Types of Tax Professionals

Many people believe that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) oversees all tax return preparers, but this is incorrect. Enrolled Agents (EAs) and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are regulated professionals who have broad authority to represent taxpayers before the IRS. However, in most states, unenrolled preparers are not subject to regulation, and their ability to represent clients before the IRS is limited. Some states require unenrolled preparers to register, and in a few cases, passing an exam and completing continuing education are necessary. California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, and Oregon have specific registration and/or education requirements for compensated tax return preparers. In the remaining states, requirements depend on the type of credential held. Furthermore, anyone can become a tax preparer by obtaining an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), regardless of qualifications.

Enrolled Agents

The US Treasury Department licenses EAs. The exam they take to get the credential is completely tax-related and written by the IRS. Before electing to get the EA credential, an EA would often have one or more years of experience

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Certified Public Accountants

CPAs are licensed by a state licensing authority (for example, a state board of accountancy), and many states recognize licenses from other jurisdictions. A CPA must normally have a degree in accounting and spend an apprenticeship at a firm before

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Unenrolled Preparers (PTIN Holders)

Unenrolled preparers can opt into the IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP). The AFSP provides tax practitioners who meet the standards with limited representation rights. Participants in the AFSP earn a completion certificate that permits them to represent clients in

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Tax Attorneys

Tax attorneys are distinct from other tax professionals due to their legal training and expertise. While tax attorneys and other tax professionals, such as accountants or enrolled agents, are knowledgeable about tax laws and regulations, tax attorneys have a deeper

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Payroll Specialists

Payroll specialists are professionals who specialize in managing and administering payroll processes for businesses. They are typically responsible for ensuring that employees are accurately compensated on time, handling payroll taxes, and benefits, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. Payroll specialists

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Attest Professionals

Attest professionals (also known as Auditors) are individuals or firms that specialize in providing assurance services, primarily in auditing and attestation engagements. These professionals are typically certified public accountants (CPAs) (for example, in the USA, and Philippines) or chartered accountants

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Bookkeepers are professionals who specialize in recording and managing financial transactions for businesses or organizations. They typically work within the finance or accounting departments of companies, or they may provide bookkeeping services as independent contractors or through bookkeeping firms. Bookkeepers

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Financial Planners

Financial planners are professionals who help individuals and families manage their finances, achieve their financial goals, and plan for their future financial security. They typically provide a range of services, including: Overall, financial planners provide holistic financial advice and guidance

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This is for informational purposes only, please, contact your tax adviser for further guidance. If you don't have one, please, Click here to find a licensed qualified professional to help you with your understanding of this topic. If you are a licensed tax professional and would like to help businesses and individuals looking for assistance, you can Sign up to participate in our network here.