- What is an Enrolled Agent?
- What does the term “Enrolled Agent” mean?
- How does one become an Enrolled Agent?
- What materials should I study to get ready for the SEE?
- How do EAs differ from other tax practitioners?
- What are the advantages to being 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 Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service for audits, collections and appeals. return to top
“Enrolled” means to be licensed by the Federal Government, and “Agent” means authorized to appear in place of the taxpayer 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. return to top
Follow these steps to become an EA:
Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number;
Apply to take the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE);
Achieve passing scores on all 3 parts of the SEE;*
Apply for enrollment; and
Pass a tax compliance check to ensure that you have filed all necessary tax returns and there are no outstanding tax liabilities.
*Certain former IRS employees, by virtue of past technical experience, may be exempt from the exam requirement.
The IRS publishes comprehensive question and answer guides to previous years’ SEE exams, which are invaluable resources for studying. The IRS Enrolled Agent page is a great reference for all the material and subjects that are covered in the SEE. The IRS also provides you with useful links on how to sign up for the exam, where to take the exam, and just about anything else you would ever need to know about the SEE. return to top
EAs are the only practitioners licensed by the federal government as representatives for taxpayers. CPAs and attorneys, who do not necessarily specialize in tax matters, are licensed by the states. The SEE test covers three parts: Part I Individuals; Part II Businesses; and Part III Representation, Practice, and Procedures. Fewer that one-third of the applicants taking the SEE have passed, making rigorous self-study and review essential. return to top
There are several. First, is your increased knowledge that is an added value to your clients. Also, you can handle audits before the IRS without the client present. As an EA, you also can represent your client in proceedings before appeals and collections.