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Who is Qualified to Represent Taxpayers before the IRS

December 5, 2013

Taxpayers when looking for a resolution of a tax problem look to hire an experienced and efficient tax professional. Licensed tax professionals specifically focus on that part of the tax code that deals with taxes. When seeking representation, taxpayers must look to hire a licensed tax professional or an enrolled agent. Their qualifications, training and practice makes them capable of handling tax problems such as tax debt, tax evasion and appeals.

Enrolled Agents
Licensed tax professionals and enrolled agents have the legal right to represent any taxpayer before the IRS. They have privileges and rights that are denied to taxpayers. Enrolled agents have passed the three-part comprehensive IRS test that covers individual and business tax returns. Along with that, they are also required to complete a 72-hour continuing education course every three years. An enrolled agent can be a former IRS employee. The status of an enrolled agent is the highest status that the IRS awards.

Enrolled agents have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and have passed the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) conducted by the IRS.

Licensed tax professionals and enrolled agents have unlimited rights to practice before any administrative level of the IRS. They can choose to handle any type of tax problem.

Licensed Tax Professionals
Licensed tax professionals have completed a bachelor’s degree program from a law school, and may have pursued majoring in subjects such as finance, economic or accounting. Licensed tax professionals usually have additional educational qualifications in taxation. Clearing the bar exam is necessary for licensed tax professionals to practice law. Many licensed tax professionals will further specialize in their chosen area of expertise in taxation.

Any licensed tax professional or enrolled agent that is not under suspension or disbarment from practice can represent taxpayers before the IRS. They correspond and communicate with the IRS, prepare and file IRS forms on behalf of a taxpayer, and represent taxpayers before the IRS. They can also provide written advice to any entity.

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