What is an Enrolled Agent?
An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the IRS by either
- passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or
- through experience as a former IRS employee
Reasons why you should become an Enrolled Agent
Enrolled Agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means Enrolled Agents are unrestricted as to
- which taxpayers they can represent
- what types of tax matters they can handle, and
- which IRS offices they can represent clients before
If you are interested in becoming a Tax Preparer or already are one, it makes great sense to work towards becoming an Enrolled Agent.
Currently the IRS has a voluntary program for tax preparers — the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP). Without completing this bare minimum program or having any other recognized credentials, you will lose very basic representation rights for clients whose returns you prepared.
Continuing your education enables you to prepare more complicated tax returns, which in turn allows you to charge more and grow your business! In addition, you can also become specialized in certain areas and be known as “the expert”. Think about what your regular family doctor makes for a living and how many patients he/she might see in a day. Now think about what a heart surgeon makes for a living and how many patients he/she might see in a day. The heart surgeon makes a lot more money and sees far fewer patients on a daily basis. The more you know, the more you can charge and the more your business will grow!
Steps to becoming an Enrolled Agent
Step 1 – Start by enrolling in the Chartered Tax Professional-CTP® certificate program.
Start by enrolling in the Chartered Tax Professional-CTP® certificate program. This e-learning program leading to the professional CTP® designation includes five courses totaling 180-hours of instruction.The remaining courses can be completed in about one year. The CTP® curriculum includes most topics on the EA exam and CTP® graduates are well prepared to pass the EA Exam after completing an EA Review, also available from ITS in partnership with Exam Matrix. Experienced tax professionals can usually “test out of” the first 60-hours.
- Comprehensive Tax Course
- Advanced Level I Tax Course
- Advanced Level II Tax Course
- Small Business Level I
- Small Business Level II Tax Course
- Annual CE requirement beginning the year after you qualify as a CTP®
- 15 Hours (9 hours federal tax law, 3 hours ethics, 3 hours federal tax law updates)
- Experience requirement:
- 500 Hours must be completed before final CTP® certificate is issued. After completing the first tax course you’ll have the tax knowledge to prepare individual tax returns for almost all U.S. taxpayers and you can start working towards your experience requirement. Plus, you’ll start earning money!
- Learn more about requirements
Learn more about the CTP and Enroll:
- Payment plan available
Step 2 – Complete an EA exam review with Exam Matrix at a discounted rate.
The Income Tax School is pleased to offer you the opportunity to further your career by obtaining your Enrolled Agent (EA) certification. We have partnered with Exam Matrix, a leader in EA Exam preparation, to help you prepare for the EA Exam.
Exam Matrix offers EA Study Guides and Practice Exams…starting at just $170.10
(ITS Customers Get a Reduced Rate!)
- New EA Exam Review innovations – Intelligent Software
- Over 1,800 Multiple-Choice Questions – With Full Text Answers
- Up-to-Date IRS Publications – Built Right Into the Software
- Over 80% Pass Rate
- Simulated Exam Mode
- Pass or Refund Guarantee
Exam Matrix offers Top-Notch EA Exam Prep Options
Note: ExamMatrix’s EA Exam Review was recently acquired by Surgent. ExamMatrix will continue to process all orders for students of The Income Tax School.
Step 3 – Take the SEE exam with the IRS.
Individuals wishing to become an IRS Enrolled Agent must take and pass the IRS Special Enrollment Exam (SEE).
There are fives steps to this process:
- Review the Candidate Information Bulletin – This bulletin will provide you with important information about the examination and the process for becoming an Enrolled Agent.
- Register and Schedule Your Exam – Prior to scheduling an examination appointment you must register for each part of the examination that you wish to take.
- Review Exam Content Outlines – Read the full detailed test specifications to become familiar with the content of each part of the examination.
- Prepare for your Exam – Please review the Candidate Information Bulletin for test content and scoring information, test center regulations and ID policies, registration and scheduling issues and contact information.
- Take your Exam