Tax Consulting

How to Money: Weathers & Associates Consulting

So, what exactly is an Enrolled Agent (EA)?

An enrolled agent (EA) is a federally authorized tax advisor and representative.  Enrolled agents represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax issues including audits, collections and appeals.  These are all types of “tax controversy”.

Generally, EAs must obtain a minimum of 72 hours of continuing tax law education per enrollment cycle (every three years). Additionally, they must also obtain a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education (including 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct) each enrollment year.

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Company Spotlight: Weathers & Associates Consulting

A tax consulting firm, specializing in tax preparation, audit representation, and other tax controversies—with heart.

“I knew we needed to be different… I knew we needed to look beyond the numbers and see our community, to see individuals and individual ways to serve them.”
– Suzanne Weathers (the “Weathers” in Weathers + Associates)

Specifically, this firm now provides tax preparation services for individuals so that they never have to have any anxiety about dealing with the tax code or the IRS alone.  And, if one does receive a letter from the IRS, Weathers + Associates is fully equipped to go toe to toe with the IRS on their behalf.  In addition to direct clients, Weathers + Associates acts as a local outsource contractor to local tax and financial services firms for bookkeeping. View Weathers & Associates Consulting website.

This sounds like what a CPA does… What makes them different?

Both Enrolled Agent (EA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) are credentials, and are professionals that are held to high ethical standards and deal with tax-related financial issues; however, this is where they become different. To become a CPA, you must complete 150 undergraduate credit hours and pass the four-part CPA exam (one of which delves into taxation). Once the exam is passed, CPAs are then licensed at the state level. 

To become an EA, there are no required undergraduate credits. Instead, you have to have worked at the IRS for five years in a position where you were required to interpret and apply the tax code, or you have to pass a three-part comprehensive examination which, unlike the CPA exam, deals entirely with every aspect of the tax code. EAs are then certified on a Federal level by the Department of the Treasury. Because of this difference in jurisdiction, EAs can represent clients on a federal level, while CPAs can represent their clients on a state level.

What does an EA do?

1. Dig into data and provide tax analysis for planning, preparation, audit, and resolution purposes.

2. Read and interpret tax court decisions and code to stay up to date on impacts of changes.

3. Take meetings with clients to outline progress, further steps, and explain what resolution will look like in their specific situation.

4. Answer correspondence from clients, the IRS, or both.


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