Become an Enrolled Agent Mission Society of Enrolled Agents

how to become an enrolled agent

This exam covers auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation. Overall, it usually takes at least eight years to become a certified public accountant due to the necessary requirements.

  • Learn how to afford college without your parents help with five useful strategies from H&R Block.
  • The capabilities of an enrolled agent extend beyond just preparing returns to areas such as representing clients in cases involving audits, collections, and appeals.
  • As an EA, you will have to continue your education to get the proper credits to maintain your license.
  • As part of the evaluation of your enrollment application, the IRS will conduct a suitability check that will include a review of your personal tax compliance and criminal background.
  • When you take on a client, you should perform diligence to ensure that your work for them will not harm another current, or former, client.
  • You should verify that all facts and statements you receive from oral or written communication is true and valid.
  • All tax situations are different and not everyone gets a refund.

Many of your clients will not be aware of your professional jargon so you will need to translate your needs so that they understand. There are organizations that are not required to pay income taxes. However, they must still comply with certain rules and regulations to attain, and maintain, that status. For the most part, these are 501 organizations, commonly known as nonprofit organizations. They can take on many different forms, including charitable trust accounts, and complex corporate structures that perform many different sorts of tasks and receive funds from many sources. 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%.

What should I bring to the testing center? (updated 3/1/

Anyone is allowed to sit for the enrolled agent exam, which is not the case for the CPA exam. In order to sit for the EA exam, all that is required is a preparer tax identification number. After passing the exam and paying the necessary enrollment fee, candidates will then be required to pass a compliance check to ensure they have paid all their taxes. EA candidates are not allowed to have any outstanding tax liabilities. Candidates who have a sufficient amount of work experience, according to IRS guidelines, may not even be required to take the exam. An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service.

How much does EA exam cost?

Enrolled Agent Exam Cost

Each part of the EA exam costs $109. You will be required to pay this fee when you schedule your examinations. If you need to reschedule your exam, you can do so.

Currently, the Special Enrollment Examination is given at nearly 300 Prometric testing centers located across the United States and internationally. Test centers are located in most major metropolitan areas. Once you have your PTIN, you may register online at /irs for your Special Enrollment Exam. EA accountants hold licensure with the IRS and may represent taxpayers before the agency. According to Payscale, CPAs earn about 35% more than EAs as of November 2021. EAs who also hold CPA licensure and wish to investigate financial crimes might consider becoming certified in financial forensics .

Enrolled Agent Program

Candidates who pass the exam must pay a $67 enrollment fee when they apply to practice before the IRS. EA candidates who do not pass part of the exam may retake that section up to four times within the testing window. There is a $182.00 fee per part paid at the time of appointment scheduling. The test fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

  • Our online electronic flash cards turn “down time” into productive study time.
  • The first step will be to get a Preparer Tax Identification Number.
  • You can take the three parts in any order and, if you pass part of the exam, you can carry over passing scores up to two years from the date you took the exam.
  • We also offer our yearly Income Tax Course for those who have considered becoming tax preparers or are interested in part-time income.

Pass a background check to ensure that you have not engaged in any conduct that would justify the suspension or disbarment of an attorney, CPA, or Enrolled Agent from practice before the IRS. Congress enacts a “temporary” income tax with the passage of the Revenue Act of 1862 in order to fund the Civil War. Enrolled Agents are exempt from many of the state fees, registration and testing requirements imposed on Tax Return Preparers. “How do I put urgency into my EA studies”, you ask?

Practice in federal courts

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%.

how to become an enrolled agent

Paper, pencil and a calculator will be provided at the test site. Personal items are not allowed in the testing room and must be stored in a locker. Persons not scheduled to take a test are not permitted to wait in the test center. A complete list of test center rules can be found in the Candidate Information Bulletin at

Steps to Acquire a PTIN

Candidates that receive a scaled score of 104 are very close to passing. Candidates with a scaled score of 45 are far from being successful.

  • EAs represent a wide range of clients including individuals, corporations, estates, partnerships, trusts, and more.
  • As an enrolled agent, you will gain the stamp of approval from the IRS.
  • Candidates that receive a scaled score of 104 are very close to passing.
  • Enrolled agents are required to renew their license every 3 years.
  • Agents can file their renewal applications online or on paper.
  • This includes a review of the applicant’s tax transcript.
  • This exam covers auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation.

