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Enrolled Agent vs. a CPA – Which Can Help Me at Tax Time?

Posted on March 11th, 2015

Financial professionals with Enrolled Agent licensure or Certified Public Accountant status are able to use their knowledge and specialized skills to help businesses and individual clients at tax time. However, EAs and CPAs are two different types of professionals who supply different tax services. If you need professional help in preparing your taxes, consider the following:

Enrolled AgentsAn EA’s main area of specialty is tax preparation and problem resolution. They can practice without limits in front of the IRS, meaning out-of-state tax returns and other complex tax problems are no issue for them. EAs can also represent you in matters of tax problems, like un-paid taxes, tax audits, and back taxes owed. However, it’s important to consider the Enrolled Agent you’ve chosen to help you — an EA without much accounting experience will only be able to guide you in tax matters, and may not have a larger understanding of good accounting principles, should you need further assistance.

Certified Public Accountants – A CPA license allows an accountant to practice before the IRS and confirm that the tax information they submit on behalf of their clients is accurate – a guarantee you can’t get by doing taxes yourself. CPAs also have a wider understanding of solid accounting procedures and can guide your business toward financial stability after your taxes are taken care of. But CPAs are locked into their state, as these are the entities that issue their licenses. It’s also not necessary for a CPA to have a graduate degree, in some states, or a post-graduate degree to obtain their license.

Picking which financial professional is best for you depends on your needs. If you’ve found yourself in trouble with the IRS, or have a multi-state tax return that’s proven to be a headache – an EA is your best choice. If you have messy books, no real accounting strategy, and are unsure of how to tackle your business taxes, a CPA can be of assistance.

The easiest way to get the best of both worlds at tax time, however, is to hire an EA with intimate knowledge of accounting practices, and proven experience in helping business accounting clients. Our firm is run and operated by a financial professional, Sina Kazemi, who has a Masters in Accounting — the knowledge he obtained being equal to, and broader than, that of anything a CPA would be tested on. Sina has guided more than 300 businesses with his accounting expertise, and also has an EA certification, so he can represent you in matters of tax problem resolution. As an EA, Sina is designated as one of “America’s Tax Experts” by the National Association of Enrolled Agents.

If you have questions about what an EA can do for your business tax accounting needs, contact our office for more information.


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