Monthly Archives: July 2019

How to Become an Enrolled Agent: 10 Steps to the EA Designation

How to Become an Enrolled Agent: 10 Steps to the EA Designation

achieve passing scores

Review Exam Content Outlines – Read the full detailed test specifications to become familiar with the content of each part of the exam. Create an Account with Prometric, if you don’t have one. Enrolled Agent is the highest credential in the tax industry, awarded by the IRS. For most test-takers, preparing for the SEE entails months of dedicated studying. Aspiring EAs may enroll in a course or purchase online study materials to help navigate SEE content.

They’ll also run a background check for criminal records. The IRS provides details on the suitability requirements in Circular 230 Opens in new window.. Enrolled agents don’t work for the IRS; they work for taxpayers.

Tax Return Preparer Certificate Program

Boost your tax career, earn up to 12 hours of federal tax Continuing Education credits and prepare to earn the highest credential awarded by the Internal Revenue Service. In studying for the examination, you may wish to refer to the Internal Revenue Code, Circular 230, IRS publications, as well as IRS tax forms and accompanying instructions.


In addition, taking initiatives like completing an EA review course can help you reduce the amount of time you’ll have to wait to be granted your certification. The exam is administered by the testing company Prometric at testing centers throughout the United States and many other countries around the world. PassKey Learning Systems provides a complete study program to help you learn and understand the key concepts you need to know to pass the EA exam. Exempt organizations often rely on donations to keep afloat.

Step 5. Determine Your Path to the EA

In that case, you must wait ten yhow to become an enrolled agentrs before becoming eligible to become an enrolled agent. The Treasury Department is having a difficult time with claims arising from property confiscated for use in the war effort. The intent of Congress at that time was not regulating “tax return preparers” as the modern-day income tax regime did not exist. Rather, this law was created to regulate representatives who were helping people prepare cases and file claims with the Treasury Department for losses resulting from the Civil War. Many of these claims were fraudulent, and regulation was deemed necessary to protect the public interest. The IRS allows 2 years from the completion of your first exam to pass all three. Once you pass all of the exams, you need to complete an online application to apply for enrollment to practice before the IRS.

  • As an EA, you have seemingly endless opportunities to grow your career and, as a result, your bank account.
  • The exam is administered by the testing company Prometric at testing centers throughout the United States and many other countries around the world.
  • Enrolled Agent is the highest credential in the tax industry, awarded by the IRS.
  • In short, you must complete 72 hours of CE every 3 years.

The role of the Enrolled Agent evolved with the needs of citizens as many sought monetary relief from income tax, and audits became more prevalent. Enrolled agents began to assist taxpayers with the preparation of the multitude of tax forms that would arise in the years to follow. The first Form 1040 was introduced at this time with a top tax rate of 6%. To prove you know your stuff, you’ll need to pass the Enrolled Agent exam, which has a pass rate that usually sits somewhere between 70% and 74%. It’s something most tax preparers should be able to pass if they study, which makes the short list of requirements pretty great news.

What is an Enrolled Agent?

Attorneys and certified public accountants have state licenses, which limits their practice only to the states where they are licensed. Unlike a CPA or Attorney, an enrolled agent holds a federal license and has the right to represent any taxpayer in any state regarding federal tax matters. An enrolled agent is considered a tax specialist, which sets them apart from attorneys or CPAs who do not always specialize in taxes. The practice of enrolled agents before the IRS is not limited and they may represent taxpayers before the IRS, performing the same tasks as an Attorney or CPA. The capabilities of an enrolled agent extend beyond just preparing returns to areas such as representing clients in cases involving audits, collections, and appeals. These days, the profession is still available to nearly anyone.


The statute codified checks, insisted on references, ensured professional conduct, etc. The goal was to ensure that agents were of upstanding moral character. The EA designation is the highest credential issued by the IRS . Enrolled Agents, along with Attorneys and CPAs, are the only tax professionals with unlimited representation rights, meaning they can represent any client on any matter before the IRS. This is true even if the EA did not preparer the tax return involved. Unlike other professional accounting certifications, there are no education or experience requirements you have to meet to become an EA.

What Is Needed to Maintain EA Accounting Certification?

If you fail an exam part, you must allow 24 hours before scheduling another appointment for that same part. However, you can schedule an appointment for a different exam part without waiting 24 hours. The actual seat time is 4 hours to allow for a tutorial, survey, and one scheduled 15-minute break. At its core, the EA exam is not unlike other tests you’ve taken in the past. Therefore, brushing up on good test-taking strategies, such as spending less time on one question, is a good idea. Now that you’ve registered with Prometric, you must decide when and where you’d like to take the exam. Prometric has hundreds of testing sites around the world.

  • Persons not scheduled to take a test are not permitted to wait in the test center.
  • If you have your PTIN, you’re ready to create your account with Prometric and register for the EA exam.
  • Just bring your headset with mic so you can join in the conversation.
  • Third, eating and drinking can be a distraction to other test takers.
  • So, you must renew it by December 31 for use the following year.

Once you have passed the online screening test, you may log into your account and choose the appropriate IRS Enrolled Agent Preparation Program course. If you need any accommodations guaranteed by the Americans with Disability Act , contact Prometric first to get pre-approved before scheduling your appointment. Not all test centers are equally equipped for all accommodations. Prometric has a testing accommodations request packet that you’ll need to call about.