Brenda Hershkowitz is an Enrolled Agent. She is enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. She is a tax advisor who is federally authorized and empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. She has the authorization to represent taxpayers before all areas of the Internal Revenue Service. This includes tax preparation, collections, and appeals. The Enrolled Agent status is the highest credential awarded by the IRS. The EA credential is recognized by all 50 U.S. states. In comparison, CPA’s are licensed on a state by state basis.
The Enrolled Agent position was created by the “Horse Act of 1884” and signed into law by President Chester A. Arthur on July 7, 1884. The reason for the creation of this position was due to fraudulent war loss claims after the American Civil War. Following the war, many citizens faced challenges settling claims with the government after their property was confiscated for use in the war. Enrolled Agents were given the power to represent citizens and prepare claims against the government.
In 1913, the Revenue Act was passed and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. At this time, the scope of the Enrolled Agent was expanded to include the preparation of all income tax returns and taxpayer representation. On February 19, 1921, the Treasury Department produced the Circular 230 to address “the laws and regulations governing the recognition of Enrolled Agents, attorneys, and others representing claimants before the Treasury Department and offices thereof.”
There are differences between a Enrolled Agent and a Certified Public Accountant. The Enrolled Agent is federally licensed, can practice in all 50 states, and the CPA is state licensed. The EA is required to take continuing professional education courses in Federal Taxation only and must be IRS approved. The CPA has a broader spectrum to choose from and must meet state requirements. The EA specializes only in taxation and representation. The CPA has broad accounting, tax and can even offer financial services in their business.