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By comparison, a CPA can have a number of opportunities for earning money. For instance, CPAs working for conglomerates or in a CPA firm could easily bring in six-figure salaries. The Internal Revenue Service, in an effort to satisfy legal requirements, confers the status of enrolled agent to qualified candidates. An individual who has been certified as an enrolled agent is then allowed to serve as an intermediary for private businesses and citizens in relation to tax questions and disputes. Enrolled agents are typically employed by businesses specializing in handling income tax resolutions or preparing tax returns. As an EA seeking employment in this area of work you will generally need years of experience preparing individual federal and state returns.

He’s committed to exploring and providing accurate information about online learning options for real estate licensing, professional exam prep, driver education, and more. Jordan’s mission is to empower individuals to take control of their education and careers through While getting a CPA is very respected in accounting, it can take many years to become a CPA. If you become an Enrolled Agent instead, you can represent taxpayers in front of the IRS. You can also specialize in other areas of taxation to help your clients.

H&R Block Enrolled Agent Salaries – Browse Average Salaries by Location

There are many career tracks to consider as you apply to work for the IRS but one of the best places to start is as an IRS Internal Revenue Agent. IRS Revenue agents are responsible for reviewing tax returns and conducting audits, as well as identifying and collecting overdue taxes. When the general public owes back taxes or has other tax problems, it is a Revenue Agent that will deal with these problems. On current job posts, the IRS states that many members of their leadership and executive teams began their career as an Internal Revenue Agent. Working in an accounting department you would regularly communicate with employees, vendors, and customers to ensure accuracy of financial transactions and records.

Find more information about becoming an enrolled agent in this blog post. After you have taken a practice exam, you may still need to study further. Here’s how to read the simulated practice exam momentum meter… Credibility – The credibility you gain as an enrolled agent can help you command higher fees than others who have not demonstrated their competence. Bank products and services are offered by Pathward, N.A.

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Enrolled agents must use an IRS approved CE provider. Review detailed information about continuing education for enrolled agents. Jordan Fabel has experience as a licensed course provider, owning multiple brands and helping millions of students reach their educational and professional goals over the last 16 years.

Find out what the average Enrolled Agent salary is

It is for this reason many CFPs and advisors earn their EA credential. As a result, the CFP or advisor has a better understanding of their clients’ needs, as well as solutions that ensure the financial well-being of their clients’ portfolios and estates. As an Enrolled Agent you have opportunities to increase your salary by charging a fee for representation services, tax advice, or opinions on tax matters. EAs can work year-round, representing taxpayers in examinations, audits, installment agreements, collections and appeals.

  • No one offers more ways to get tax help than H&R Block.
  • CPAs not only study tax issues, they also gain expertise in accounting matters such as financial planning and auditing.
  • Of those individuals, more than 79,000 work for accounting, tax prep, bookkeeping, and payroll services.
  • MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS. Recreation Specialist I. Education Training.
  • Here are three of the most valuable benefits in becoming an enrolled agent.

On average, EAs can earn more per year than tax preparers. Compare Enrolled Agent salary in your city with a salary search tool. Entry-level tax preparers make around $45,000 and can expect their salary to increase to $50,615 after gaining several years of experience. If you’re looking to speed up your salary gains without making a big career change, the best thing you can do is earn a professional designation, like the EA awarded by the IRS. For tax accountants, earning an EA can increase their salary by several thousand dollars and allows them to take the next step in their career. The higher salary potential is one of the many benefits that an EA license can provide.

Benefits of Becoming an Enrolled Agent

The average Enrolled Agent salary is approximately $52,000 annually, as compared to CPAs, who earn an average of approximately $70,000 a year. According to PayScale, EAs make between $34,000 and $80,000 a year, while CPAs make between $50,000 and $116,000 a year. There is considerably more responsibility required for EAs in senior positions, which translates into the potential to earn a greater income. Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer and College Professor. Today, Ken continues to use those finely tuned skills to educate students as a professional writer and teacher.

