As one of the leading organizations for an elite group of tax professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents oversees the educational, career opportunities and standards of this unique profession. While membership isn’t required to work as an enrolled agent, joining the NAEA offers enhanced networking, continuing education and other services that helps distinguish good agents from excellent ones.
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The Tax Experts – Enrolled Agents
After the Civil War, Americans were allowed to claim property and financial loss due to government confiscation. However, this necessary act was bogged down by fraudulent claims and disjointed efforts from state and federal powers. To prevent similar situations, in 1884 Congress formed an elite group of tax professionals, which we now know as enrolled agents.
Unlike other tax professionals, such as CPAs, enrolled agents have unlimited rights to represent and assist taxpayers throughout the United States. Because EAs hold a federal license, they may practice in any state and may assists in any capacity. From preparing and filing complex tax returns to researching and representing taxpayers in an IRS audit, enrolled agents have extensive knowledge and power within the realm of taxes.
The History of Excellence – NAEA Background
Founded in 1972, the National Association of Enrolled Agents is an optional membership organization for active and inactive EAs. Like other professional organizations, the NAEA primarily focuses on the continued training and progress of its members. According to their mission statement, the NAEA states its primary purpose as being an outspoken taxpayer rights advocate. It accomplishes this goal by enhancing EA education opportunities, protecting the integrity and interests of EAs and enhancing the responsibilities of active enrolled agents.
The Four Qualities of Greatness – NAEA Membership Advantages
While the NAEA offers a myriad of benefits, there are four primary components that separate this organization from others. The first of these is also the most important: continuing education. To maintain an active EA license, agents must complete at least 72 hours of continuing education coursework every three years. Without satisfying this requirement, an EA license is suspended and the agent must quickly satisfy these requirements to continue their practice. Not only is the NAEA an official IRS Office of Professional Responsibility provider of continuing education coursework, but members gain access to the latest tax code updates and protocol.
Secondly, NAEA members receive constant access to the essential resources, such as a weekly newsletter and the acclaimed EA Journal. Because taxation constantly changes, these practical resources ensure enrolled agents have the tools and knowledge to accurately assist clients.
Thirdly, NAEA members have access to a database of top enrolled agents. Networking is paramount for any professional. The NAEA not only offers a variety of online communities, but also provides face-to-face networking opportunities at its annual conference. State affiliate branches offer a more local approach to networking, which is an invaluable tool for new or recently relocated enrolled agents.
The final component that makes the NAEA a celebrated organization is its advocacy goals. Along with identifying government and legislation weaknesses, the NAEA focuses on creating and sustaining a stable, transparent and communicative industry. From protecting taxpayers against harmful regulations to simplifying complex tax codes, the NAEA plays an active role in the lives and professions of enrolled agents.
While the National Association of Enrolled Agents is only one of several organizations approved by the IRS, its impact in the lives of professionals and individuals is immeasurable. An enrolled agent is the ultimate ally for the taxpayer, which means the NAEA is the ultimate ally for enrolled agents.