Enrolled Agent Credential Protected by Passage of the “PATH” Act

For Immediate release from The National Association of Enrolled Agents

Contact: Gigi Thompson Jarvis, CAE




WASHINGTON, DC—December 29, 2015   President Obama has signed into law a bill that protects the right of enrolled agents in every part of the U.S. to hold forth their federally-awarded credential. The provision also makes permanent dozens of tax breaks that taxpayers have traditionally relied on Congress to extend annually, making it hard for taxpayers to take advantage of certain credits and deductions. The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) has worked tirelessly for many years to see both of these made into law.

“We are thrilled that Congress has finally passed the EA Credential Act,” said NAEA Senior Director, Government Relations Robert Kerr. “It has always been a head-scratcher that some states would not allow enrolled agents to use their designation – even though their license is awarded and overseen by the US government! Given that EAs hold a federal license to practice before IRS, I’ve always found state positions to the contrary to be mystifying.”

The provision reads as follows:

Section 410. Clarification of enrolled agent credentials. The provision permits enrolled agents approved by the IRS to use the designation “enrolled agent,” “EA,” or “E.A.” The provision is effective on the date of enactment.

NAEA has also for years lobbied for a more stable tax code, one in which taxpayers can plan to reduce their tax burden without concern that various credits and deductions will not be available the following year. Extenders made permanent include some for low-income families; renewable energy development; deductibility of state/local sales taxes; charitable contributions directly from charitable accounts; and tax-advantaged deductions of business expenses (to find out if you might benefit from any of these, consult an enrolled agent in your area).

“Finally, families can meet with their enrolled agents to plan how best to reduce their tax burden over the next year without fearing that their planning may be for naught, solely at the whims of an unpredictable Congress,” said Kerr.

The year-end tax cut and spending package includes a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that funds the government until Sept. 30, 2016, as well as a $680 billion tax package and other substantial policy initiatives. A summary of the PATH Act (Protecting America’s from Tax Hikes Act of 2015) can be seen here.

About Enrolled Agents

Enrolled agents (EAs) are America’s tax experts®. They are the only federally-licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. While attorneys and certified public accountants are also licensed, only enrolled agents specialize exclusively in taxes. Find an enrolled agent in your area at www.eatax.org.