Enrolled Agent Salary
Job Description for Enrolled Agent
To facilitate communication and satisfy legal requirements (in the U.S.), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confers the status of enrolled agent to individuals able to meet the education and testing requirements. People certified as an enrolled agent may then act as an intermediary for citizens and private businesses when interacting with the IRS on tax matters, questions, and disputes. Businesses that specialize in preparing tax returns or handling income tax resolution are the typical employers of enrolled agents.Read More...
While many employees of tax preparation companies and related businesses are employed seasonally, enrolled agents typically work year round to assist clients. The agent works with private clients and customers on taxation issues, helping to formulate a strategy for dealing with the IRS. The agent then represents these clients with the IRS, helping reach satisfactory estimations, payments, plans, and settlements. Given the complex nature of some of these procedures and settlements, the position is typically in demand throughout the year.
Many of the hearings and sessions that an agent participates in take place by phone; as such, the enrolled agent must possess outstanding communication skills. The position also requires a thorough understanding of the complex documentation required by the IRS, and the agent must be familiar with this paperwork. They also be well organized to meet extension, filing, and report deadlines.
To work in this field, a person must receive enrolled agent certification from the IRS in the United States. While the education requirements for this certification process may be quite broad, a strong educational background in public accounting and practical experience in tax preparation are the normal background for enrolled agents.
Enrolled Agent Tasks
- Recommend strategies to minimize tax liability by studying tax regulations, searching out and evaluating tax options.
- Determine impact of management's tax decisions by computing taxes.
- Prepare federal, state, and local tax returns by collecting, analyzing, and formatting financial information.
- Guide management's tax decisions by examining and discussing tax consequences of various financial options, recommending optimal course of action.
- Remit tax payments by requesting disbursements.
Enrolled Agent Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Enrolled Agent
Though certain workers may see earnings of up to $52K, H&R Block still falls short in the compensation department — the median pay is only $32K, the lowest in the field.
Popular Skills for Enrolled Agent
Survey results suggest that Enrolled Agents use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Tax Compliance, Tax Consulting, Payroll Tax Compliance, and Tax Preparation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 8 percent. Those listing enrolled agent as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Payroll Administration and Bookkeeping also typically command lower compensation. Most people who know Tax Consulting also know Tax Compliance.
Pay by Experience Level for Enrolled Agent
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Enrolled Agents, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $42K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $51K. Enrolled Agents who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $54K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $61K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Enrolled Agents that is 52 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Enrolled Agents will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+24 percent), Dallas (+22 percent), Phoenix (+21 percent), and Richmond (+19 percent). Enrolled Agents' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Enrolled Agents in San Antonio bring in salaries that are 25 percent lower than the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Sacramento and Chicago (12 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).