When dealing with the IRS, many people prefer to have someone represent them during IRS proceedings. If you’re facing an IRS matter and wish to have a representative, here is a brief overview of the professionals who can help.
The following professionals can represent you before the IRS only if they prepared and signed your tax return:
- Business partners
- An officer of a corporation, professional association or other organization
Limited representatives can’t represent you in matters such as IRS collections, appeals, estate closures, or in tax court.
Additionally, the people listed above can only appear before certain IRS representatives:
- Revenue agents
- Customer Service Representatives
- IRS employees in similar categories
When you are facing a more complex IRS matter such as collections, appeals, tax liens, and estate closures, the following professionals can assist you:
Tax attorneys: Look for an attorney who is in good standing with the state bar association and with the IRS. Additionally, you will want to find an attorney who ether specializes in taxation, or who is a general practitioner with additional coursework in taxation.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA): CPAs have either a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degrees from an accredited college or university and have passed the state CPA exam. In order to represent you before the IRS, your CPA must be in good standing with the IRS, with no license suspensions or disciplinary actions on their record.
CPAs are especially skilled in reviewing and analyzing financial statements and tax returns.
Enrolled Agents (EA): An EA is a licensed tax practitioner who has been authorized by the U. S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers in tax matters. The EA designation is the highest credential awarded by the IRS, and there are over 48,000 EAs in the United States.
Facing an IRS proceeding on your own can be intimidating. By hiring a qualified professional to represent you before the IRS, you’ll have someone who will ensure your rights are being upheld and who can negotiate with the IRS on your behalf.
By understanding the difference between limited and unlimited representation, you will be better prepared to find the tax pro who is best suited to your needs.
Always look for a licensed tax pro who is in good standing with the IRS as well as with their professional association. Speak to several within the same level of representation. Doing so will ensure you have the best person to represent you before the IRS.