The license is earned in one of two ways, by passing a comprehensive examination (SEE) that covers all aspects of the Tax Code, or by having worked at the IRS for five years in a position which regularly interpreted and applied the tax code and its regulations. All candidates are subjected to a rigorous background check conducted by the IRS. All candidates must also have a PTIN prior to the three part exam.
About the SEE
The exam is broken down into three parts:
- Businesses and Representation
- Practice and Procedures
How to Prep for the SEE
There are numerous resources available to help you succeed when taking the SEE. For a full list click here.
Taking the SEE
The exam is offered every month excluding March and April.
The parts of the exam do not need to be taken all at once, or even in order, but you must take all three parts within two years.
Prometric administers the exam. Information on registering, and the testing experience can be found here.
NOVA SEE Prep Course
Northern Virginia Community College offers a SEE prep course! This is a self-study course where students are expected to review the materials before the class and then discuss/review the material in class. The next SEE prep course session starts May 17th. The class runs for nine weeks on Tuesdays from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at the Woodbridge Campus.
To register go to: Accounting & Bookkeeping Classes – MyWorkforce
Scroll down to careers, then SEE Prep Individual.
This course requires the book and test prep of the SEE study materials from Gleim. You can purchase each section individually or all 3 books at once if you plan to take the other two parts.
You can purchase the materials from the campus bookstore or order online (recommended). Click here to purchase the SEE study materials from Gleim.
The entire workforce catalog can be accessed here. SEE prep classes are located on page 5.
You passed! Now what?
You must apply for enrollment using Form 23 and undergo an extensive background check.
Enrolled agents must obtain a minimum of 72 hours per enrollment cycle (every three years). Additionally, they must also obtain a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education (including 2 hours of ethics or professional conduct) each enrollment year.
EA members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education each year (six more per year than IRS requires) in the interpretation, application and administration of federal and state tax laws and ethics in order to maintain membership in the organization.