Enrolled agents have demonstrated competence in tax matters, allowing them to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Earning the EA license proves dedication and a commitment to providing the most knowledgeable service possible for his/her clients. It is not an easy test; it requires preparation and diligence, as any licensing process should. With hard work and a little support, however, you too can earn this prestigious license.
The following steps are necessary to become an enrolled agent.
- Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
- Sign up for the Special Enrollment Examination through Prometric.
- Prepare for the examination using any of the resources offered by the NAEA, the Internal Revenue Service, Prometric, or other third-party test preparation companies that are certified by the IRS or the NAEA.
- Sit for the SEE and achieve passing scores on all three parts of the SEE. *
- Read Circular 230.
- Submit an application for enrollment and pay an enrollment fee. This can be done online at Pay.gov or by mail. If you choose to use a paper application, fill out Form 23 and mail it, along with a check for $30 to the Internal Revenue Service.
- Pass a tax compliance check to ensure that you have filed all necessary tax returns and
have no outstanding tax liabilites. This check is conducted on your behalf after submitting Form 23.
*Certain IRS employees, by virtue of past technical experience, are exempt from the exam requirement
About the Special Enrollment Exam-SEE
The Special Enrollment Exam is the three-part test required to earn an EA license.
- Part 1 – Individuals
- Part 2 – Businesses
- Part 3 – Representation, Practice, and Procedures
Each part of the exam has about 100 questions and a small number of experimental questions that do not count towards your score. You will not be informed of which questions are for scoring purposes and which are included for the purpose of gathering statistical information for future exams. The experimental questions are also not markedly different from standard questions. Answer all questions regardless of any hunches that questions are experimental or not.
The Exam includes three types of multiple choice questions: incomplete sentence or fill-in-the-blank, direct questions,and all of the following except.
Exams are offered May 1 through February 28. No tests are scheduled during the months of April and May.
You may schedule each part of the exam separately. It is not required to take the entire exam in one sitting. Each part costs $109.