How to Become an Enrolled Agent

What is an Enrolled Agent?

An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation and who is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service for audits, collections, and appeals.

What does the term “Enrolled Agent” mean?

“Enrolled” means to be licensed to practice by the federal government, and “Agent” means authorized to appear in the place of the taxpayer at the IRS. Only Enrolled Agents, attorneys, and CPAs may represent taxpayers before the IRS. The Enrolled Agent profession dates back to 1884 when, after questionable claims had been presented for Civil War losses, Congress acted to regulate persons who represented citizens in their dealings with the U.S. Treasury Department.

How can an Enrolled Agent help me?

Enrolled Agents advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and any entities with tax-reporting requirements. Enrolled Agents’ expertise in the continually changing field of taxation enables them to effectively represent taxpayers audited by the IRS.

What are the privileges of an Enrolled Agent?

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 allow federally authorized practitioners (those bound by the Department of Treasury’s Circular 230 regulations) a limited client privilege. This privilege allows confidentiality between the taxpayer and the Enrolled Agent under certain conditions. The privilege applies to situations in which the taxpayer is being represented in cases involving audits and collection matters. It is not applicable to the preparation and filing of a tax return. This privilege does not apply to state tax matters, although a number of states have an accountant-client privilege.

What are the differences between EA’s and other tax professionals?

Only Enrolled Agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in matters of taxation before they may represent a taxpayer before the IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all Enrolled Agents specialize in taxation. Enrolled Agents are the only taxpayer representatives who receive their right to practice from the U.S. government (CPAs and attorneys are licensed by the states).

How do I become an Enrolled Agent?

There are two tracks to become an IRS Enrolled Agent, which are outlined in Treasury Department Circular 230, Regulations Governing the Practice of Attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Actuaries, and Appraisers, before the Internal Revenue Service. All candidates are also subjected to a rigorous background check conducted by the IRS. The IRS website also provides information on the enrollment process. Prometric administers the exam process for IRS. The two tracks are: 1. You can become an enrolled agent by demonstrating special competence in tax matters by taking a online Enrolled Agent examination administered by Prometric. This track requires that you:

  • Apply to take the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE); see below
  • Achieve passing scores on all parts of the SEE;
  • Apply for enrollment on Form 23; and
  • Pass a background check 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.
2. You can become an enrolled agent by virtue of past service and technical experience with the IRS that qualifies you for enrollment. This track requires that you:
  • Possess the years of past service and technical experience specified in Circular 230;
  • Apply for enrollment Form 23; and
  • Pass a background check 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
Full information about how to register for the SEE can be found at There are three parts of the exam, which are: Part 1 – Individuals Part 2 – Businesses Part 3 – Representation, Practice and Procedures For quick reference, here are a few key details about the exam:
  • Exams will be offered May 1 through February 28 of each year. There is no testing in March or April.
  • Candidates may schedule each part of the exam at their convenience, in any order. It is not required to take all parts in one sitting.
  • Exam fees are $184.97 per part.
  • Prometric maintains approximately 300 test sites throughout the US and internationally. To enter the testing facility, you must present a valid, government-issued identification card containing both your signature and picture.
  • Each part of the new exam will have about 100 questions, along with a small number of experimental questions that will not be scored (you will not know which questions will count towards your score and which are included to gather statistical information on questions prior to being added to the exam).
The exam includes three types of multiple choice questions: direct question, incomplete sentence and all of the following except.
  • Exam results are scaled, by calculating the number of questions answered correctly from the total number of questions asked and converting to a scale that ranges from 40 to 130.
  • Test results are available immediately following the exam. Candidates who pass are not told their score, simply that they passed. Candidates who fail will be told their score, as well as diagnostic information to help prepare for re-examination.
  • Candidates who do not pass a part of the exam after four attempts during the May 1 through February 28 test window must wait until the next testing period before attempting the part again.
  • Candidates have a two year window from the time they pass the first part to pass the other two parts of the exam.

How can I prepare for the Exam?

With our EA Exam Review Course, you will study and review the tax knowledge required to successfully pass the IRS Enrolled Agent Exam (also known as the Special Enrollment Examination or the SEE). The course will highlight to you those subjects that you may need to gain additional knowledge in, and covers all of the key areas of taxation that is covered by the exam including individual returns, business entity returns, practice before the IRS and tax practitioner ethics. Enrolled Agent Exam Review Course

How do I keep my license?

Enrolled Agents renew their license on a staggered schedule, based on the last digit of the enrolled agent’s social security number. The current fee for renewal is $30 per year. To be eligible for renewal for the enrollment cycle, Enrolled Agents must complete 72 continuing professional education (CPE) credit hours for the three year cycle, with a minimum of 16 CPE per year. Two CPE credit hours per year must be in Ethics. Platinum Professional Services offers Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Tax Courses that are designed to enhance an Enrolled Agents professional proficiency in federal taxation or federal tax related matters. EA Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Courses

Course Features

We offer reliable, superior, quality EA tax classes at an affordable cost. Our IRS approved online EA Review Courses and EA CPE courses will provide you with the knowledge to excel as a tax professional. Platinum Tax School is the only company to offer state supplements to further enhance your education. It does not get better than this. Prepare for the EA exam to become an Enrolled Agent with our EA review course that will give you the confidence needed in obtaining the tax knowledge to prepare individual tax returns.   

Platinum Tax School offers automatic grading, feedback on your missed quiz questions, printable e-books conveniently located within each tax preparation course and unlimited tries to pass the quizzes and final exam(s). We even offer full instructor support with each tax preparer course. Our EA CPE courses are available to you for six months (180 days) upon purchase and will expire after the six month term. Note: Enrolled Agent Exam Review Courses expire after one year. Learn 24/7, online and your own pace. Best of all, your certificate of completion is emailed you immediately following the successful completion of the tax preparer class.

With Platinum Tax School there is no confusion, only a direct path to success. Feel free to discover the most proficient way to deepen your education and be efficient, all while saving you time and money. Here at Platinum Tax School, we make it easy for you without any added obstacles. Everyone wants to simplify their life and finally, we have the way.