And you can’t postpone all of those hours until the last year. Instead, you need to fulfill 16 hours of CE each year. And, at least 2 of your 16 annual hours must focus on an ethics-related topic. With it, you’re likely to have more job opportunities. Technically, CPAs also have more opportunities to increase their earning and bonus potential over time. Ken has gained a wealth of business experience through his previous employment as a CPA, Auditor, Tax Preparer and College Professor.

Step 6. Register for the SEE: How to Apply for the Enrolled Agent Exam

You should be particularly interested if you live in a rural, agrarian area. Even if you are not in a rural area, you might find small-scale farms in urban or suburban areas. These farmers will need help with their tax issues and being versed in this area will provide another level of job security.

how to become an enrolled agent

Everyone needs the aid of a tax expert at some point in their lives, so the demand for EAs is there. And with CPAs placing such a premium on their assistance, EAs appeal to the public with their advanced tax knowledge and their reasonable pricing. The National Association of Enrolled Agents how to become an enrolled agent shares more information about the definition of enrolled agents. The first 5 steps address choices you must make prior to application. Then, an 11th step explains designation maintenance. In recent years, an increase in IRS enforcement has resulted in the need for more taxpayer assistance.

Why Become an Enrolled Agent?

The IRS only determines if a test-taker is qualified, not how qualified they may be. Achieve passing scores on all three parts which cover every aspect of tax code. Experienced tax professionals can usually “test out” of the first course, the Comprehensive Tax Course, which is 48 hours of instruction. The cost to test out of the Comprehensive Tax Course is $100. Upon completion of the examination, a pass/fail message will appear on your computer screen.

How do Enrolled Agents make money?

Being an Enrolled Agent will give you countless opportunities to earn as much as you desire as your salary is not limited to a single job-paying post. You can make outside your main job by charging services for tax representation, expert tax advice, real estate manager, and other related roles.

In some states, candidates must also work a certain number of hours under the direction of a CPA prior to being allowed to sit for the exam. In order to work as an enrolled agent, candidates must receive the proper certification from the Internal Revenue Service.

Visit to find the nearest participating office or to make an appointment. An enrolled agent can negotiate with the IRS during examination and appeals, and act in place of a taxpayer signing consents and executing agreements on their behalf. Professionals who help clients with taxes may benefit from becoming enrolled agents . The IRS empowers EAs with tools unavailable to most other tax preparers. These professionals can speak on clients’ behalf, argue disputes, and make cases to the federal taxation authorities.

  • Your plan will need to include some additional time for daily quizzes and a review of explanations to questions you are not sure about or those you get wrong.
  • The exam is administered through Prometric and is only offered from May 1 to Feb. 28 of the following year.
  • Although CPAs may have a greater earning potential, that salary comes with the need to spend longer in school, gain more work experience, and take a much more in-depth exam.
  • “How do I put urgency into my EA studies”, you ask?
  • Enrolled Agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS.
  • University Headquarters is your #1 resource for finding top rated colleges, scholarships, potential salaries and helping you find the right career.

But before you do, take the time to analyze the pros and cons of the EA to those of other professional qualifications. Then, select the one that best fits your interests and long-term goals. The entire point of earning the EA is to reap the rewards of the designation. You have 3 years to complete these hours, however, 2 hours of Ethics must be completed annually.

What is the enrolled agent exam?

Steps 5-10 refer to the process of earning your EA license, specifically the EA exam and continuing education requirements. An enrolled agent usually works on a year-round basis helping clients.

An EA review course will also help you deepen your knowledge of the material so you can be completely prepared to pass. To ensure you study regularly and to give you an idea of when you will finish your studies, you should make an EA exam study schedule. Both the CPA and the EA certifications are licenses. Yet, the states grant the CPA, while the federal government grants the EA. For this reason, the tax expertise of enrolled agents is acknowledged at a national level. The enrolled agent designation is a distinctive title that enhances the careers of accountants and professionals intending to specialize in tax.

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