What is an Enrolled Agent (EA)?

An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a tax expert that can handle the same issues as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Tax Attorney, when it comes to representation before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“EA’s tend to focus on preparing taxes, and many specialize in tax resolution.  An EA is authorized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections, and appeals.” – Kulp, Kayleigh. “EA vs. CPA: Which is Right for You?” Fox Business. Fox Business, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 6 July 2017.

While a CPA may perform many accounting and financial services, some may not specialize in taxation.

An Enrolled Agent is a federally authorized tax practitioner who may also handle many state tax issues with a duly authorized Power of Attorney.  See our blog on “Why do I need a Power of Attorney?”

Like CPAs, Enrolled Agents must maintain a certain number of hours of continuing education to maintain their license.

There are factors to consider when determining which licensed tax professional to hire.


To learn more about my professional credential, as an EA, and experiences select the link below.

Shanikwa Davis, EA, MST

Principal Owner @ S. Davis Tax Consultants

Why do I need an IRS Form 2848, Power of Attorney (POA)?

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In a traditional sense a Power of Attorney is a document used to appoint a person or organization to manage your business, legal or private affairs.  The person or organization will essentially act as an agent and handle powers, specified, on your behalf.

However, in the context of this article the Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative is a form used to authorize an eligible individual to represent you only before the Internal Revenue Service with regards to tax matters.  Many states have an equivalent form or version of the IRS’s power of appointment.

The Form 2848 POA will allow the individual to represent you, obtain tax information and handle your account with the IRS, including the ability to resolve matters with different agents within the Service.

Why would I want someone to represent me?

  • Some people are intimidated when contacting the IRS to resolve an issue – giving a tax attorney, EA or CPA a power of attorney would be an option to consider.
  • You may want someone who is more knowledgeable in taxation to handle your issue(s).
  • As a trustee or heir and may need someone to help address tax issues related to a trust or the family’s estate.
  • Traveling out of the country and need someone to represent you; an appointment of an authorized individual is a good idea.

You can limit the type of issues, forms or years the representative is authorized to handle.

Additionally, you may cancel (withdraw), add another individual, or change representatives on a Power of Attorney.

To submit an appointment of a POA to the Internal Revenue Service you may obtain, prepare and print a Form 2848 here.

To submit an appointment of a POA to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue you may obtain, prepare and print a Form M-2848 here.

If we advised you to sign a power of attorney there are certain sections of the form that must be completed properly.


Shanikwa Davis, EA, MST

Principal Owner @ S. Davis Tax Consultants