Enrolled agents are not just ordinary tax preparers. They have earned the right, in education and experience, to represent their taxpayer clients before the Internal Revenue Service. This is no easy feat. According to IRS.gov, enrolled agents earn this privilege by passing a comprehensive three-part exam, or by having years of experience as an IRS employee. As such, the status of an enrolled agent is the highest credential awarded by the IRS. Even so, the salary of an enrolled agent is not based on skill alone. Job market, employer and location are other considerations.
The median compensation for an IRS enrolled agent, according to Indeed.com, is $49,000. This number varies with agent experience and prospective employer. Also, even though the skill level and expertise of enrolled agents is at a high level with regard to tax preparation and client representation, this average salary is much lower than tax preparers who are also certified public accountants.
Job market and job location are other variables that impact the earnings of an IRS enrolled agent. Since an enrolled agent has the unrestricted ability to represent any client in any state regarding federal tax law, they can consider profitability in job location versus earnings potential. For example, an IRS enrolled agent in New York can expect an average annual salary of $59,000, according to Indeed.com. However, the average salary drops to $32,000 in Idaho.