EA vs CPA: What’s the Difference Between These Tax Pros?

enrolled agent hourly rate

Entry-level tax preparers make less, but can expect their salary to increase after gaining several years of experience, and gathering more clients. Being an enrolled agent offers competitive wages and job security that will constantly expand and be in demand. EAs also enjoy exclusive representational rights for their clients with the various levels of the IRS. The demand for enrolled agents remains steady as entities file taxes yearly.

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  • When making your decision about whom to work with, you may wonder about the differences between an enrolled agent (EA) and a certified public accountant (CPA).
  • Find an enrolled agent by calling a local public accounting company or tax business.
  • Enrolled agents must complete 72 hours of continuing education every 36 months to maintain their enrollment status with IRS.
  • The IRS recognizes EAs as a trusted channel for communication and representation.
  • Earning an EA confirms to clients the tax knowledge that you have, and keeps you up to date every year on any changes in taxation.
  • Under existing statutes, EAs are able to provide advisory services and prepare tax returns for anything that is required to report under the IRS.

Tax laws and regulations change regularly, thus creating a high demand for experienced professionals in this area. SmartAsset Advisors, LLC (“SmartAsset”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Financial Insight Technology, is registered with the U.S. When deciding between working with an EA or a CPA, you can rest assured that both types of professionals are well-trained. They must pass rigorous https://www.bookstime.com/ exams and can do difficult and demanding work for clients. And because tax attorney fees can often climb well into the four figures, both CPAs and EAs are also affordable alternatives for those who need help figuring out tax obligations. Be sure that if you choose to consult with either type of professional you have a solid handle on your finances and measure your expectations.

  • EA applicants must either pass a three-part SEE or have five years of IRS experience in a tax-related field.
  • Start studying today with Surgent EA Review — the smartest way to pass the Enrolled Agent exam — start your free trial today.
  • Additionally, the EA credential is more client-focused, with a variety of career paths.
  • In addition, states approve CPAs, while the federal government approves EAs.
  • Each year, a minimum of 16 hours must be obtained, of which two must be on ethics.

Average Base Salary

A CPA candidate must fulfill all of their state’s education requirements, satisfy practical experience prerequisites, and pass a four-part CPA examination. EAs, unlike CPAs, cannot provide compiled, reviewed, or audited financial statements; nevertheless, they can often undertake bookkeeping work for tax return preparation. The privilege of being an EA is granted to those who either pass a three-part thorough IRS test covering individual and company tax forms or have prior experience as an IRS employee. If you have accounting needs with a micro focus, working with an EA could be the perfect fit for you. On the other hand, if you are interested in accounting practices that have nothing to do with taxes, such as auditing, then the CPA option may be best.

enrolled agent hourly rate

Step 2: Schedule a Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) Appointment

  • Tax preparers work with taxpayers to complete federal and state tax returns.
  • Large firms are willing and able to pay a premium to attract top talent.
  • We are extremely competitive, client-focused and realize that our value is in our ability to deliver the right solutions at the right time.
  • Firms are especially interested in candidates with technology skills that can be applied to growing areas like cloud systems and data analysis.
  • The biggest step you can take to increase your salary as a tax preparer is to become an Enrolled Agent.
  • Offer more flexibility and greater access to management, giving individuals a greater say in the perks and fringe benefits available.

All Soldiers, including enlisted, Warrant Officers, and commissioned Officers, have access to the same comprehensive Army benefits. The pay for all three Army paths differs depending on which path you choose and whether you’re full time (active duty), or part time (Army Reserve or Army National Guard). The Army provides bonuses, military allowances, and other benefits to help you earn more and offset the cost of living, so more of your paycheck stays in your pocket. During tax season, services are offered by both EAs and CPAs, making selection increasingly difficult.

enrolled agent hourly rate

What is the difference between an enrolled agent and a CPA?

Enrolled Agents must complete 72 hours of continued education every three years. Each year, a minimum of 16 hours must be obtained, of which two must be on ethics. Check the SEE candidate information bulletin, answer sample exam questions, and use other references for the test preparation.

Someone on our team will connect you with a financial professional in our network holding the correct designation and expertise. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications. Our work has been directly cited by organizations including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Investopedia, Forbes, CNBC, and many others.

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There is also a continuing education component that entails taking 72 credits every three years. As of October 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recorded the national median salary for CPAs in the U.S. as $73,560. Jobs paying $58,500 or less are in the 25th percentile range, while jobs paying more than $83,000 are in 75th percentile.

enrolled agent hourly rate

Though requirements vary by state, it is common for those aiming to become CPAs to take a review course before sitting for the four-part exam, and these courses run anywhere from approximately $1,200 to $3,500. The highest paying types of enrolled agents are insurance broker, licensed insurance producer, and insurance producer. An enrolled agent’s salary ranges from $22,000 a year at the 10th percentile to $54,000 at the 90th percentile. The average enrolled agent salary in Alaska, Wisconsin, and Washington are the highest in the U.S.

The highest-paying cities for enrolled agents are Green Bay, WI, San Francisco, CA, and Southfield, MI. Along with Special Duty Pay, you can earn bonuses for doing things like heading to Basic Training earlier or taking certain jobs. The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) enrolled agent salary is given to full-time U.S.-based Soldiers when housing is not provided on base. The Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) is also available to Soldiers based outside of the U.S. Plus, everyone who joins has access to better loans for buying or maintaining homes off base.

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