What is an Enrolled Agent (EA)?
An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before any office of the Internal Revenue Service. An enrolled agent can negotiate with the IRS during examinations and appeals, and act in place of a taxpayer signing consents and executing agreements on their behalf. An enrolled agent is the only professional granted a right to practice directly from the U.S. government. Attorneys and certified public accountants (CPA) 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 CPA’s 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.
Requirements for Enrolled Agents
An enrolled agent (EA) does not need a college degree; rather they must demonstrate special competence in tax matters by passing all three parts of the IRS Special Enrollment Examination. An individual with 5 years of relevant employment with the IRS may apply for enrollment to become tax agent (EA) without taking the exam.
How to Become an Enrolled Agent?
1. PTIN registration with IRS is $64.25 at www.irs.gov/taxpros
2. Our recommended study program is $299 for a study guide and unlimited practice exams covering all 3 tests
3. Prometric administers the exams, which cost $105/each - www.Prometric.com/irs
1. Read about the IRS Special Enrollment Exam (SEE)
2. Read our Best Strategy To Pass The SEE of the First Attempt
3. Review the Tax Preparer Changes Explained
It is then recommended that you register on our website at no cost or obligation and take the free test bank for a spin to get a feel for the types of questions you're going to encounter on the exams.
Once you have passed all 3 segments of the SEE, you must file Form 23, Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service, within one year of the date you passed all parts of the examination. Form 23 is available online at www.irs.gov. The IRS may take approximately 60 days to process your request. During that time, a background check is performed 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.
Separate yourself from the crowd
An un-enrolled return preparer may not sign documents for a taxpayer and may only represent taxpayers in limited situations before revenue agents and customer service representatives. An un-enrolled preparer’s ability to practice before the IRS is very limited. Generally, it is limited to the examination function of the Service, and only with respect to a return he or she prepared. Consequently, an un-enrolled preparer cannot practice before appeals officers, revenue officers, and Counsel. In addition, an un-enrolled preparer cannot execute claims for refund, receive refund checks, execute consents to extend the statutory period for assessment or collection, execute closing agreements, or execute waivers of restriction on assessment or collection of a deficiency in tax.
Why Become an Enrolled Agent?