What is an enrolled agent? ...
"Enrolled Agent", professionally designated as an "EA", has
a history dating back to the Civil War. After the Civil War, many citizens had
problems settling claims with the government and other property confiscated for
use in the war effort. After many petitions and much pleading, President
Chester A. Arthur signed the enabling act of 1884 giving Enrolled Agents the
power of advocacy to prepare claims against the government and to seek equitable
justice for the citizenry. For many years, the purpose of the Enrolled Agent was
to act in this capacity.
In 1913, when the income tax
was passed, the job of the Enrolled Agent was expanded to include claims for
monetary relief for citizens whose taxes had become inequitable. As the income
tax, estate gift and other sources of tax collections became more complex, the
role of the Enrolled Agent increased to include preparation of the many tax
forms that were required. Additionally, as audits became more prevalent, their
role evolved into taxpayer advocacy, negotiating with the Internal Revenue
Service on behalf of their clients.
In 1972, Enrolled
Agents united to form a national association to represent the needs and interests
of EAs and the rights of taxpayers. That association is today called the
National Association of Enrolled Agents. Through their national association and
state affiliates, Enrolled Agents have successfully defended their rights to
practice and further the passage of legislation and administrative rules that
benefit both tax practitioners and ordinary citizens.