How do I Become an Enrolled Agent?

Tracks to Become an Enrolled Agent

There are two tracks to become an 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. The IRS website also provides information on the enrollment process. Prometric administers the exam process for IRS. The two tracks are:

  • Online examination. You can become an enrolled agent by demonstrating special competence in tax matters by taking a online examination administered by Prometric. This track requires that you –
    • Apply to take the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE);
    • Achieve passing scores on all parts of the SEE;
    • Apply for enrollment on Form 23; and
    • Applicants must undergo a background check prior to enrollment, which includes a review of the applicants tax transcript. Failure to timely file or pay taxes can be grounds for denial of enrollment.
  • IRS experience. 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
    • Applicants must undergo a background check prior to enrollment, which includes a review of the applicants tax transcript. Failure to timely file or pay taxes can be grounds for denial of enrollment.

NAEA, the only organization which represents enrolled agents solely, wants to help you achieve your goals. We can help you do it!

More information about IRS and NAEA CPE requirements can be found here.

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Special Enrollment Exam (SEE)

Full information about how to register for the SEE can be found at www.prometric.com/irs. 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, 2011 through February 29, 2012. 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 $101 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.