CPA vs Enrolled agent

2 Replies

Hello bp! So I just finished doing my taxes with my tax man that has been doing them for the past 5+ years. I am currently a w2 employee and have very minimal income coming in through a house hack. I started going to him because he is the person recommended by my parents. After bombarding my tax man with many vetting out questions I learned that he is not a CPA but he is an enrolled agent instead. Having never heard of an enrolled agent I ask more and more questions which brings me back to BP. Has anyone worked with enrolled agents? Do you prefer to work with enrolled agents? What are some major/minor differences between the two? Is a CPA a better option for real estate investing in the long term? He said that he currently works with investors so I’d like to continue doing my taxes with him. Thank you for reading Mike

@Michael Arreola ,

I'm an Enrolled Agent. I do a ton of representation work. Someone shared this. I specialize in taxation. It truly is a six of one half a dozen of the other unless you need an audited financial statement. In which case the person preparing it cannot audit it anyway. 
If you want a referral to an EA/JD in your area I can refer you to one happily.

@Michael Arreola

Another EA here. The short answer: there's no meaningful difference between CPAs and EAs when they specialize in real estate taxation.

Now, details. CPAs are trained and licensed in accounting, and federal taxes are a small part of that. Some CPAs never touch taxes in their life, and others do tax returns only. EAs are trained and licensed in federal taxation only. So CPAs have a much broader area of expertise, while EAs are taxation specialists. 

That said, many CPAs choose to specialize in taxation that makes them even with EAs. Both EAs and CPAs have the same rights when it comes to representing clients before the IRS. EAs are rumored to be less expensive than CPAs on average, but I don't think it's the case in specialized areas like real estate.

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