Do you like playing with numbers and preparing your own income taxes? If you answered yes, then a career as an Enrolled Agent is right up your alley. Many people think of CPAs when considering a career in finance or accounting, but the role of an EA is another job that is increasing in need across the nation. Employers with operations spanning wide geographic areas often use a concept known as location-based pay to set salaries.

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They handle balancing the budget and must use budgeting and auditing software programs. Considering becoming an Enrolled Agent, but curious about the salary prospects? Take a look at our Enrolled Agent Salary Guide to get an idea about industry salary range. If you prefer, you can schedule an appointment over the phone and pay with an electronic check. Candidates do not need to worry about their degree or experience to appear for this certification. You may electronically apply for enrollment and make secure payment of the $140 enrollment fee at

However, actual EA salaries may vary quite a bit when you consider all the variables. For example, your years of experience as a tax professional will help you earn more. The size of the company and the scope of your responsibilities also affect your earnings.

According to present value formulascale, tax preparers at the 90th percentile earn average base salaries of $73,000 per year. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average annual earnings of a tax preparer at just over $51,000 per year. Payscale data from September 2022 put the average slightly lower, at about $48,710 per year.


There is no national for CPAs, so they must be certified in each state in which they intend to work. Certified public accountants do generally have more job opportunities due to the fact that they can work for private individuals, in the private sector, or for the government. Without the EA you may find yourself referring customers over to individuals that do not always have your clients in as high a regard as you might. The last thing you want is your clients getting contradictory or confusing information when dealing with more than one “expert” regarding matters of tax, finance, and investment. In most cases the confusion could be avoided if everyone was on the same page and had equal share of information.

The Average Starting Salary for a CPA

The biggest difference between an enrolled agent and a CPA is tax law expertise. You can start with a tax professional certificate program. After completing a basic tax program, you can go on to a more advanced program to prepare you better. Becoming a tax professional is a big step to take if you want to become an enrolled agent. You won’t need a college degree to become an enrolled agent.

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Increased Expertise – Becoming an enrolled agent will improve your knowledge about the various rules and regulations can help make you a better tax practitioner. DE, HI and VT do not support part-year/nonresident individual forms. Most state programs available in January; software release dates vary by state. State e-File for business returns only available in CA, CT, MI, NY, VA, WI. Enrolled Agents do not provide legal representation; signed Power of Attorney required.


Want to have a remote tax expert check the return you completed online? Find out more about H&R Block’s Tax Pro Review, which lets you prep your return online and have a CPA, EA or other tax professional check your work. While both CPAs and EAs have expertise in taxes, the requirements to achieve these credentials differ. If you’ve been convicted of a felony related to federal tax laws, breach of trust, or related to dishonesty, it can disqualify you. If it’s older than ten years, you may be able to enter this career. Even CPAs don’t gain the same credibility when it comes to taxes.

level enrolled agent

EAs must pass a three-part series of tests called the Special Enrollment Examination that covers individual and business tax laws and representation issues. The enrolled agent exam focuses mostly on tax preparation matters and very little on accounting practices. CPAs not only study tax issues, they also gain expertise in accounting matters such as financial planning and auditing. To understand what differs in the role of EAs vs. CPAs, let’s first review how each is licensed. An enrolled agent is a tax practitioner who is licensed at the federal level by the Internal Revenue Service.

However, the BLS only covers the tax preparer occupation in limited detail. For additional insights, you may also consider BLS projections for similar occupations over the same timeline. This concept highlights broader trends across the wider labor market.

Most EAs spend several years working as tax preparers before gaining this designation. The average salary of an enrolled agent will range from $42K to $60K per year. The lower end is for those with five years of experience or less. The more experience you gain, the more you can earn as an enrolled agent. Enrolled agents gain job security with a recession-proof career. This type of career will be necessary no matter the state of the economy.

CPAs typically work in a more traditional office environment with a predictable salary that increases over time as they gather experience. The responsibilities for a mid-level position exceed that of an entry-level agent, which explains the difference in pay. Unlike CPAs, enrolled agents become nationally certified, so they can practice in any state with the same certification. Enrolled agents are specialized tax practitioners who are certified to represent taxpayers in dealings with the IRS.

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