More than 10,000 enrolled agents are listed. Because they are the only tax specialists licensed to practice before the IRS, Grant [the taxpayer] can be assured the matter will be handled confidentially in the most competent way.
CPAs and licensed attorneys can represent taxpayers before the IRS. Abby's implication is that "only" enrolled agents can practice before the IRS, although she merely states that they are the only ones "licensed" to practice.
The other thing is that Abby seems to conjure what almost amounts to a "causal" relationship between the desired result
-- having the matter handled "confidentially" and in the "most competent way" (or at least obtaining assurance
that this will be the result) with the putative "cause": the point that enrolled agents are "the only tax specialists licensed to practice before the IRS."
In reality, other practitioners (such as attorneys and certified public accountants) are aware (or should be aware) that anyone
who prepares a federal income tax return for someone else, for pay, is bound by certain federal confidentiality rules. Indeed, with certain exceptions, it is a criminal offense under Internal Revenue Code section 7216 for any person "engaged in the business of preparing" federal income tax returns, or for any person who "for compensation prepares any such return," to knowingly or recklessly disclose any information furnished to him for, or in connection with, the preparation of any such return, or to use any such information for any other purpose, etc. (Misdemeanor -- up to one year in prison, or a $1,000 fine, or both, etc.)
Abby's wording almost seems to imply that because CPAs, attorneys, etc., are not federally licensed, they might somehow be less attentive to the confidentiality rules than are enrolled agents, or less competent than enrolled agents, or both.
...why is anyone in this [losthorizons] community paying the least attention to...'Larry Williams' [Famspear], or other purveyors of disinformation from...quatloos? – Pete Hendrickson, former inmate 15406-039, Fed’l Bureau of Prisons