how many enrolled agents are there

The IRS EA exam is a comprehensive three-part test that tax preparers must pass in order to become an IRS Enrolled Agent. After tax preparers pass all three Enrolled Agent exams and complete the other requirements (there aren’t many!), how many enrolled agents are there the IRS distinguishes them with the EA designation. It signals a high level of expertise and allows them to practice before the IRS. Explore why tax preparers and accountants might consider pursuing the EA credential in this guide.

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You will need to remove the lid/cap for visual inspection by the Test Center staff. These inspections will take a few seconds and will be done at check-in and again upon return from breaks before you enter the testing room to ensure you do not violate any security protocol. With the exception of wedding and engagement rings and small stud earrings, jewelry is prohibited. Please refrain from using ornate clips, combs, barrettes, headbands, tie clips, cuff links and other accessories as you may be prohibited from wearing them into the testing room and asked to store them in your locker.

  • CPA rates are typically higher since the profession involves more education and a higher degree of expertise.
  • EAs have limited client privilege under the terms of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.
  • The right to practice before the Internal Revenue Service is regulated by Federal statute,[7] and persons authorized to practice are known as “Federally Authorized Tax Practitioners”,[8] or “FATPs”.
  • Water in a clear or transparent container with a lid or cap must have all labels removed, and the container will be inspected for notes or other prohibited test aids.
  • NAEA members must complete 30 hours per year of continuing education or 90 hours every three years, which is significantly more than the IRS prerequisite.

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They are subject to the guidelines of Circular 230, which provides ethical standards in their profession. They also have a code of ethics and rules set out by NAEA for its members. Enrolled Agents (EA) are tax professionals licensed by the federal government and can represent taxpayers in front of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While an Enrolled Agent (EA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) are skilled and authorized tax professionals.

  • The association’s site offers extensive information on becoming an enrolled agent, plus tips for passing the SEE.
  • Take advantage of our free EA exam resources that will guide you through the process of earning your EA designation.
  • A more proactive approach is looking online for freelancing registered agents in respective localities.
  • A person may be an EA and a CPA; however, one appointment does not necessarily qualify the person to serve as the other.
  • The IRS is the definitive source of information regarding the SEE, becoming an EA, and the EA retirement program.
  • Enrolled agents first appeared in 1884 due to issues arising with Civil War loss claims.
  • The Education Foundation seeks to help tax professionals to reach their goal of becoming Enrolled Agents by providing scholarships to prepare for the Special Enrollment Examination.

About the EA Exam

how many enrolled agents are there

Enrolled agents should perform their tax responsibilities and always adhere to professional standards. They must file accurate returns, make tax payments on time, and respond promptly to the IRS when assessed. The privilege of being an EA is granted to those who either pass a three-part thorough IRS test covering individual and company tax forms or have prior experience as an IRS employee.

how many enrolled agents are there

Founded in 1972, this community of tax practitioners serves more than 10,000 professionals. The association’s site offers extensive information on becoming an enrolled agent, plus tips for passing the SEE. The NAEA also provides continuing education opportunities and career development resources. Enrolled agents must complete 72 hours of continuing education every 36 months to maintain their enrollment status with IRS.

Can an enrolled agent help with audits and tax debt?

We also cover how to become an enrolled agent and prepare for the EA exam. An enrolled agent must additionally pass a “tax compliance check.” Their own personal tax records must be in order. They can’t owe the IRS and must have filed all their tax returns due to date. Enrolled Agents are federally registered tax practitioners specializing in tax preparation and have unlimited authority to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

  • Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who are state-licensed and who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation.
  • A complete list of test center rules can be found in the Candidate Information Bulletin at Prometric.
  • Beware of preparers who encourage you to lie or otherwise modify your information in order to get a bigger refund.
  • Since the EA license holds federal recognition, requirements do not vary by state.
  • Generally, an agent can “save” their passing scores for up to two years and only retake the portion they didn’t achieve a passing score on if they pass one or two sections on the first try.
  • Our work has been directly cited by organizations including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Investopedia, Forbes, CNBC, and many others.

Table of Contents

how many enrolled agents are there

In addition, NAEA members adhere to a stringent Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct of the Association, as well as the Treasury Department’s Circular 230 regulations. NAEA members belong to a strong network of experienced, well-trained tax professionals who effectively represent their clients while striving to make the tax code fair and reasonably enforced for America’s taxpayers. Enrolled agents are the only tax professionals who do not require a state license. However, they have a federal license and can represent a taxpayer in any state. They must abide by the specifications of the Treasury Department’s Circular 230, which provides the guidelines governing enrolled agents. Enrolled agents that have an NAEA membership are also subject to a code of ethics and rules of professional conduct.

Personal Duty

how many enrolled agents are there

The demand for enrolled agents remains steady as entities file taxes yearly. Tax laws and regulations change regularly, thus creating a high demand for experienced professionals in this area. As for occupational duties, enrolled agents are empowered to represent American taxpayers before the IRS on matters such as collections, tax appeals, audits, and any other tax issues. Enrolled agents are required to abide by the provisions of the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230, which provides the regulations governing the practice of enrolled agents before the IRS. NAEA members are also bound by a Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct of the Association. Based on their renewal cycle, each agent must complete 72 hours of continuing education, with a minimum of 16 hours each year.

For broader accounting needs, a CPA can be an advantage, especially when you need a financial statement for a bank loan. An EA can best assist you with an IRS concern, such as a collection issue or an audit. They are usually well-versed in dealing with the IRS, as several worked as IRS agents before starting their practices. Similarly, it checks if you have no outstanding tax liabilities and reviews for any unethical or criminal activities.

We recommend sitting for Part 1 or 2 first because some of the content tested in Part 3 builds off of content tested in Parts 1 and 2. Take a look at the topics tested on Parts 1 and 2 and decide which topics you feel more comfortable with. Sit for Parts 1 and 2 in order of your familiarity level and then take Part 3 last. Testing according to these considerations will help you master the topics so you can pass each part on your first try and become an EA faster. Each exam part covers major topics the IRS calls “domains.” The IRS releases Exam Content Outlines Opens in new window detailing these domains and the content tested in them. We’ve broken down the domains tested per part, the approximate number of questions per domain, and percent of the exam covered by each domain.

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