Why Yes, I Am “Just” An Enrolled Agent

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

I recently got a fascinating email from a CPA who decided she needed to inform me that she was unsubscribing from my blog. Here is what she wrote:

I apologize, I didn’t realize you’re just an enrolled agent.  I’m not interested.  Thank you.

(Actual e-mail to me from a CPA, telling me they’re not interested in my blog because I’m “just” an EA)

Another shot fired by the United States at tiny little Liechtenstein. (For those of you who are confused: I’ve used the analogy before of CPAs being the United States and EAs being Liechtenstein).

And the CPA war against EAs has been active in states such as Texas, where I’ve heard of EAs geting hassled by the state CPA society for using the abbreviation “EA” because somehow it might confuse people about the CPA designation. Or some such nonsense.

This has happened in other states, too.

Unfortunately for those state CPA societies, the tax extender bill passed by Congress in December includes a new protection for EAs, which allows us to officially hold ourselves out as EAs anywhere in the country .

The language of 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.

– See more at: http://www.naea.org/newsroom/news/enrolled-agent-credential-protected-passage-%E2%80%9Cpath%E2%80%9D-act#sthash.DOLHO9Or.dpuf

I wonder if AICPA will file a lawsuit to try to overturn this provision.

Don’t laugh. They’re currently filing suit to try and stop the IRS preparer oversight program, which poses exactly 0 (zero) threat to the CPA brand.

Anyway, this is what I wrote back to the CPA who told me I’m “just” an EA:

I find it strange you would take time out of your busy tax season to send me an email calling me “just” an enrolled agent.

I have always tried to keep good relations with CPAs and count many CPAs as friends.


Hey, when you’re Liechtenstein, you have to use diplomacy in these situations, rather than trying to wage all-out war. So I tried to be diplomatic in my response.