Enrolled Agent requirements are actually quite simple when compared to other accounting and tax related qualifications.
There are two paths that you can become an EA:
- By exam
- By experience
We will go over them separately in detail.
Enrolled Agent Requirements in Two Different Tracks
1. By Exam
One can become an Enrolled Agent by passing the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE), or more commonly known as the EA exam.
To qualify for the exam, all you need is a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
In other words, you don’t need specific education or experience to be eligible for the EA exam.
To apply for PTIN, submit your personal information and individual tax return. As long as you don’t state any felony convictions or discrepancies with your federal tax obligations, you are granted the PTIN immediately after payment. The application process takes about 15 minutes from start to finish.
2. By Experience
An individual can also become an Enrolled Agent by accumulating experience in the IRS and fulfill the criteria stated in Circular 230:
Applicants must have been regularly engaged in applying and interpreting the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations relating to income, estate, gift, employment, or excise taxes.”
Specifically, they need to fulfill the following criteria:
Number of Years of Experience
- At least 5 years at the IRS
- 3 of these 5 years must have occurred within the last 5 years prior to separation from the IRS.
Nature of Job
It has to be “taxpayer-facing” field position. Examples include:
- appeals officer
- special agent
- revenue officer
- revenue agent
- tax specialist
- tax law specialist
- settlement officer
If you believe you are qualified, check out this page on how to become an EA on the next step.
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