16 hours must be earned per year, two of which must be focused around ethics. Enrolled agents must use an IRS approved CE provider for these credits to be counted.

Becoming a member of TxSEA comes with many benefits. You will be able to network with other tax professionals in your state and local area, you will have a group to discuss new tax laws and policies with, and we help EAs stay on track with their CE credits.

We have online and in-person webinars that are designed to help you improve your business and stay up to date with your licensing. We work with the National Association of Enrolled Agents to help spread information and promote opportunities they provide for all EAs.

 

Upcoming TxSEA Events

Annual Convention June 21st – June 25th

This is an online webinar or in-person event where Houston and DFW attendees can share the experience with each other and different featured speakers.

Part I: IRS approved Continuing Education – 3 days

TxSEA’s mission has always included quality education. Here are this year’s great speakers and topics.

Mon June 21 – 9AM to 1PM

LG Brooks, EA, CTRS will be live at North Richland Hills location and talk about “Know where you stand on Appeals & Audits with a FOIA”.

Hear LG’s tips on dealing with the current situation of information you submitted that is lost, mislaid, and/or not picked up by RO/RA on day(s) he/she is allowed into office. LG will continue with “Ethics 2021” to include contingency fees.

2 hrs Tax CE & 2 hrs Ethics CE 4Z48U-T-00182-21-O & 4Z48U-T-00183-21-I, 4Z48U-E-00186-21-I & 4Z48U-E-00187-21-O

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1010596736915334669

 

Tues June 22 – 9AM to 1PM

John DiLucci, EA, CTRS, Lance Stodghill, Atty, & Ruben Valdes, EA, USTCP, join forces as the “Representation Panel of Experts” to respond to your collections, appeals, and tax court questions from this past year.

A follow-up handout will be provided with the Q&A discussion. John is live at the North Richland Hills location and Lance & Ruben will be at the Houston location.

2 hrs Tax CE 4Z48U-T-00188-21-O

John DiLucci, EA, CTRS remains at North Richland Hills location to extend the 1-hour “Bankruptcy Strategies to for Tax Resolution” talk he gave DFW group to 2 hours to cover in more detail the strategies before and during bankruptcy for maximum tax forgiveness.

2 hrs Tax CE 4Z48U-T-00184-21-I (in-person) 4Z48U-T-00185-21-O (online)

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7645376453880675600

 

Wed June 23 – 9 AM to 2 PM

Larry Pon, EA, USTCP discusses via webinar format only “Tax Planning from College to Retirement to Estate” as well as “Tax Planning: Real Estate Case Study” including a 1031 exchange.

Both topics include the latest tax law changes and will touch on potential tax law changes. Lunch provided at Houston location courtesy of Maple Financial Svc.

5 hrs of Tax CE 4Z48U-T-00181-21-O

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6485757823928770576

 

Part 2: Improve your Business – 2 days

TxSEA members can receive continuing education (CE) credit for practice management seminars on Thursday and Friday

For a number of years TxSEA has wanted to implement a program to help you in your business. For the first time the Convention is doing just that. Learn ways to grow your business and how to protect your company and your employees.

Don’t want to expand or have employees? What about your business clients? Attend and learn ways to add value for those clients at an increase fee rate.

Thurs June 24 – 9AM to 11:15AM

Sandi King, EA, live from the North Richland Hills location, will cover “Finding New Business” & “EA Awareness”. Both topics will show you ways to increase your business. In addition, EA Awareness, especially when TxSEA members join forces, can develop a pipeline of people entering the business as students, then employees, advancing to EA status and becoming a member of TxSEA. A few hours of your time each month can bring amazing results.

TxSEA Board of Directors meeting will follow from 11:30 to 1:30. All members are invited.

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1890621654544025867

 

Fri June 25 – 9AM to 1PM

Susan Looney, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is in-person at the North Richland Hills location to present “Human Resources…What you Don’t Know CAN Hurt You”. Businesses today have so many things to keep track of it is hard to know it all, especially the constantly changing employment arena. Do you know what it takes to protect your company and your employees? This session will help you to understand some of the basic employment laws and HR practices that will help decrease your liability in your business. This session will cover areas such as policies and procedures, compensation issues, hiring, employment records and more.

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8740780306217182480

 

 

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