Choose the Right Tax Advisors by Understanding the Difference between EA and CPA


Tax filing can be a complex process as it involves various tax codes. Secondly, there is a high chance that you might miss out on important information or file details under the wrong sections. Here is where hiring tax professionals can ensure that you file your taxes under the right codes.

Choosing the Right Tax Professional

When it comes to hiring professionals, you can either opt for Certified Public Accountants (CPA) or Enrolled Agents (EA). So, what is an enrolled agent vs CPA? These work in the tax field, but their line of expertise is different.

Enrolled agents are professionals who are federally licensed tax specialists. They can help you file your tax returns, and audits, and help in filing appeals to the IRS. In addition to this, they also offer tax advice to businesses.

Enrolled agents need to pass 3 parts of the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) and complete at least 72 hours of continuing professional education every three years.

CPAs on the other hand, are accounting professionals that require state licenses to practice. For a CPA to become a professional they need to pass 4 parts of the CPA exam. CPA require at least 40 hours of dedicated hours of continuing professional education (CPE) each year depending on the state-to-state requirements.

CPAs can work in different sectors such as:

  • Auditors
  • Tax Consultants
  • Financial planners
  • Accountants

Expectations from EA and CPAs

Enrolled agents and CPAs both are knowledgeable and can help you with your taxes, there is always confusion on when to consult with either of the two.

If are facing tax issues with the IRS, then you can rely on enrolled agents to resolve the issue. If you need help with your bookkeeping, tax planning, or any other tax-related advice, then CPAs are the best option for you.


If you are stuck with your tax planning, then you can seek help from either of the mentioned tax professionals. Ensure that you understand the services they offer and then make the right decision.

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