What's Next After Earning My IRS Enrolled Agent Credential
You've reached a significant milestone in your tax practitioner career by obtaining the IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) credential, granting you the authority to represent clients before the IRS. Congratulations!
Now, what lies ahead? What steps should you take, and what career avenues are available? In this article, we'll delve into life after earning your EA credential.
What Should You Do Next After Attaining Your IRS Enrolled Agent Credential?
1. Update Your Professional Listings
First, you should ensure that your professional information is up-to-date on the IRS's Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. This listing allows you to broaden your range of services and offers unlimited representation rights, all thanks to your EA credential.
If you haven’t already, consider refreshing your LinkedIn profile, and your professional website to showcase your expanded representation capabilities and your resume. Make your EA credential prominently visible, signifying to potential employers that you possess the sought-after skills and expertise. Highlight any additional pertinent experience and educational achievements, emphasizing your commitment to excellence.
2. Engage with Tax Organizations
Joining professional tax organizations like the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) and the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) can be beneficial. These associations provide an invaluable platform for networking, keeping abreast of industry developments, and accessing educational resources. Moreover, they advocate for tax preparers in dealings with government authorities.
3. Seek Career Advancements
Earning your EA credential means unlocking new career opportunities. This is a credential that sets you apart from other tax preparers and it’s something you can leverage to increase your potential job offers. Explore opportunities within online job boards, attend career fairs, reach out to professional placement agencies, or tap into your network to identify suitable positions. It's worth noting that an enrolled agent's salary is typically competitive, enhancing your career prospects.
4. Consider freelancing
One of the opportunities you can leverage as a freshly-minted EA is the ability to freelance. The gig economy is competitive, and having a title that separates you from the rest of the competition means accessing more opportunities as an independent contractor. Whether it’s picking up individual tax returns or freelancing with an established firm, you can capitalize on your profound tax knowledge for more money. While starting freelancing may be daunting, networks like Taxfyle help you access job opportunities without worrying about collecting payments or being micromanaged.
Career Paths for IRS Enrolled Agents
Accounting Firm Tax Staff
Public accounting firms offer a conducive environment for EAs, with benefits such as job stability and a diverse clientele. Here, you'll contribute as part of the firm’s tax staff, focusing on tax return preparation and representing clients before the IRS. It's an excellent starting point and a viable long-term career option with room for growth.
Smaller CPA firms often grapple with many clients, presenting an excellent opportunity for EAs. You can assume diverse responsibilities and eventually evolve into a seasoned tax professional. These smaller firms frequently offer appealing benefits like flexible schedules, remote work arrangements, and avenues for professional growth.
Banks operate under strict Federal Reserve regulations, requiring consistent compliance with governmental oversight. Having an EA on staff aids banks in navigating these intricate regulations while ensuring tax compliance. Banking roles typically feature competitive salaries, robust benefits packages, and job security.
Law Firm Staff
Tax law firms significantly benefit from the presence of an EA, who can adeptly represent clients before the IRS and manage IRS-related notices. In addition to serving clients, law firms of all sizes often require tax personnel to oversee their internal tax matters. Larger firms may offer higher salaries, enhanced job security, and superior benefits, while smaller firms provide a more personalized experience with increased autonomy.
Investment Firm Staff
Investment firms rely on tax professionals to optimize their clients' tax obligations. As an EA, you can guide investment firm staff on structuring investments to align with client tax goals. Larger investment firms frequently provide attractive compensation packages, comprehensive benefits, and flexible work arrangements, offering a compelling career path for EAs with an affinity for investments.
Attaining an IRS Enrolled Agent credential marks a significant accomplishment that opens doors to many career opportunities within the realm of taxation. The key to success lies in proactive planning, whether progressing in your current role, exploring fresh horizons, or embarking on something new. Stay vigilant, grow your network, and remain open to the diverse paths that lie ahead. As an EA, you can profoundly impact your career and the lives of those you serve. The possibilities are boundless, and your journey as an Enrolled Agent is only just beginning.
How can Taxfyle help?
Do you want to increase your potential income? Taxfyle can help. By joining our network of Tax Pros, you can access tax filing jobs that you can pick up, file, and earn money on your desired schedule. By joining the gig economy as a credentialed IRS Enrolled Agent, you can increase your income, whether it’s as a side hustle or a full-time gig. That way, you can pay off any loans, save up for a vacation, or treat yourself to something you’ve wanted to buy.