From the August 1998 issue of Entrepreneur

It's not well-known, but there are other tax experts besides CPAs. And, more important, they can appear in your stead before the IRS--and possibly save your company cash at tax time.

Enrolled agents are licensed by the federal government and specialize in tax matters for businesses as well as individuals. These agents can not only do your tax returns, but they can act as your representative during audits and collection meetings with the IRS.

Why choose an enrolled agent over a CPA? "They typically charge less than CPAs," says enrolled agent Vicki Mulak of the Orange County Chapter of the California Society of Enrolled Agents, "and they can do everything [CPAs] can do at the income tax level."

To find an agent near you, call the National Association of Enrolled Agents at (301) 212-9608.

By The Numbers

  • Credit unions allocate 0.8 percent of total assets to commercial lending.
  • Some 1,577 credit unions (14 percent) currently make business loans.
  • More than 100 credit unions have loan portfolios comprising more than 10 percent of total assets.
  • Credit unions made $2.9 billion in loans last year.
  • The average size of nonagricultural business loans was $58,281 in 1997.