CPAs vs. Enrolled Agents & Non-Licensed Preparers

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 in Tax Tips | Comments Off on CPAs vs. Enrolled Agents & Non-Licensed Preparers

File Taxes Indiana: Who Should Help You?

What’s the difference between a certified public accountant (CPA) and an enrolled agent? What distinguishes them from non-licensed tax preparers?

In this post, we’ll explore these three roles as related to tax preparation.

Certified Public Accountant

CPAs typically conduct financial audits and provide accounting services. In order to qualify as a CPA, individuals must pass theĀ Uniform CPA Examination, which is the only licensed qualification available in accounting.

Because CPAs work with accounting, many provide tax services to businesses and individuals. This is especially common in smaller communities where the CPA is viewed as a tax preparer. A licensed CPA can provide professional tax preparation services for you or your business. If you receive a tax notice letter, your CPA can help you address and resolve the issue.

Enrolled Agents

Enrolled agents must pass three exams and commit to continuing education in order to practice. In the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), they are equal to an attorney or CPA. Enrolled agents can communicate with the IRS on your behalf and represent you before the IRS or tax court.

An enrolled agent is a tax specialist. They don’t necessarily need to have any accounting experience. Because of their tax expertise, enrolled agents are able to advocate on behalf of their clients when necessary.

Non-Licensed Tax Preparer

In order to provide tax services, all you have to do is say that you offer tax services. There are currently no licensing requirements for tax preparers. There are individuals who offer tax services from their home or a rented office space. Others volunteer to provide tax preparation services. While some of the non-licensed tax preparers providing tax services are knowledgeable and conscientious, there is no testing or licensing requirement to prove their competency. That can put individuals and businesses at risk if issues arise. For example, working with an individual who provides part-time tax services may lead to extra headaches if you were to receive a tax notice letter from the IRS.

Indiana Tax Preparation Services

If you’re searching for someone to help you prepare your taxes, contact the team at Baker Retirement and Wealth Management, PC. Our tax professionals have been preparing taxes and providing financial services in the greater Evansville area for almost three decades. We know that knowledge is power, so we make continuing education a priority.

We’d love to meet you! Visit one of our office locations in Owensville, Evansville, Newburgh, or Boonville today or call us toll free at 1-866-244-3517.

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