Enrolled agents must pass a three-part Special Enrollment Examination to be licensed by the IRS. This is a thorough exam that demands them to demonstrate competency in federal tax planning, individual and company tax return preparation, and representation. Every three years, they must partake in 72 hours of continuing education.
Certified Public Accounts, or CPAs, have passed the Uniform CPA Examination. They are licensed by state boards of accountancy, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. In addition CPAs must have finished a study in accounting at a college or university and have satisfied experience and good character standards specified by their respective boards of accountancy. In addition, in order to keep their CPA license current, CPAs must follow certain ethical guidelines and complete certain levels of continuing education. CPAs can provide a variety of services; some specialize in tax preparation and planning.