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Updated: Aug 29, 2020

What's the difference between a CPA or an EA? We spell it out for you below!

“Pick the right tax professional for your real estate investing situation and you will save hundreds and thousands of dollars.”

What's the Difference?

Enrolled Agents (EAs) are not as popular as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) but they are as good if not, better with income tax matters. Both designations are very qualified to handle tax matters, read below for more details distinguishing them.

Enrolled Agents

EAs are tax preparers the IRS has authorized with the highest credential to represent taxpayers. EA clients include individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements.

Enrolled Agent Advantages

  • An EA status is the highest credential the IRS awards.

  • EAs are tax specialists, this is their sole focus! Interpreting the IRS tax code.

  • EAs are more affordable than a Tax Attorney, if your situation isn’t too complicated where a Tax Attorney is needed, you’re better off working an EA.

  • Average rates from $100-$400 per hour, way less than a Tax Attorney's rates!

Certified Public Accountants

CPAs are licensed accountants with the statutory privilege to sign an audit report. They can prepare financial accounts, provide audit services, and advise clients on tax matters. CPA clients are businesses requiring both accounting and tax services.

Certified Public Accountant Advantages

  • CPAs can handle both accounting and tax services.

  • CPAs don’t just specialize in any one sector of accounting.

  • Average rates from $20-$30 per hour.


Whoever you decide to choose to work with, make sure they are aligned with your vision and goals! Hope this article helps clarify and enlighten your understanding about tax professionals.


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