Legislation would make it easier to find enrolled tax agents

By By John Guidroz / American Press

U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, introduced legislation Tuesday that would make

it easier for people to find enrolled agents to help them file federal and state tax returns.

The Enrolled Agents Credential Act would allow the nation’s 47,000 enrolled agents to display their credential when advertising

services and representing taxpayers.

According to the Internal Revenue Service website, an enrolled agent “is the highest credential the IRS awards” and requires

the passing of a three-part exam on individual and business tax returns or work experience with the IRS.

Enrolled agents are not restricted in representing taxpayers or tax matters and must take continuing education classes every

three years.

Lynn Jacobs, president of the Louisiana Society of Enrolled Agents, said some states restrict enrolled agents from using their

credential when representing taxpayers. The nearly 330 enrolled agents in Louisiana are not subject to this, she said.

“The legislation is a key part of

making sure all taxpayers across the U.S. know that they have ability to

seek services of

a qualified credential representative to either help prepare tax

returns or represent them in front of the IRS in case they

get audited,” Jacobs said. “We have credentials to distinguish us

from unlicensed tax preparers.”

Boustany said in a news release that using trained tax specialists is necessary to work through “the federal government’s

outdated and complex tax code.” He said the legislation would not increase the national debt.

Jacobs said enrolled agents can have clients outside the state where they live.