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What is an enrolled agent?

Enrolled Agents are experts in taxation. The designation that they carry is issued by the U.S. Treasury Department and it is the highest credential awarded by the Internal Revenue Service.

Learn more about enrolled agents

What can an enrolled agent do?

Unlike normal tax preparers, Enrolled Agents have unlimited representation rights. This allows them to represent any taxpayer, regarding any federal income tax matter, before any office of the IRS — even if they did not prepare the original return.

When it comes to tax representation before the IRS, there is no difference between an EA, a CPA, or a lawyer.

Learn more about representation rights

Enrolled Agent Salary

Opportunities for Enrolled Agents are everywhere. Careers at tax preparation firms, accounting firms, law firms, corporate accounting departments, departments of revenue, investment firms, banks, and more await those who take their career to the next level.

With the EA designation in your pocket, you can expand your services from seasonal to annual. You will also have the knowledge and credibility needed to start your own successful tax business, or to grow your existing business.

How much does an EA make?
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Becoming an Enrolled Agent

There are four steps to becoming an Enrolled Agent:

  1. Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). You can register for this at www.irs.gov/ptin
  2. Pass 3 part Special Enrollment Examination
  3. Apply for Enrollment (Form 23)
  4. Pass Tax Compliance/Background Check
    *The IRS verifies that you do not have any public facing felonies that breach the public trust (fraud, embezzlement, etc.) and that you are not out of compliance with your personal taxes
Learn how to become an EA
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Enrolled agent requirements

To become an EA, you simply need to be 18 years of age or older, have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), and pass the Special Enrollment Examination.

This is a tremendous advantage for those looking to move into tax representation and offer services year round without spending thousands upon thousands on a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree.

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Special Enrollment Examination

Also known as the EA exam, the Special Enrollment Examination is a three-part exam administered by Prometric on behalf of the IRS. Each part is taken as a separate 100 question, multiple-choice exam. The three parts are Individual taxation, Business taxation, and Representation, Practices, & Procedures

The approximate pass rates for the three parts in 2016-2017 were as follows:

  • Individuals 81%
  • Business 64%
  • Representation, Practices, & Procedures 88%
Here's how to pass on your first try