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EA or CPA, which should I hire?

You've heard of a CPA, but what what about an EA? What's the difference and which should you hire to help with your taxes?

An EA, or Enrolled Agent, is a tax professional federally authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS. They are individuals with extensive knowledge in tax law.

Isn't that what a CPA does?

Yes and no.

Here are the key differences between CPAs and EAs:

  • CPAs have broad accounting knowledge (tax, assurance, valuation services, financial planning, etc) and EAs specialize in tax law.

  • Some CPAs are tax specialists but not all of them are. I've met CPAs that love taxes and CPAs that don't want anything to do with taxes or have any working knowledge in taxes.

  • CPAs are licensed by the state and need to (at most times) worry about interstate licensing and working with clients across state borders. EAs are not limited by the state and do not need authorization to practice in different states.

So which should you hire?

Truthfully, there are no wrong answers here. Both professionals are knowledgeable individuals required to maintain high ethical standards.

If you have issues with the IRS, need help with tax planning, or with tax preparation, an EA is a solid choice.

If you need broader accounting assistance, such reviewing or auditing financials to provide to your bank, a CPA is a great choice.

Do you need help with your taxes? Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me here --->


> Are You Making These Accounting Mistakes?

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> Should Your Private Practice Become an S-Corp

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