Matthew grew up in the southeast Denver metro area, graduating from Cherry Creek High School in 1971. He attended Lubbock Christian College and later West Texas State University where he graduated with a BBA in Economics & Business Management in 1982. After a number of years working in a family owned sprinkler & landscaping business, he went back to school and graduated from Regis University in Colorado Springs with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Magnum Cum Laude, earning the Reverend Joseph A Ryan Excellence in Accounting Award in 1992.
Matthew started his tax preparation career in Colorado Springs. He was designated as an Enrolled Agent by the Internal Revenue Service, a designation which requires him to maintain a comprehensive knowledge of the tax code that allows him to represent clients before the IRS. In November of 1996, he bought into an existing tax practice in Delta, on the Western Slope of Colorado. After 23 years of practice and preparing over 400 returns per year, he recently sold most of his practice and moved back to the southeast Denver metro area. He continues serving a much smaller number of clients with his expertise.
Matthew C. Lewis, EA
What is An EA?
I have often been asked about the meaning of the initials/credentials after my name. Enrolled agents (EAs) are America’s Tax Experts. “Enrolled” means to be licensed to practice by the federal government, and “agent” means authorized to appear in the place of the taxpayer at the IRS. Only enrolled agents, attorneys, and CPAs have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. The enrolled agent profession dates back to 1884 when, after questionable claims had been presented for Civil War losses, Congress acted to regulate persons who represented citizens in their dealings with the U.S. Treasury Department. EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.
The primary way to become licensed as an EA is by passing a comprehensive examination which covers all aspects of the tax code. All candidates are subjected to a rigorous background check conducted by the IRS. In addition to the stringent testing and application process, the IRS requires enrolled agents to complete 72 hours of continuing education, reported every three years, to maintain their enrolled agent status. Because of the expertise necessary to become an enrolled agent and the requirements to maintain the license, there are less than 50,000 practicing enrolled agents.
Only enrolled agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in all areas of taxation, representation and ethics before they are given unlimited representation rights before IRS. Unlike state licensed attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not specialize in taxation, all enrolled agents income tax specialists. Enrolled agents are required to abide by all provisions of the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230, which provides the regulations governing the practice of enrolled agents before the IRS.