5 Questions to Ask an Enrolled Agent

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Many people facing IRS action seek the advice of enrolled agents. But what do these professionals do? Are they worth the investment? How do you find someone who shares your values and who has the experience to handle your complex challenge?

An agent is a person who has been qualified to represent taxpayers in front of the IRS. To achieve to this status, you must either pass a comprehensive examination or meet certain requirements as a former IRS employee. An “enrolled agent” is the highest designation the IRS awards.

All enrolled agents are not equal, however. To determine whether someone is a good fit, ask these five questions during your consultation:

  1. What’s your background?

Ask about the agent’s training, industry experience, success rate, support team and personal story. What cases does he/she prefer? Take written notes.

  1. What are your operating procedures?

How does the office handle cases? How does he/she like to communicate? Are his/her internal processes documented and organized, or is the structure ad hoc? How does the agent (and his/her team) deal with challenges?

  1. Why do you do what you do?

Is this work just a job for the agent? Or does he/she love the process itself—the satisfaction that comes from stabilizing companies and helping families breathe a little easier? What values govern how he/she conducts her business? What makes him/her excited to get up and go to work in the morning?

  1. What do you expect from your clients?

Obviously, the agent will (or at least should) want to work with people who are fundamentally honest, hard working and diligent. But what other traits does he/she look for when selecting clients? What red flags indicate a potentially bad match?

  1. What are the agent’s core strengths and weaknesses?

For instance, maybe he/she loves dealing with the wonkish aspects of the job—deciphering IRS-speak and translating complex language into layman’s terms. Or maybe he/she enjoys high level strategy but gets frustrated by minutiae. The degree of candor with which the agent answers this type of question can also be illuminating. For instance, if he/she says something like “my biggest weakness is that I care too much”—something along the lines of a humble brag—you’re probably not getting the full story!

Ask smart questions. Take notes. Research, and do your due diligence.

Are you looking for a qualified, experienced enrolled agent in Colorado to handle your IRS challenge? We’d love to be considered for your short list. Call our tax resolution team at 720-398-6088!