Are you analytical, organized, and detail-oriented? Do you have a strong code of ethics and a desire to help clients with tax-related issues? Have you ever worked for a tax preparation company? Are you looking to grow your professional career but are unsure how to do that? We may have the answer: become an Enrolled Agent.
Per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an Enrolled Agent is defined as:
…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).
Having the same rights and responsibilities as a certified public accountant (CPA) or tax attorney, Enrolled Agents are able to prepare tax returns for individuals or companies. They are also able to represent taxpayers in front of the IRS. Enrolled Agents are licensed by the IRS which makes the credential portable across the country, unlike CPAs or tax attorneys who are licensed by individual state agencies. This means that once you are an Enrolled Agent, you can work from anywhere in the U.S., giving you flexibility to live wherever you’d like with high earning potential. Enrolled agents are generally employed by public accounting firms, corporate accounting departments, law firms, and banks. Their expertise is invaluable and they enjoy high prestige among tax professionals.
There is heightened demand for new Enrolled Agents to enter the workforce, too. Currently there are approximately 50,000 Agents across the nation. As some age out or elect to retire, there simply aren’t enough in the pipeline to fill the necessary vacancies. This means that employment opportunities will continue to be extensive.
Beginning with the Fall 2020 semester, Scottsdale Community College will begin offering the required courses that prepare an individual with the necessary knowledge to take the national exam to become an Enrolled Agent. The 16-18 credit program can be completed in a relatively short period of time. Students in the program also have access to the Arizona Society of Enrolled Agents, the local professional organization providing information, best practices and resources to other Enrolled Agents.
As an added benefit to students participating in this program, Enrolled Agent students are offered a free associates (non-voting) membership into the National Association of Enrolled Agents. This gives them access to numerous resources, including the NAEA Webboard, a closed members-only webboard, to read, ask and answer questions from experienced tax professionals.
If this sounds like something that interests you, learn more about SCC’s Enrolled Agent program today.