Instead of getting into competition for $150 tax preparation, get into Clients’ Representation and start with $1,500.
An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), are unrestricted regarding which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.
Steps to Become an EA
- Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
- Apply to take the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE)
- Achieve passing scores on all three parts of the SEE
- Apply for enrollment (Form 23)
- Pass a tax compliance check to ensure that you have filed all necessary tax returns and there are no outstanding tax liabilities
Applicants must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) issued by the
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to register to take the examination.
To get your PTIN online
The IRS Tax Professional PTIN Sign-up System is available at www.irs.gov/ptin.
- Create Your Account: Provide your name, email address, and security question information.
- The system will then email your temporary password, which you will change when you go back to enter your information in the PTIN application.
- Apply for Your PTIN — complete the online application by providing personal information, information about your previous year’s tax return, professional credentials, and more.
- Get Your PTIN —
- It takes about 15 minutes to sign up online and receive your PTIN. If you opt to use the paper application, Form W-12 IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) Application; it will take 4-6 weeks to process.
2- Apply to take the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE)
The quickest way to register and schedule an examination is online. To register and schedule an examination online, follow these steps:
- Access www.prometric.com/see and click Register for your test.
- If it is your first time, click Create Account to set up your user ID and password.
- Complete the registration process by clicking on Scheduling.
Candidates may also register by calling Prometric at 800.306.3926 or completing IRS Form 2587.
You may take each part of the examination at your convenience. The three parts do not have to be taken on the same day or consecutive days. You may take examination parts up to four times each during each test window.
Here are the steps involved.
Create an Account
All first-time users must create a new Prometric account. Access step by step instructions on how to create an account and establish a unique user ID and password.
Review the Candidate Information Bulletin
Before you sign up to take the SEE, please review the Enrolled Agent Special Enrollment Examination Candidate Information Bulletin. This bulletin will provide you with important information about the examination and the process for becoming an Enrolled Agent.
Review Exam Content Outlines
Click below for a list of test topics for each examination part.
For examinations delivered through 2022, click and learn about each part.
- Part 1 – Individuals
- Part 2 – Businesses
- Part 3 – Representation, Practices, and Procedures
Prepare for your Exam
See the FAQ at the bottom of this blog.
Schedule Your Exam
The Special Enrollment Examination is a three-part test. The Examination parts can be taken in any order.
The easiest way to schedule an exam is online.
- Login to your account
- Select “Schedule Now” next to the test name under “Ready to schedule.”
- Select Test Center, Date & Time, and pay for your exam – This completes the scheduling process.
- Select Schedule and pay for your exam.
If you have an existing account – you will be prompted for a one-time re-verification of your PTIN. Please ensure you are using your individually assigned PTIN# (P0XXXXXXX) provided to you by the IRS
After scheduling your exam, please review your appointment confirmation email to ensure that you have the correct exam, date, time, and testing location.
If you require testing accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other accommodations, please call Prometric at 800.967.1139 to obtain an accommodation request packet and speak with a Testing Accommodations Advocate.
Candidates seeking testing accommodations must submit a completed request packet. The health care provider who made the diagnosis or is treating you must document the nature of the disability or illness on their portion of the package and must provide their signature. This documentation will help us determine the appropriate testing accommodations. Generally, at least 30 days advance notice is required to arrange testing accommodations, and there is no additional charge to candidates.
Important Test Day Checklist
- Review your appointment confirmation email to confirm your appointment time.
- Arrive at the testing center at least 30 minutes before your appointment.
- Review driving directions. Allow sufficient time for travel, parking, locating the test center, and checking in. At some testing centers, there is a parking fee.
- Bring a valid, non-expired government-issued ID with a current photo and signature.
- Consider wearing layers of clothing, which can be removed due to variability in temperature in the test area.
- Prescriptions and bottled water may not be brought into the testing room but can be kept in the test center locker for access if needed.
- Consider bringing your soft earplugs or use the test center-provided sound dampening earphones to decrease distractions during the test.
Testing fees are generally not refundable or transferable. In very limited situations, such as the candidate’s death or accidentally signing up for the examination twice for the same date and time, refunds will be considered. Access the Refund Form to request a refund.
If you are requesting a response to a written inquiry concerning the registration, Scheduling or test administration, Prometric Candidate Care will review your concern and will generally respond within 20 business days of receipt. Access the Appeal Form to request an appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the cost?
The non-refundable (or transferable) testing fee (currently $184.97 but subject to change to adjust for inflation) is paid at the time you schedule your examination. Payment is in the form of credit cards only.
How long is each test?
The time for each test is 3½ hours exam.
When do I apply for the test?
- You may schedule your appointment for the testing period, usually from May 1 through February 28. There is no testing in March or April. You must register for each exam before making an appointment. If you fail an exam, you must register again before scheduling a new appointment.
Where do I take the test?
IRS is using Prometric. They have several learning centers all over the country, and you can register online to the center nearest to you—morning or evening hours available. You must have a valid ID.
What are the best sources of information to pass Part I of the SEE?
- 1040 instructions,
- Circular 230,
- Publication 17 of IRS.
- An EA study guide such as the ones shown on the EA books in this website
The study guide can help you with the exam criteria, and if you don’t cut corners, you can pass the test, if you pass the test at the end of this guide, but you need to stay in touch with irs.gov and get yourself on their mailing list for tips and updates that they offer frequently.
Many people may not like to stick to books, and they have to meet in person or at least attend workshops in Zoom. If you want to meet the instructor and meet up virtually or in person, call us or register online for the EA preparatory workshops. Click here.
Meet your instructor:
Ferey Kian is an MBA, EA, and NPTI Fellow and an approved education provider by the IRS for courses in AFSP and Enrolled Agent curriculum. Call and speak to him directly to see if the EA is for you and when you can take the classes this year.
Three different multiple-choice formats are used. Each format is shown in the following examples.
Format 1—A direct question
Which of the following entities are required to file Form 709, United States Gift Tax Return?
- An individual
- An estate or trust
- A corporation
- All of the above
Format 2— Incomplete sentence
Supplemental wages are compensation paid in addition to an employee’s regular wages. They do not include payments for:
- Accumulated sick leave
- Nondeductible moving expenses
- Vacation pay
- Travel reimbursements paid at the Federal Government per diem rate
Format 3—All of the following EXCEPT
There are five tests which must be met for you to claim an exemption for a dependent. Which of the following is not a requirement?
- Citizen or Resident Test
- Member of Household or Relationship Test
- Disability Test
- Joint Return Test